For the last eight months, I haven’t had a job. But my husband continues to do his share of the housework. We don’t have a schedule or count pennies. I do some cooking and most of the laundry when I’m feeling well; when I’m not, I stay in bed and become depressed and irritable, and he does his best to take care of me after long days at work.

Guilt. Gratitude. These are two feelings I have about this arrangement. Neither of which seems quite right for a romantic relationship, although I suppose they’re both common enough.

For the first time since I was 23, I was financially dependent on someone else. One day I snapped, and accused my husband of resenting me for not earning. When I had calmed down enough to listen, he pointed out that he had not indicated any resentment. I had been projecting: I’d felt so resentful of my situation that I’d assumed he had too.

I am used to being taken care of by my husband: it’s relatively new to have friends look after me when I’m unwell, physically or emotionally. To be fed when I feel incapable of feeding myself, to be comforted when I am in tears, and to be reminded over and over again that I am loved and not alone.

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