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Our Living Room

The biggest room in our small two-story house is the living room, yet up until a few months ago, only my husband really used the room. It was not cozy. A sofa, recliner, and club chair were the seating arrangement. All the furniture faced the television. At best, Dear Husband and I would be near each other but never had the opportunity for closeness and affection. To accomplish that I would have to nestle between his legs in front of him. Eventually, he would start to complain about being crushed, hot or just plain uncomfortable.

When we moved in together, he immediately claimed the sofa as his place to sit and anyone else would be moved if they dare tread on his territory. Sometimes he was laughing as he glared and said, “Get off” and other times he could be downright rude. If Dear Husband had had a particularly bad day at work, he often came in and even changed the channel on the TV without asking while muscling his way onto HIS spot. Many battles took place over his inability to share; something we had been taught to do as children!

Dear Husband and I had known each other for about five years before we moved in together and then married three years after that. In all that time, I never really understood this behavior, but didn’t want to rock the boat over something so simple. There were other places to sit and, until my daughter moved out, just the three of us living there. He had served in Vietnam and it took many years for me to realize he needed to be able to survey his surroundings for security reasons. Relationships have much bigger fish to fry like how to handle expenses, where to vacation and discipline issues; he had two sons from a previous marriage and combining families was another hurdle.

As my recliner became more and more worn out from use, we started to discuss new furniture. We have three cats and the sofa had hair entangled in the woven fabric; I simply couldn’t get it clean any more. I broached the subject of moving the furniture around and perhaps just getting a new chair or loveseat. Dear Husband insisted that the only thing he really cared about was being able to see out the window.

We settled on a beautiful cocoa-colored, microfiber, sectional sofa, and two overstuffed chairs. The sofa’s beautiful curve sits at the end of the picture window where Dear Husband can survey his domain. Because of the overall length I can now sit near him with my feet up. If I need my own space in the room, I can cuddle into one of the chairs and throw my legs over the side. The new configuration has actually brought us a bit closer because we can touch each other while just relaxing. You can almost feel the warmth radiate from us.