The Grumpy Introvert on Being Unashamed of Your Bubble

Dear Grumpy,

I’m an introvert married to an introvert. My husband and I are child-free. We love to stay home and snuggle and basically shut out the world. My family doesn’t understand our quiet life and say that we should break out of our happy bubble and interact with other couples. How can we make them understand we love our life the way it is?

Sincerely,

Happy in Our Bubble

Dear Bubbles,

Well, this is an easy day at the office. How do you make them understand? Answer: you don’t.

[Ed. Note: Kinda blunt, don’t you think?]

[G.I.: O, ye of little faith.]

Bubbles, I hereby absolve you of any nagging obligation you feel to defend your peaceful, snuggly, happily married, introvert-idyllic lifestyle. I wave my magic Grumpy wand over your and your husband’s heads (it growls, don’t get spooked). I intone these words:

YOU ARE NEVER UNDER ANY OBLIGATION TO EXPLAIN YOUR HAPPINESS TO ANYONE.

Never. Not ever. Like, really, never ever ever. Your happiness sounds genuine and true and very, very aligned with your introvert natures. You have nothing to prove or to defend to anyone. As a friend once said to me about a stroke of happiness that was, admittedly, confusing to my Grumpy self: “Take this ticket.”

[Ed. Note: Ticket? Now there are tickets?]

[G.I.: So. Impatient. You’ll understand soon enough.]

My friend meant, simply, climbing on board the happy train, without second-guessing it or overthinking it. It sounds like you’ve already accepted the ticket, Bubbles and Hubbles. You know what makes you happy, and you’re there. Bravo. But you can’t make other people take the ticket too.

I’m guessing your family is more extroverted in nature than you and your hubby. Bless their concerned, over-scheduled, meddling hearts. It sounds like they mean well, of course. Perhaps they are afraid you will get sick of each other and your harmonious Netflix binges. (“No, YOU pick our next series.” “No, you, Pumpkin!”) Perhaps your family is worried you’re not making the most of your youth—or your freewheeling middle age. You don’t say how old you and your hubby are, but there seems to be an extra-extroverted societal expectation for married-without-kids folks to be Out There, making it rain with all that disposable income you’re assumed to have amassed. I know. Ha! Ha ha ha!

My hunch is you are far from millionaires—just filthy rich in contentment. And for some devilish reason, contentment really seems to bug people who are observing it from a distance. What’s that all about, Humanity? Why are we humans so suspicious of quiet happiness? If someone professes to be content with a life as-is, we think they must be hiding something. Well…some of us do. As a species, we tend to thrive on upheaval and chaos. And we feel better about our own lives when the people around us seem to be struggling just as much—or maybe just a teensy bit more—than we are.

I have no doubt you and your husband have your challenges and struggles, just like everyone else on the planet. But I also get the feeling you’ve lucked into a very good thing and you don’t take it for granted, not one bit. That’s golden, Bubbles. As long as you and he occasionally get out of the house to buy toilet paper and allow your pasty complexions see the light of day, I think you’re fine.

You’ll know when it’s time to change things up. Maybe a little malaise or discontent will creep in at some point. That won’t be a sign that anything’s wrong between you two, not even a little. It will just clue you in that a little change is in order, a little out-of-the-box excitement for you two introvert lovebirds. Have fun with that when that day comes. Dare to shake things up for a little while. You’ll know when it’s time to head back to your bubble—your Netflix queue will still be waiting.

And the next time anyone questions your relationship and your happy life together? Just smile, smile, smile…and say nothing at all. Some things don’t require explanation, and your happiness is one of them.

Mazel tov, you two.

Sincerely,

Grumpy

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