Tuesday, May 27, 2008

And It is Good

I rarely talk about my husband on here. I talk about my kids. I talk about my friends. I talk about myself. I talk about things that bother me. But I rarely talk about my husband. Really, I rarely talk about my marriage. This is not a purposeful avoidance. I just don't think of things to talk about regarding my marriage.

My husband does not deal with stress well and he turns into Mr. Negativity, aka Eeyore. I can't take it. He gets hormonal and bitchy and snappy and just all around completely unpleasant to be around. Last night it just came to a head. And rather than arguing about it, as we have in the past, we talked about it. I channeled the inner counselor in me and we really talked.

My husband comes from a father who almost never has anything positive to say. My FIL tries. Especially with my kids. But it's like this big black cloud follows him around. To be quite frank, I don't know my father in law all that well. Maybe he has a lot to be negative about. But I can't always be around people who cannot find positives in anything. I have been trying very hard to find the positive in almost everything. I'm not miss happy sunshine but I am trying my best to move away from Eeyore and head towards Tigger- except not as hyperactive. I am bringing my husband with me.

I loaded up the dishwasher and very bluntly told my play station playing husband that we needed to talk. We needed to talk about me feeling underappreciated. We needed to talk about me feeling like he was the king of Negative Land. We needed to talk about everything. He is not the only stressed out individual in our household. He is not the only individual working full time and going to school full time and taking care of the kids full time. And I am not completely without flaws or fault.

He listened to what I had to say. We did not yell. We did not scream. We did not cry or hang up phones or storm off. We talked and worked together. I explained what I needed and talked about how I know that while I'm asking for certain things, I don't always give back the same things and I need to work on that. We talked about the fact that I can't live in Negative Land anymore because it's just too much. And I don't want our kids living there. I don't want them getting negative ideas about things they have never experienced before because of something one of us said or did. He agreed.

We talked.

The past few years have been rough and I feel like we've taken them out on each other. My husband has a very hard time dealing with illness- his own and that of those around him whom he loves. When I say his own, I mean when he gets cold he can't deal and he's convinced he's dying. Not really, but that's how he acts! ;) (Many of the men in my life act as if a cold is going to take them down.) When I found out I was "sick" and the ball started rolling I think my husband went into his own world. He was there when I asked him to be and when I broke down and when I yelled but he has NO CLUE how to be there all the time. He becomes too afraid. He does not know how to act. Or react. He was 15 when his mom died and that has never ever left him. Understandably. But he is just now learning how to work through it. He is just now learning how to deal with illness and tragedy and pain. He ran from it before. The past few years have been riddled with illness or some form of familial stress and upheaval- mine, our unborn child, our oldest child, his father, his brother.

The past few years have been riddled with stress and coming down off of that is hard. Sounds crazy but it's true. Living in the midst of stress, when you've become accustomed to it, is easy. You roll with it. Coming out of the stress and dealing with all of the shit that is left as a result of that stress is hard. But it can be done. And it doesn't have to be done by taking it out on everyone else.

When we got married we knew it would be hard work. Some days I wonder if it could get any harder or when it might get a bit easier. Most days it's constant work. Most days it's normal. But some days you have this moment where it doesn't necessarily get easier but all of a sudden it becomes clearer. All of a sudden it makes a little more sense and you grow a bit and you change a bit and you come together. All of a sudden the work makes sense. All of a sudden you see the potential for change in yourself and in your partner and you're able to kindly and thoroughly articulate that. And things improve and get better. And the days go on. And hopefully 6 months from now things are still getting better and changing because the change came from both and from within and from words not shouting. And it's good.

This was a hard post for me to write. I wanted to write it and share it because I think part of who I am as a mom and woman has to do with my marriage. My marriage is not always roses and candy and champagne. If yours is, fabulous for you. I think you might be lying or fooling yourself but maybe not, maybe it is just that great. I hope so. My marriage is not bad. Actually, I think it's pretty good. Could be better. Could be much much worse. My husband is not a jerk- most times. That's part of what this was about. But what it really was about was that the work is really worth it. That's what makes it good. The hard times come and we don't always deal with them in the best way or with our best selves but the work and the talking and the sharing is what makes it good. And it is good.


Sandi said...

My husband was a glass is half empty person, too. His mother is the most negative (and narcissistic and passive/aggressive) person I have ever met. I'm sure that's where it came from. He also used to accuse me of passive/aggressive behavior. For instance, if he was going to play golf with his friends, I would say,"Great, spend time with your friends," and then he would tell me he could "tell" that I didn't really want him to go. Um, no. I would have said "I don't want you to go" if I didn't want him to go.
I think it must be very hard to grow up that way.

3XMom said...

good for you! DH and I could use a little talk like that too. He is not a negative person - but I think he has NO idea of all the stuff I am trying to juggle while he plays computer games.

LunaNik said...

I'm so happy you two were able to have an actual discussion instead of simply argueing. That is HUGE.

My hubs tends to run from his problems or tough times also. Drives me crazy. I like to deal with everything head on, ya know.

And yes, men + illness = big, effing p*ssies. (Pardon my bad language) When my Hubs is sick, I totally just want to take the kiddos and stay in a hotel for a few days just to get away from his bitching and whining.

- d. said...

thanks for being honest! it's refreshing. although I'm not technically "married", I feel I have the right to express my opinion on co-habitation/child-rearing/committed-relationship-that-will-soon-be-legal-marriage.

it's not always rainbows and sunshine .. or champane and pink roses or whatever you said! it's HARD WORK. some days I want to punch Chris in the face. lol. and others I am glad I found the right person to be in the foxhole with - if that makes any sense whatsoever!

I know a lot of people who have this idealized image of what marriage is or what it will be. And want to be married for all the wrong reasons - honestly, I'm glad I got a sneak peak.

OHmommy said...

Marriage is work. It is a lot of work. I grew up in a loud family where everyone screamed over each other's opinions. So much yelling.

I do not want that for my family.

My husband and I talk a lot. A lot. All the time. Some days we yell and are negative, but we save that for the evenings when the kiddos aren't around.


ConverseMomma said...

Okay, I have been so bad with blogging, but I'm really glad I came back for this post. This post blew me away. It is so honest and so true. Sweetie, I almost got divorced twice in my marriage. Once was when money got tight and the miscarriages started. The second time was after Molly was born. Seriously, marriage is hard. It takes someone with a big heart and a lot of courage to work it out, talk about it, admit that it isn't all roses and sunshine. Thanks for writing this. It made me realize I'm not alone. I've been there. So. Been. There. Gah, I wish you lived next door. Hugs!

Natalie said...

this is one of the best posts i've read in awhile. we deal with the same stuff. i think we have a pretty good marriage...but there are so many ways it can be better. it is work everyday. but it is also worth it!

Crazy Working Mom said...

Very well said! I think that anything worth having is something you have to work for. Nothing comes easily and as long as you were friends first, you'll always remember that. My husband and I have had "those times" as well, but we can always talk and work through them and we're better for it in the end! :)

I'm glad you two did the same.

CrAzY Working Mom

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