#41 When you’ve made a big old mess of your marriage

1 Nov

Where do you start when you’ve made a big old mess of your marriage? I’ve made a big mess of mine, that’s for sure. And now we’re at odds. I haven’t been forgiven, and there’s a lot of anger. We also disagree on certain fundamentals for our marriage. I also haven’t followed my own Marriage Project advice, and I’m pretty upset with myself.

Couple that with:

  • Recently finding out our son has some special needs and dealing with the scheduling and the handful of specialists who want their hands on him
  • Me starting a new job
  • Having some custody issues regarding my daughter with her father

and we’re stretched really thin.

So, where do I start? Things aren’t going to get fixed overnight, but what can I do now to get the ball rolling? Let’s get back to the basics:

Maybe it’s a small start, but I need to start somewhere. Wish me luck.

Ideas for changing your life

10 Mar

Ok, so, these are ideas for changing my life, but I want to know what changes you’re looking to make, too. Add them in the comments! Though these aren’t all ‘marriage’ changes, I think all of them will benefit my marriage in some way.

Changes I want to make / Things I want to do:

  • Kiss and hug my husband every day.
  • Stay calm, particularly if we start to argue.
  • Walk away from a less-than-calm argument, instead of becoming an emotional trainwreck.
  • Spend 15 minutes a day talking….work, kids, schedules, our relationship, and chores are off-limit topics. It’ll be interesting to see what we talk about.. I feel like all we talk about sometimes are these topics.
  • Put up more pictures of us around the house.
  • Discuss (and write down and post somewhere) our 2 year goal, 5 year goal, 15 year goal, and retirement goals.
  • Have more sex (we’re tired parents of a 7 year old and 15 month old!) I read that the average is 1.5 times a week, so we’re already ahead of the curve, but I’d prefer more if I could actually stay awake!
  • Encourage my husband to get out a little more. He works long days at work, and though we make time for our ‘couple friends,’ he doesn’t get out much for a guy’s evening. I’m thankful for the time he is at home, but wondering if he’d be a little happier if he got out every now and then.
  • Be more positive and less negative. I tend to see the negative side of everything. I’m a realist!
  • Expand our circle of happy  ‘couple’ friends.
  • Have more ‘active’ dates with my husband. We LOVE dining out, but I’d like to try something a little more involved and active. (Any suggestions?)

Any other ideas? What are some things you’d like to change, or even do every day?

It’s the end of the world!

25 Feb

Ok, no, really it’s not.

But I’ll admit it; we’ve been arguing a bit lately.

It’s frustrating. He feels like we argue about the same issues over and over again (I don’t. I feel it may be the same general topic, but not the same actual issue).  But what I really feel like is that I can’t stand the way he argues, so I feel like we argue about arguing.

He feels like he can’t get anywhere with me unless he bows to my wishes completely (which I can’t say I understand; I feel like I have very few things I require to make me happy), and I only wish he’d fight fair and not be such of a hothead so I could actually take his thoughts and needs seriously when we disagree.

So for example, my husband and I got in a little spat this morning. I was snippy with him this morning; we were running late, he asked me when I was going to be ready (and I felt he asked with a ‘tone’), so I snipped back at him because I was annoyed. Hello? I KNOW I’m running late! I realized that I had been snippy, though, and tried to diffuse the situation by backing off.

Crisis averted. Or so I thought.

I didn’t realize it was an issue until today when we were IMing. I sent him a note to see how his meetings were going.  He told me he was annoyed with me, but didn’t want to start a fight this morning so didn’t bring it up. I told him I had no idea (I had to actually think back to realize I had been snippy).

This is where I get confused and feel like I can’t “win” (even though I know it’s not about winning.) He told me over IM that snipping at him, and then trying to back off is just not going to work. I told him that I backed off with the hopes of diffusing the situation. Then he responds accusing me of not backing off at all, and telling him not to yell at me.

And therein lies the confusion. Sure, I did ask him not to yell. We have two kids (7 and 1) who were present, and it didn’t seem worth getting into a fight in front of them over being snippy. But how did I simultaneously back off and not back off? I was accused of both, and I seriously can’t keep up.

My husband had his rant over IM, and then signed off without letting me respond. He’s not a jerk, he’s a man. We’re different, we communicate different, and even though I want to give him the whole, “WTH?????”, I know that won’t work either.

I emailed my friend, frequent commenter Mrs. C to ask if she had any advice for me.  I asked her how the heck I can make sense of all of this.

She had plenty of advice, but the best piece of advice was to go back to the beginning of Witty Wife’s Marriage Project and reread what I wrote.

It was almost identical to today. We got into a scuffle, and I decided to start writing about controlling what I can control. I can control me, and I can’t control anyone else. So as much as I want to wring his neck and make him ‘see’ that I feel like this whole thing is ridiculous, there’s no point. I can’t make him see anything; he’s in control of his thoughts and feelings, and I’m in control of mine.

With that said, I’m not quite sure what the next step is (as far as this evening. Do I act normal? Do I act somber because I know he’s mad? Do I apologize even though I said before, “I’m sorry I was snippy?”) . I love my husband very much, but honestly, I feel tired of over-thinking things until my brain hurts. It’s Friday; I just want to head home after work and order Chinese food for the kids and chill. I don’t have to sit and wonder how he wants me to act (because seriously, I have no clue, and I refuse to assume). And honestly, that feels pretty good.

Surrounded by Celebrities

16 Feb

…at least I think I was.

I’m not a huge fan of going out ON Valentine’s Day. It just feels so forced. But last night was Valentine’s Day +1, and I was fine with the reservation my husband made for us.

I was very excited; he took me to the Capital Grille in DC, which I’ve never been to. We’re huge fans of trying new places to dine, so I was excited to head over.

I loved the Capital Grille. It was old-school. Dark wood, dim lighting, and almost pompous in a subdued way (if you can imagine.) It was far from loud and trendy, but even so, it was the place to be. Full of politicians, full of (I’m assuming) lobbyists, but all the ego-stroking was done in a calm and composed manner. I don’t think there was anyone there under the age of thirty.

Being a native New Englander, I had high expectations as I ordered  a three pound Maine lobster My husband had a steak by the likes of which I’ve never seen. Both were delicious.

We were surrounded by well-known people, except I couldn’t place any of them. Cut me some slack; all politicians look the same in dark blue suits!

My husband did a fantastic job choosing this restaurant, and we had a great, relaxing even.

I think I have a new favorite restaurant.

Like selling ice to an Eskimo.

15 Feb

I think sometimes men just like to be in charge. Which is a good thing, because when it comes to negotiating, I feel like a cork ready to pop.

If I haven’t told you already, I’m in business to business sales. And I’m pretty darn good at what I do. But put me at a car dealership, or have me negotiate my lease, and I totally lose my cool. I know what it is, too. I hate when I feel like people are trying to pull one over on me.

Considering I do more of a consultative sale and I’m all about helping my clients find solutions to their issues, I hate when someone tries to make a quick sale with me. I know what’s best for me, not you, smarmy salesperson.

So when we recently got to the top of a very long waiting list for a much larger apartment in our building, instead of being thrilled, I was tense. So many details…How much is our rent going up? Do we have to sign a new lease, or can we transfer our current lease? Can we negotiate the price at all?

Which is where my husband, Captain Awesome, comes in.

He’s in sales, too, but he LIKES the challenge of dealing with a smarmy self-serving salesperson. You could say I shirked all responsibility and threw this at my husband, but I actually think he LIKES to be in control and deal with this sort of thing.

What’s the point here? Well, I think it’s important to remember to let go, sometimes. I know husbands get a bad rap, especially in all the tv commercials that paint them as silly dolts. But keep in mind that men LIKE responsibility and to know they are needed and appreciated.

When we sign the dotted line this weekend, I’m going to be very thankful and appreciative that he was able to get this all handled.

The drain is clogged…

26 Jan

The drain in our bathroom tub has been clogged for a while. You know why? I stopped taking care of it. I let my hair get all down in there, and it became a big ole’ mess. Kind of gross.

Which is sort of the same way I feel about my marriage right now. I’ve neglected the blog, I’ve neglected a lot, all while convincing myself..”I’ll get to it when I have time…” I kept adding the Drano to the tub.

Nothing.

Finally, yesterday, we just had to get down there and unclog the darn thing. Which is kind of like me getting back to the blog. I sort of just needed to do it. I’m perfectly capable or working on my marriage without writing, but I know by experience I’m not as good at it.

Writing helps me organize my thoughts… allows me to think out loud before I actually speak and get myself into trouble. It’s sort of my own personal therapy, and I’ve let it go. So today, I’m back on the wagon, looking for ideas to continue with my marriage project.

Side note: I just read a great article in Good Housekeeping Magazine (also available online) called DIY Marriage Repair.

Key takeaways:

  • Not all marital disputes have to end in a deadlock.
  • Meeting in the middle when dealing with conflict rarely works; it creates resentment and fear of honest conversation.
  • Try taking turns.
  • Be open minded, not inflexible. Consider your partner’s point of view.

Christmas, Mexico, Poopy Diapers…

20 Jan

Credit: Connect.in.com

…Just a few of the things that have kept me busy since my last post.

Hubby and I have been trying to figure out how to incorporate hm into the blog…a guest column? He said/she said? Guest posts?

We haven’t quite figured it out yet… between Christmas, New Years, a quick (work) trip to Mexico, and our baby who is finally just getting over a stomach bug, I’ve been just kind of waiting to see how things fall into place.

They haven’t yet, so I’ve decided to get back to writing (just me) until we can figure out how he wants to write!

A few thoughts on Mexico:

My husband’s company took their core employees and their spouses to Mexico over Martin Luther King weekend. We only had to do one company related dinner, and the rest of the time we were freeeee! We left the kids at home, and had an amazing weekend together (besides the terrifying flight home.)

Some pictures to share:

Tomorrow, back to my regular posts!

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