Situation #6: Weekend update.

11 Oct

DC Bomb Scare. 5mph on the highway. A cranky husband. Those are just a few of the things that have occurred over the past three days.

As most of you know, my husband went away to a conference last week, and I wasn’t sure how I’d handle it. As I mentioned in my last post, I thought I did pretty darn good!

I couldn’t WAIT to see him. He’s been a ball of mush lately, and I’ve been riding the wave of the whole ‘in-love’ part of marriage for the last few weeks.

Trying to leave work:

Friday afternoon, we texted all afternoon, and I was so excited for him to board his flight to head home. About an hour before leaving work, one of my colleagues noticed lots of police outside our office and that the road was closed. I’m not an alarmist, but here’s something I haven’t mentioned yet;

  • Fact #1 I live in Washington, DC. And if you guess that police action in DC is common, you’d be guessing right.
  • Fact #2 I work in an office that is VERY close to The White House (and yes, I know the picture I posted is not of the White House).

So of course my alarm bells were ringing. Then our front desk told us that it was a bomb scare. I left work and went to get the kiddo from daycare to head home.  All in all, it took me an hour and a half to leave work, get the kiddo, and get back home. That’s less than 20 miles, by the way.

Getting to the airport:

I fed the kiddo a quick dinner, packed up the baby bag with goodies in case we had to wait too long at the airport, and we took to the road. It’s 29 miles to the airport. Husband’s flight was scheduled to arrive at 8:49pm. I left the house at 7:15pm I figured that would give me time to park, find his gate, and be waiting at the appropriate area for him.

I was wrong. There was a major accident on the highway, and I was slowed to 5mph. For OVER five miles. Now, there were several exits I could have taken to get off the highway and take backgrounds, but wouldn’t you know, he was arriving at the only DC area airport I haven’t yet been to (we have three major airports here, one I can SEE right out my window. He was not arriving at that one.) So I couldn’t get off the highway; I had no idea where to go. I eventually made it, and arrived right as he was exiting the terminal. Right on time!! It was so exciting! He was with a colleague, so I didn’t get all mushy right away. As his colleague was walking away, he said to my husband, “See you on Monday!”

See you on Monday? SEE YOU ON MONDAY??? Monday is a holiday!! I have it off. He thought he had it off.

He texted his boss to confirm that Monday was a work day. It was. I had to bite my tongue. I hadn’t seen my husband in days, and thought we were going to have a nice long weekend together. It wasn’t his fault, though. No use taking it out on him.

The weekend

My awesome wonderful husband was a crank all weekend. He complained that there was a basket of laundry that wasn’t folded, that there were dishes in the sink… the list goes on. I felt totally deflated. I thought I did a good job! Between the kiddo being sick, me trying to work, trying to get everything done…ugh. I know I’m not the most tidy person you’ve ever met. I admit I’m not. And I know it frustrates my husband, because, well, he IS rather tidy.

I don’t like being untidy; I just FORGET to do stuff.

Saturday afternoon, I went over to Barnes and Noble and bought a weekly planner. In the back, in the notes section, I wrote out a checklist of all the stuff I should be doing on a daily basis (one page for morning, one page for afternoon). And then on the actual days, I’ve started writing other chores that need to be done; for example, today I need to sew a button on a pair of pants. Had I not written it on the calendar for today, it may not have gotten done until next weekend.

The Rest

Even so, the husband has still been a bit cranky all weekend long, and a little distant too. I was frustrated. I know I’m not neat, and I know it frustrates him, but was that reason for me to totally feel deflated? It’s a pretty crappy feeling.

So this morning I sent him an email:

Hey handsome. I love you, and the kiddo and I miss you today.I’m really not sure what happened this weekend.. (besides our great lovin’), I just felt like you were distant and somewhere else. I was so looking forward to seeing you after your trip, and I feel like it just did not go  anything like I thought I would. I thought things had been going great for weeks, I felt really good like we were in a good place, but this weekend was just a down weekend I guess. I felt you come across as negative and cranky all weekend, and it got me really uptight. I’m sorry about all the stuff around the house; I’ll keep trying to work on it. I’ve got a little list going today. I love you lots, and I really look forward to spending the weekend with you next weekend.

He sent two responses, which I’ve edited and put together to save space:

I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to come across that way. I’ve been stressed out about work. It isn’t happening fast enough and that just doesn’t bode well. Everything that I’ve put together has fallen apart and everything of value is taking too long to materialize. So, it’s been weighing on me for a few weeks now.I should have told you that this was stressing me out and not made you feel like it’s you, and I’m sorry if I’ve been taking it out on you.

I learned a few lessons, here:
  • I thought this was all about ME. The world doesn’t revolve around me.
  • I’m glad I had some self-restraint. Earlier, my husband had told me he appreciated me picking him up at the airport, and that his colleague’s wife wasn’t picking him up because it was too much of a hassle. When he started getting on my case about the laundry and the dishes later, it took every ounce of me to not say to him, “Well perhaps this is why your colleague’s wife doesn’t pick him up at the airport; she’s probably too busy at home tidying up to perfection so he doesn’t complain when he gets home.” I can guarantee, though, if I had said that, there’s no way he would have opened up to me and told me he was stressed at work with his new job. He would have been justified in making it about me.
  • It’s best to stay calm and not rush to judgment.
  • My husband is TRYING. He’s REALLY trying. He’s not exactly Mr. Openupandsharefeelings, especially when I bitch back at him, so this is major. He wants to work hard for our marriage, and it’s a conscious thing. He’s not just subconsciously or peripherally thinking about our marriage and our family.

 

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5 Responses to “Situation #6: Weekend update.”

  1. Rivki @ Life in the Married Lane October 11, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    Good for you for exercising restraint (it’s sooo hard sometimes, isn’t it?). And kudos for sending such a great email to him; and for making lists! I’m in awe.

    A rabbi once gave this advice about making lists – he said make a list of everything you want to to that day, and then cut it in half. I know that I rarely accomplish everything on my to-do list (when I even get around to making one), so that advice was very welcome!

    • gingeneric1970 October 13, 2010 at 12:09 am #

      You know alot about relationships. What would you do if your s/o spent the majority of his time on his p/c and blocked you from having access to his p/c? He wakes up, showers, eats, and gets on his p/c until he goes to sleep.

      Sometimes, he comes and asks me to you know what… just out of the blue. I get really offended, as I just know he is doing things x-rated on his p/c. If I am not the reason for the rising, I do not want anything to do with it. Know what I am saying? I do not want to to the funky monkey if I am not the reason my guy is in the mood.

      He was so different when we met. Now, his p/c is his world. I could wear a negligee all day long and he would not notice me as i am not virtual.

      Why, if he is not hiding anything, am I not allowed on his p/c? He says I do not trust him, but trust is earned and not given. Three years, and still, his world is a total secret. He spends all his time on his p/c, and I am forbidden access. How can I trust this?

      I am a very pretty and desirable woman, and I feel so dejected. I am so lonely I could cry. I asked for a day with no tv and no p/c for my birthday, as he asked what I wanted for my birthday. He said anything I asked he would do. He did not spend the day with me. He spent it on his p/c and watching tv.

      Is this hopeless? Please help. I just do not understand why he only sees me as a toy.

      • wittywife October 13, 2010 at 9:44 am #

        Thank you for commenting! It sounds like you’re in a tough spot in your marriage right now.

        In your situation, it’s tough, and I can tell you what I would do.

        Your husband may have a porn ‘addiction’, which in some ways I think is a total BS cop out. He’s a grown man. He can control his behaviors.

        Some women like porn – I’ll admit that sometimes I like to watch it with my husband. But him looking without me? That’s infuriating and disrespectful. And him hiding anything on the computer? Unacceptable.

        So what to do… Well, if it’s not acceptable in your marriage, don’t accept it.

        The first step, though, is to stay sane and rational. If you lose your cool, he may use that as an opportunity to turn things around and make it sound like you’re the one with the problem. If he comes to you looking for some lovin’, and you’re sure he was just looking at porn, just tell him calmly and flat out – “No thanks. I’d prefer to do it when you and I are both turning each other on; not as your response from watching porn.” Seriously. And then just walk away.

        As far as the PC, he is hiding something. I understand to him, it might be the principle of the thing, but since he’s doing something he KNOWS you don’t approve of, and then hiding it, that’s also unacceptable.

        My husband and I BOTH have each other’s email addresses and passwords and such. BUT…we never use them. I’ve logged into his Facebook account maybe twice in the past month, and that was with his permission to upload pictures of our kids. We’ve agreed we’ll never look unless we feel 100% justified in looking. If he starts spending hours on the computer hiding the screen from me, you better believe I’m going to a) bring it up and b)look at his computer.

        Do you have kids? Does he work? Same thing; when he’s on the computer for hours on end, remind him, CALMLY, that you need to share responsibilities to feed the kids, prepare dinner, do laundry, whatever, and that his time on the computer is interrupting that. Consistency is the key here. Every time he asks for sex after porn? Kindly remind him no, etc.

        I would also kindly ask him to decide what’s more important in his marriage – you, or the computer. That might break through to him.

        You said “Is this hopeless? I just do not understand why he only sees me as a toy.” I don’t know you or your situation, but if he sees you as a toy, don’t continue to act like one. Don’t allow him to treat you like a toy.

        Now here’s the part that seems counter-intuitive. You really can’t control him. He’s an adult. You can explain how you feel, you can choose not to accept his behavior and hope he ‘gets’ all of this, but in the end, you can only control you.

        My marriage hasn’t been perfect. (And while I mention my husband on here a bit, believe me, I’ve got my issues.) Not all. But a few things have helped. 1) Marriage was a choice for me. It wasn’t just based on the feeling of being in love. It was choosing TO love my husband, through good and bad. My husband and I went through a little quirk when I was unhappy that he was keeping in touch with certain exes on Facebook. Now, he wasn’t REALLY acting inappropriately. But I KNOW some of these women still have feelings for him, and even though I know HE’D act appropriately, that didn’t matter. Still having that connection seemed inappropriate altogether. We went round in circles about it; he didn’t get the big deal if he wasn’t doing anything wrong, and he would put an end to it if anything inappropriate was said n the other end. I didn’t get how he couldn’t understand my point of view – I know he’d handle the situation right if it got to that point; but I wanted to trust that he would never let it escalate that far to begin with! I didn’t get how he didn’t understand how that would undermine how close I felt to him and what the kind of stuff does to intimacy in marriage. I finally asked him; what’s more important. Those girls? Or me? He deleted those girls from Facebook.

        But that’s not the end. I have to do MY part, and not JUST because he took the action I preferred, and because I feel like I owe him or something, but because I can only control me, and he deserves just as much as I expected from him. And this is how my blog started. Because I’m not perfect, and because there’s ALWAYS things you can be doing for your marriage.

        Now, your husband hasn’t made these changes for you yet, but that doesn’t mean because he isn’t putting 100% into the marriage you have the right not to. Like I said, you can only control you. Start doing some nice things for your husband. Remember why you fell in love with him. You might even have to fake it at first. But as your start doing things for him, YOU’LL feel better about yourself and your marriage. And I think you’ll be surprised; I’d be SHOCKED if he doesn’t respond positively to your changes. Men like attention, and they like their egos stroked.

        Why should you do this if he doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain? Because you can only control you; you can still hold up your end of the bargain. Remember that getting married wasn’t just about being in love, but that it was a choice, too. And perhaps holding up your side of things will encourage him to hold up his end of the bargain. And if he doesn’t, at least you know you’re doing everything you can.

        My blog is small picture… little things that all add up that hopefully effect the big picture. Take a look through and hopefully you’ll find some ideas to get started.

        AND

        Feel free to share your ‘projects’ and any effects with me, and I’ll add your info on my blog as a guest post! I’d love to see what happens. I hope all my rambling made sense.

        Good luck! And keep visiting!

        • gingeneric1970 November 15, 2010 at 12:52 am #

          Wow, thank you.

          De Nile aint just a river in Egypt. I have confronted him, and told him my feelings…only to be met with horrible mean things in return.

          I know what I want, and need to stop settling for less.

          How does a co-dependent brain damaged fool be independent?

          I know what has to be done, but am scared to even try.

          How I wish the net had not stole the love of my life. He was so different two years ago before he hurt his back.

          I abhor computers!

          Thank you for the advice. You are so smart, I envy your strength.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Project #25: Bust out my OCD cleaning planner (and wedding weekend follow-up) « The Marriage Project - October 19, 2010

    […] 19 Oct As some of you may have read a few days ago, I have a cleaning planner now. Yup. A weekly planner, dedicated to cleaning and my chores. […]

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