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#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.

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.

Situation #7: You know how you have to argue something to the very end on principle alone?

22 Oct

Yeah, well, you don’t.

Don’t argue it and bring it up to death, even on principle alone, (unless it’s something you feel SO strongly about that you will divorce them unless they somehow see your reasoning and agree with you.)

Pick your battles.

I picked the wrong one last night (again) and kind of feel like an ass idiot.

You live and you learn.

And I’m trying to learn to bite my tongue when it’s not a big deal, or even if it is a big deal but not worth getting into a huge fight over.

Marriage Project Assessment #4 – Bake, Cook, Ego-Boost and Clean your way to a Happier Marriage

21 Oct

At least, that’s what I’ve been doing to work towards a better marriage. Not that there’s much wrong with it to begin with, but it seems to me that it’s easier to tend to your marriage when it’s not in trouble.

Well, all this cooking, cleaning, and loving up my husband seems to be making a HUGE difference (either that, or he’s found and reading my blog!) I started this blog to work on things I can control in my marriage (as opposed to using this as a place to vent about marriage and my husband). I can’t control my husband. I can only control me.

As I’ve mentioned several times before, the intent here is to better MYSELF in my marriage, but then unintended consequence here is that my husband has been just amazing. He’s been communicating a lot more than he EVER has. I mean, he talks a lot (we love to talk about anything and everything), but as far as communicating about feelings, emotions, or dealing with issues, that’s always been a little struggle for us.

So yesterday, when he IMed me about some errands we needed to get done, I was feeling particularly lovey, and I told him out of the blue, “You know, you’re a GREAT husband and father.” And he wrote back, “You know what, THANK YOU, that means so much to me.” Who knew?? I thought I’d get a standard “Thanks.”

Last night, I got home before he did and got to work reviewing my cleaning planner. I did some dishes, got dinner started, got coffee ready for the morning, and finished folding the laundry. I had quite a bit done before he even got home. We watched the rest of the Yankees game together (Yeah!!! They Won !!!!!!.) Then we went to bed super-early to watch the Giants against the Phillies. At 9pm. We just kind of cuddled, and it was incredible. Then out of nowhere, he tells me how happy he is in general, how glad he is that I’m his wife, and how glad he is that I’m the mother of his child. He also went on to tell me that he’s made an effort to try very hard lately – my hangups are staying clean and orderly and keeping my head on straight, his is that he tends to get a little angry and let things bother him. He told me that he’s trying hard to not place blame every time something small goes wrong, and he apologized for sometimes placing that extra blame on me when it’s not warranted.

Wow!

Am I making a difference here?

Furthermore, our marriage IS good already. Do you think for people who are having marriage troubles could follow the same steps that I do and receive the same outcome, even if they think their spouse is at fault? If they work on the ‘small things’ like I am, could their spouses outlook improve as well as an unintended consequence?

 


Some useful links:

 

Archive of my marriage projects

My marriage project assessments so far

What is this marriage project all about?

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Update to Mistake #2: Know when to grow a pair. Also know when to let something go. Don’t be wishy-washy.

29 Sep

Crisis averted? Maybe?

I eventually went to bed. He was asleep, and as much as I really, really, really wanted to talk, I kept my mouth shut. As I was drifting off, I could hear our little one tossing and turning through the baby monitor. My turn to get up, of course. He settled back down, but the noise of the kiddo woke my husband up, too.

He kind of looked around (I think he was unsure if I was back yet), and HE ASKED ME HOW MY NIGHT OUT WAS.

There I was, expecting him to turn his back on me, expecting him to give me the silent treatment as a form of punishment, but no. He asked me how my night out was.

So, was I expecting my expectations much too low in the arguing arena? I don’t know, but when I had come to bed, I was on the defensive, ready to go at it if he should say anything to hurt my stupid fragile feelings.

After we talked about that for a minute, he apologized for fighting with me. And you know what? After a long miserable day from hell, that was enough. That was MORE than enough. At this point I didn’t even care about the original issue; it’s really something we may just have to agree to disagree about. I apologized, too, for pushing and pushing earlier in the day.

Overall, I think that went okay. Crisis averted. Time to get back at it and start a new ‘project.’

Mistake #2: Know when to grow a pair. Also know when to let something go. Don’t be wishy-washy.

28 Sep

Mistake:

Let’s be clear that I’ve made more than two mistakes since starting this blog, but I try to write about positive things and keep the tone of the blog pretty upbeat.

But I think I screwed the pooch on this one. I don’t necessarily think my position that has caused us to argue is ‘wrong,’ I happen to think it’s right, but I know I haven’t exactly handled myself well.

I just got home from an evening out with friends. My husband was supposed to come too, but wasn’t really up to it with us being frustrated with each other. I was bummed that he didn’t want to come, but maybe it was better because we had some cooling off time.

Whenever we get upset with each other, I’m always afraid that he hates me or will leave me, so I often keep my mouth shut to avoid an even worse argument. Other times, I want to tell him off. Somehow, I seem to end up somewhere in the middle consistently, and it NEVER works.

My husband has some buttons, and I try not to push them. He hates ‘discussing’ things before bed, so I try to avoid it because I know it won’t help anything. Which is why tonight, I’m writing instead of going to bed. If I go to bed, I’ll never be able to keep my mouth shut, and I won’t be able to sleep. Lose/lose. He also hates when I ‘push’ him, and, well, today I definitely pushed.

But when’s it my turn? When do I get to talk about how I feel? I tried to talk to him today, but he thinks I’m bringing up “the same old issues.” Or thinks I’m bringing on drama or creating drama. I hate that he doesn’t take me seriously.

I feel like when we DO have a bad fight, this is where it ends up. I feel like I don’t get the same respect when I try to tell him what I’m feeling as he demands when he’s trying to tell me how he’s feeling. And when he pulls the silent treatment, it feels like he doesn’t give a shit at all.

I know what we were arguing about, and I’m willing to fully accept the fact that we might not ‘agree’, but I know that the process of arguing (me being pushy; him pulling the silent treatment) frustrates the heck out of me. The whole thing is just hurtful. I want him to care about what I think even if he totally disagrees with it. The silent treatment? Well, that just sucks the life out of the recipient.

Am I glossing a heck of a lot of this over? Well, yes. There are two sides to every story. But I guess for me, this has turned into stress about HOW we argue, and for him, it’s about me complaining. Again.

I feel like if we both just sat down, talked calmly, and heard each other out, things would be much better.

When things are good, they are very good. When we argue, I feel like it’s the end of the world.

He did leave the light on for me tonight, though, so perhaps it’s NOT actually the end of the world?

Time to start a new ‘project’ tomorrow.

#20: Put on a skimpy maid outfit and clean the house

23 Sep

Put on a skimpy maid outfit and clean the house.

Last night my husband and I got into a mini-argument over finances (namely how we were going to allocate certain funds to pay certain things.) Anyway, when he gets a little frustrated with me, it tends to all hang loose, and he got on my case about doing more chores around the house.

Now, this is confusing to me, because when things are happy, he always tells me he’s happy and thanks me for sharing duties with him.

Well, we made up last night, no problem, and he even apologized for being cranky. I apologized for just not letting it go and going round in circles.

But I still had a nagging feeling – Am I not doing enough around the house lately? Even though he’s happy now and wouldn’t say the same thing today, is there some truth to it?

Well let’s dig deeper:

  • I have a habit of doing many many loads of laundry at once, but then not folding them. They often stay in a basket, and then we can’t remember if the basket is clean or dirty, and I wash them again!
  • I could be (much) better about the kitty litter.
  • I could unpack our clothes from vacation.
  • I could tidy up my part of the bedroom closet a bit.

Okay, so there’s my answer. There IS stuff I can be doing.

So tonight, I’m going to leave work at 4:30, but instead of heading out to meet him after work and get the kiddo, I’ll take the train home and get started on some of these chores. And perhaps dinner.

Maybe he’ll notice, maybe he won’t, but hopefully next time we have an argument about something not related, he won’t feel the need to bring up me being messy!

Photobucket

(The Marriage Project so far)

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