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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.

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.

 

Situation #5: Preparing for the husband’s return home, and perhaps annoying some feminists, too

8 Oct

My husband returns home tonight, thank goodness.

My initial thoughts on this whole situation? If my husband has to travel for work, there’s no way I can work full time and care for a ten month old and manage to feed us, clothe us, bathe us, and keep the house in order.

I’ve been reading a lot of great blogs lately written by other mothers, soon-to-be mothers, wives, and women in general ( Melbourne Mumma, Life in the Married Lane, Country Man’s WifeDalai Lina, In Like Flynn, As the Raven Flies, Mrs. Long, Conflicted Mean Girl, Miss Entregate, Give Thanks and Praise,  just to name a few), and they’ve all really got me thinking about what the heck my role is in my own life.

If my husband traveled frequently? There’s no doubt; I’d be a stay at home mother. A housewife. This is where I might annoy some feminists. I’m all for equal rights. Well guess what? Equal rights are on the books now. I can vote, I can buy property, I can have a job outside the home. I’m also entitled to equal pay, and I’m certain I’ve got that.

So the problem is, I know that I’m entitled to equality, and there are even laws on the books now to enable me to fight for these rights if they’re violated, but what if I don’t think all things are equal? What if by both parents working and trying to do everything, we’re spreading ourselves too thin? What if we’re both stressed about not spending enough time with work, both stressed about spending enough time with the kids, both stressed about getting things done around the house? How does that make sense? We’re supposed to BOTH run ourselves ragged because I want to feel equal?

Well, I do feel equal to my husband. Equally exhausted, I’m sure! If it were financially possible in our city (and it’s not – yet- I’ve run the numbers many many times), what would be so wrong with me staying home and taking care of the kids and maintaining the house? My husband wouldn’t have an extra 30 minute commute each way to work (on top of his already 45 minute + commute) to take our son to daycare, he could take the shorter route to work, I could spend some quality times with our son and older daughter, I could actually keep the house in decent order, get laundry and such done during the day, I could have dinner ready for my husband when he got home…I could go on and on. How is this bad?

I suppose if I had no choice and HAD to stay home, perhaps I would resent my husband? But I have a choice, so what would there be to resent? I think the only thing to resent would be the feminists telling me that I’m not fulfilling my own educational aspirations, my career aspirations, that I’m somehow being subservient to my husband. I think I’d resent being given that look of ‘Oh, you’re JUST a wife…JUST a stay at home mom…’ I think what I’d tell those feminists is that the world doesn’t revolve around me, and it doesn’t revolve around them, either. It’s not ALL about what I want, it’s also about what’s best for my family.

And with that, back to the point. I’m fortunate that my husband doesn’t travel often, so as of this evening when he returns, this whole supermom tryingtodoitall thing ends, and I get my amazing partner back.

Side note: Right after my husband left, our son got real sick, spent time in the doctor’s office, and we even have our own home nebulizer for the kiddo now. It’s been a rough few days with very little sleep. I am THRILLED to have my husband back, but I’m also proud of myself that I could handle all the situations that came up while he was gone. I have a tendency to lean on my husband perhaps more than I should. He deserves a medal!!!

Situation #4: What to do with yourself when your husband goes away on business

6 Oct

So what if my husband’s going away for a few days, you might be thinking. I know some of you deal with this all the time. Maybe your husband is in the military, or travels a lot for work, etc.

But, well, my husband and I are kind of close. And I kind of like it! We don’t spend every waking minute together, naturally, but we have a routine (did I mention I love routines?), and I love our routine. It’s predictable, we spend most evenings together, and time with friends is usually planned a bit in advance.

Part of this is due to the one car city living sort of thing, and part of it is because I think we like to spend the time together since we work so much.

Earlier this year, my husband and I both landed new jobs, and while looking, we both decided that traveling was out, unless the traveling was just for a day trip.

So when he mentioned he had a conference he needed to go to (in a sunny, warm, southern locale, mind you), I was a little disappointed, and just a tad freaked out.

How am I going to take care of a 10 month old alone for almost three days???? What is he going to do in the evenings? Have fun without me? Is he going to miss me?

Then I realized how stupid that all was.

  1. Of course I can take care of a 10 month old. He’s my son! Heck, I flew with him alone to see my family for a few days a few months ago. Won’t this be infinitely easier than flying with him?
  2. Who cares what he does in the evenings after his conference. I imagined him going to a restaurant bar watching baseball and doing all sorts of fun grownupy type things that we don’t get to do much together anymore with a ten month old. You know, like watch baseball and have a drink. Instead, he brought his laptop to do his homework assignments for some courses he’s taking and asked me if I could find time in the evenings to Skype with him so he can see me and the little guy.

Okay, he’s awesome, and of course I know I have nothing to worry about, but I’m going to miss him!

Now I just need to figure out MY routine. I’m used to taking the subway home and starting dinner and meeting them. I have the car today (it felt VERY weird driving. I haven’t done it in weeks!!) I need to get he kiddo after work, feed him, feed me, give him a bath, oh, and manage to sleep a little. The little guy has decided to start getting up during the night again.

Do any of you have husbands who travel? How do you deal with it? Or is it just sort of routine? I feel out of sorts!

I’m thinking about trying to get the little guy a babysitter Friday night so I can go meet the husband at the airport! That would be so great!

Situation #3: What to do when you get home early from work and have a whole hour to yourself

5 Oct

I had at least a whole hour to myself. I thought about doing my nails, laying down on the bed and playing Build-a-Lot on my iPhone, taking a nap, doing some homework…the possibilities were endless!

Instead, I started cooking some dinner for the fam. This, as you know, is one of my husband’s ‘jobs,’ namely because he’s good at it and I’m not.

Seeing, though, as he was going to pick up the little guy at daycare and I knew he would have a long commute, I thought I ought to have dinner ready when he got home.

I cooked some whole wheat spaghetti with artichokes, tomato sauce, and linguica. It was pretty decent! My husband isn’t a HUGE fan of linguica (ok, he’s not a fan at all), but he had told me the other day to get it cooked up. I didn’t realize he would have preferred it on the side. It was still a success, and he gave me some good tips on making the pasta sauce next time.

Maybe if I do this often enough, I’ll actually get good at it….

Note: We did some major cuddling last night. I think he was appreciative that I gave cooking a shot!

Situation #2: How to deal with watching a Yankees documentary when you really want to watch The Biggest Loser

22 Sep

Source: AP

Last night, we got the kiddo to be and were both getting settled in to watch The Biggest Loser, a show we both love. While waiting for it to start, the husband was flipping through the channels directory. While flipping, he suddenly paused, but didn’t say anything.

I took a closer look and then I saw it: ESPN’s 30 for 30 was presenting a short documentary on the Yankees. More specifically, Yankee Stadium and George Steinbrenner called ‘The House of Steinbrenner.’ I immediately said, “You should put that on; i bet it will be good!”

Of course, he looked at me incredulously. I’m a Boston Red Sox fan, having grown up in New England. He’s a New York Yankees fan, being born in Connecticut. We’re pretty fierce about our rivalry. We’ve actually adopted our local MLB team as ‘our’ team because we can’t be in the same room together discussing the Sox or the Yankees.

But hey, I’m a baseball fan above all, and I knew how much he must have wanted to watch it.

So we watched The House of Steinbrenner. And boy was it good! I learned a lot about George Steinbrenner; I never knew he was actually a really giving person. I watched as my husband winced when they showed clips of the old Yankees Stadium being torn down. There was a lot of emotion in the documentary; and as a baseball fan above all, I thought it was pretty great!

(And since The Biggest Loser was two hours long, we got to see the end of that as well.)

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