I am beginning to think that men really are from Mars. I find it fascinating that after nearly 14 years of marriage and over 23 years together, my husband is still alien to me.
I have been in a very strange depressive funk this week. Something fairly rare to me. I am usually a pretty easy going and predictable person. That was not the case this week.
My body hurts and it has taken a mental toll. I have been at a one woman pity party for the past 7 days. It is bizarre to me. To not feel like myself. To not even feel human. I feel out of my body, looking down at some woman I don’t recognize. It is weird and a little freaky.
If it is freaky to me, you can only imagine how my husband has taken it. He thinks I have been abducted and replaced with some overly emotional negative being that looks a little like his wife.
Through this week, I have learned something about my husband. He is a fixer. I think it is a man thing. The second something is awry he feels the need to make it right as fast as possible. I can respect and appreciate that about him.
But sometimes, things don’t need to be fixed, they just need a hug.
In one of my self pity rants I start crying about how my body is not what I want it to be. How I feel enormous and unattractive. My husband immediately goes into details of what excercise I should be doing or how I should cut out soda.
In response, my eyes bugged out and I felt my head start to spin. I yell at him, “I don’t want you to fix it, I just want you to listen.”
I might as well have been talking Greek. I could see him thinking, “What do you mean don’t fix it? That is what I do. If I am not supposed to fix it, then what the hell am I supposed to do? Just sit here and listen to you bitch and moan?”
I admit, I have been a royal pain in the butt this week. Something I can ‘t really explain, but I know it has taken it’s toll on my husband and my relationship.
Over the weekend, he decided to brave the rough waters and broach the subject again. Basically, what is going on with me and where is his wife?
I told him talking to him is hard because he is not a very good listener. Hurtful to him, but truly how I felt in that moment. He just wants to fix it and that pisses me off.
After going back and forth about it for about an hour and feeling like this is not going anywhere, he decided to try a different approach. He came over and put his arms around me.
The second he did that, the flood gates opened.
I crumbled into a sobbing mess and he just held me. He didn’t offer an opinion or a get better tip. He just held me quietly and let it all come out. I won’t tell you how ridiculous I sounded. Let’s just say it was not one of most shining moments.
But, I was so greatful in that moment. To have such a wonderful husband that could still love me and try to give me what I needed even though I was mean to him and spoke in a language he didn’t understand. Really who could blame him for not understanding how to handle someone like me. I can’t even handle me.
But through it all, I have learned to be clear about what it is that I need. I think he has learned that sometimes trying to fix it won’t help. Listening can offer it’s own fix. Feeling heard and supported is a valuable gift.
Today’s lesson in improving my marriage: Maybe it is not my husband who is alien, but ME!!!!! Poor guy.