Learning to fight better, accept more, appreciate daily and stay in love with my husband

Posts tagged ‘grateful’

My Pity Party In the Closet

Lately I have been standing center stage with the spotlight blinding me at my own pity party. There are only two people on the invite list, myself and my husband.  And my husband wishes he could just ignore the invite all together.  It is embarrassing to say, but it is true.

I am not sure what is up.  I just think that sometimes the stars align just right. They align in perfect order so that I can look at them and find everything wrong with the world.  Just in line to turn a normally positive and optimistic girl into a pessimistic stranger.

That is me.  The unrecognizable girl, laying in her husband’s lap in the closet, bawling for no real apparent reason, unable to pick herself up off the floor.

The stress of a bad business decision, unknown finances, an excess 10lbs that wasn’t there last year,  the undeniable stress of work and parenthood.  Stacking on top of each other all at once and, WHAM!  The once strong and happy woman of yesterday is the dark cloud of today.

I know that regardless of my list of excuses, sitting in the closet checking off all that is wrong is ridiculous.  In my moments of clarity I know that.   I know that I am quite capable of getting up off of the floor, dusting the carpet lint of my clothes and wiping the mascara smudges off my face.   In the heat of the moment though, I need to be reminded.

In comes husband, who provides his clothes as a snot rag, his lap as a pillow and his hands to move the hair out of my face.  Soothing and listening. Reminding me that I am better than this.

When I said, “I don’t know what to do.”  He replied, “Just start with what you do know.”   That simple statement stuck.  Start with what I know.

What did I know?  I knew I needed to get up off the floor.  I knew I needed a little time to myself and I knew I needed to move my body some so that I could start to feel good again.  That is all I knew, but it was enough.

I am still short-tempered and falling into tears easier than usual, but everyday is a new day.  I set new exercise goals, ones simple enough to do with minimal effort.  I cut some pages out of a magazine for inspiration and posted them on my closet wall where I can see them everyday.  I asked my husband to take over with children a couple of nights a week, so I can have some peace to think, I started writing in my daily accountability journal again.  Little steps that move me in the right direction.

Through all of this, there is one thing that I found easy gratitude for.  My marriage.  I am so grateful that husband and I have spent so much energy strengthening our marriage.  What would happen if our marriage was rocky on top of all of the stress that my meltdown has put on us?  It could be disastrous.

But, all of the work we have done has helped prepare us for times like these.  It has given us a real foundation that keeps us balanced when it feels everything else is going to crumble.  That foundation boosts me.  It gives me hope.  It reminds me that I have done something right. . . . .  A strong, loving, supportive, forgiving marriage.  That definitely has to count for something right?

Today’s lesson in improving my marriage:  Keep up the hard work.  It will pay off in ways you can’t imagine

photo credit: Evil Erin via photopin cc

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The Alien in My Bed

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?”

YES!!!!

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.

A Time for Thanks

Well, much to my shock, Thanksgiving is already here.  I have no idea where the days have gone that have led me here, but here I am nonetheless.

Thanksgiving is probably my least favorite holiday.  Sounds slightly offensive, I am sure, but it is true.  The years of shuffling children and food from one house to the next has taken its toll.  Balancing our time between families.  Missing dinner with one side of the family or dessert with the other.  Trying hard not to hurt anyone’s feelings. It is downright exhausting.

It seems that in all of the chaos of the day I often forget about why we celebrate the day to begin with.  Oh yeah, it is to give thanks.

Gratitude is one of the keys to a fulfilling life, I believe.  Taking the time to revel in the gifts of life is something I try to do often.  I keep a gratitude journal on my nightstand.  I thank God as often as possible for the blessings in my life.  I am so grateful. 

For some reason, however,  on the day I am supposed to be giving thanks, all I can think about is, “When is this, very long, day going to end?”

No offense to my family of course.  They are wonderful.  I love them dearly.  I believe I have just become a little cynical about this holiday.  Maybe too many dinners with certain members of the extended family (who shall remain anonymous) sitting next to me complaining about everything going wrong in their lives. People who show no signs of gratitude. 

A huge pet peeve of mine . . . people who are negative.  Yet even in the moment that I say that I am sick of negativity at Thanksgiving, here I am being negative about it.  I have become a hypocrite! 

This year I will challenge myself to find gratitude on this day that I am supposed to give thanks.

Since this is a blog about my marriage, I thought it only appropriate to give thanks to my husband (in the event that I lose sight of my gratitude the moment the doorbell starts ringing and the tofu turkey is put in the oven).

Dear husband, I am thankful for:

Your dark blue t-shirt that hugs your chest just a little too tight.

Bedtime stories with the kids so that I can hear you make the silly voices.

How you pretend your taller than you actually are.

How you never give up hope that someday you will be able to slam dunk.

The sweet words of gratitude that you write to me every night.

The deodorant you wear that makes you smell delicious.

Your incessant motivation that makes me both love you and hate you at the same time.

The look of love that you give our children.

Your inability to keep your hands off of me most days.

Your ability to recognize the days that you better keep your hands off of me.

Your giddy weakness for sweets.

Your inability to walk up the stairs without tripping.

Your never-ending, and quite serious,  hunt for the best cup of coffee.

Your blue eyes that still make me melt.

The magnetic pull you have toward injury that makes you the only man on the planet that has gotten a black eye from a pinata.  Not the stick, but the actual pinata.

Your childish fight against going to bed.

Your uncontrollable laughter when watching SNL.

The way you can’t resist kissing me during a love scene in a movie.

I am most thankful for you this Thanksgiving.  For all that you do for our family.  For how you love me with all you have. For your dedication to our children.   For all of your strengths and all of your weaknesses.  For just being you.  I love you.

(Sorry for the mushiness of this post.  Just couldn’t help it)

Today’s lesson in improving your marriage: Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving!

Life Is Precious

My cousin was found dead in her apartment this morning.  Wow!  It is hard to grasp that reality.   I am incredibly sad for her mother, for her sister.   I find it impossible to fathom the depths of their shock and their pain.  I am sad for unspoken words, unfinished business, unfulfilled dreams.

Such news makes one ponder their own life and those things that are precious to me.  It reminds me how very fragile life is.  How very precious each and every moment is.

It fills my soul, not only with sadness, but also with tremendous gratitude today.  For my husband, children, family and friends.  I am reminded how easily one’s life can be turned upside down.  That it only takes a single instant and everything that you once knew and loved could be taken away.

I am the kind of person that worries all the time.  I worry for my husband and children’s safety constantly.  The moment my husband walks out the door, I say a little prayer that he will arrive where he is going safely.  I am a worst case scenario kind of girl.  There is no tragedy that my imagination has not played out.

Even though my worry extends to every member of my family, this blog is about my marriage,  so I feel the need to focus on my husband for a moment.  To send out a few words of gratitude his way.

Husband, I am forever grateful for you.  Thank you for sharing this journey with me.  For standing with me.  For listening to me.  For being silly.  For supporting me.  For making me laugh. For raising a family with me.  For being an amazing father. For loving me with unwavering devotion.  For growing with me.  For building a future with me.  For being, without question, my very best friend.  I love you more that words could ever fully express.  I know I have said it to you, but it doesn’t hurt to say it over and over to make certain that you would never question my love for you.  Thank you for being my forever partner.

Have you said those important words to your spouse today?  I know most of us let many days go by without expressing our love and gratitude to each other.  But, death reminds us to not take for granted those who are most dear to us.  To make sure they know how you feel.  To say it out loud.  To forgive.  To hug. To say “I love you.”  To say, “Thank you.”

Life is precious.  Moments are dear.  We should seize this very moment.  Fill our hearts with gratitude for all things cherished.  Share your gratitude with those you treasure.

In memory of you, Robyn.

Tammy