What an interesting time the last few days have been. Before I begin describing what has gone on I would like to thank a couple of people who commented on my recent posts. hopingtoheal, insistonhonesty, & Anonymous all had comments that questioned what I was doing. I don’t mind these types of comments as I said yesterday. They help me look at things from a different view. While it takes courage for me to write this blog, it also takes courage to speak your mind and say what you think. So thank you for your perspective, it was very valuable last night. I also would like to thank the people who sent me supportive comments. They help me believe that there is light at the end of this long and dark tunnel, especially the people who have been through it all. Well, enough of all this warm and fuzzy stuff.
So I have to work late over the next 3 weeks so I am getting home later than normal. Yesterday it was about 30 min before my wife needed to leave for an meeting. She looked frazzled. Everything she was trying to do wasn’t going how she wanted it to and she looked like she wanted to explode. As she was working on one project she started to tell me how she just does not know what I want from her. She also was not sure that I even loved her. Wow, sounds familiar from the comments I have been getting. I asked if she wanted to stop what she was doing and go and talk.
We went to our room and although we did not have a lot of time, we talked. She told me that she was frustrated and felt that we are back exactly where we were before, and I was not happy then, so I cannot be happy now. I told her that I am not happy and I know that she also is not happy. She said we are stuck and don’t know how to move forward. I agreed. She told me that if she doesn’t know what I want then how can she help. I said the same thing back to her. I really do not know what she wants. I then said we do not have time for this conversation right now because it will be a long one. I asked her if we could finish it tonight. She agreed to talk later on. I then said I wanted to talk about this blog. She started to apologize again for reading the blog. I cut her off and told her that I have said she could read it. If she wants to read it, it will not hurt me. Almost everything in here we have already discussed. I told her that it is important for me to rebuild her trust in me and I don’t want her feeling guilty for trying to confirm somethings or check up on me. I know that as she does it and does not find anything and sees that I am being honest with her that her need to check will decrease. I told her to check all she wants and then if she needs to talk about what she sees I will gladly do it.
I then told her about all the comments I had been getting and how they made me think. I did not agree with a lot of them, but they offered something new and a different view. So I explained it to her. What I wrote and what the responses were. She said she could see there point and mine as well. She then needed to leave so we would finish later that night.
After we got the kids to bed later that night we sat down and began talking. I said that there are too many things for both of us to describe what we need. She suggested that we each pick the one thing that we think will make a difference to us right now. Only one thing so that we are not overwhelmed. We don’t want it to feel like a chore. She told me that while I am being honest, I am structuring all my conversations. I am thinking them through so I understand everything I can before I speak. She does not want this. She said that I get her to talk and then everything comes spewing out (like the religion conversation) without a filter and some of it she really doesn’t even mean. She wants me to talk to her about what I am feeling and thinking without having to process. She used the example of the letter she wrote and how I had no emotional reaction to the letter. She thought that it should have stirred up something in me. It did stir something in me but I held it in. I did not know how I was supposed to react. Silly me, she wants me to react with exactly how I feel. Who cares if it is appropriate or not. Just let it out so we can move forward. Just spit it out raw and unfiltered. I thought, “Oh, shit! I don’t know how to do that.” I promised that I would try and I would like her to call me out on it when I am not doing it. I told her it would be difficult because I am very guarded about what I say. It has bit me too many times for me to not filter it. I used to be that person that just said anything that came to mind, but I have had to change that, now I have to change back. At least with her. She agreed to call me out and make sure I am talking from the heart and not my head.
She then wanted to know what I wanted from her. I had a million things that ran through my head but none seemed that important for some reason. I thought that I don’t feel wanted or needed and how can I get that feeling. Here is what I asked for her to do for me: I want her to dress up in sexy lingerie and we would go out to bars and pretend that we did not know each other and we could come back and… Just kidding. I did not ask for that nor do I want that. I asked for her to recognize when I come home and give me 15 sec of attention. Stop the craziness of the day for 15 sec, that is all I want. Just to recognize that with all the shit we have going on in our lives I am still important. She will stop it all for me. Just 15 seconds. She just looked at me as said that she would love to do that for me.
We talked a little while longer and thought that if we can do one thing more for each other a week then maybe, just maybe, we can get out of this rut. I told her that I just want tomorrow be better than the day before it. Then even if we have a bad day we can just focus on the next day being better. She liked this train of thought and so this is where we are going.
Are we going to be perfect at this? Nope, I will filter and I hope she smacks me upside the head when I do. Will she forget to give me my 15 seconds? Yes, but then I can go take my 15 seconds from her as a reminder. So today already feels better than yesterday, even after a really crappy work meeting. I am just looking forward to going home. I don’t think I have been able to say that for a long time. My life is definitely a roller coaster right now, but at least today I am on the fun part of the ride.
So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads. ― Dr. Seuss
The key element in any relationship is communication, as long as you both stick to communicating your wants, fears, likes and dislikes it will get better. Not overnight, but eventually it will be easier and your relationship with all its hurdles will be manageable. And hopefully it will take you both to a better place in your “new marriage” if you will.
LikeLiked by 3 people
Your wife’s suggestion of one thing at a time is brilliant. Seems like it should be common sense but isn’t. Most of us have SO many issues we want to fix them all at once. Not practical. I love it. Focus on one thing. Master that, then go to the next. Its something so small and doable. And can make a huge difference.
Holy shit, I swear you are my husband. He has a very hard time being vulnerable and raw. He’s coming along though, with the help of therapy and me being up his ass to give me that. He has filtered his responses and said what he thinks I want to hear alot, instead of the honest truth. It took awhile for him to realize that I was serious when I said I want honesty, even if it hurts. But you can learn to open up. It will take a conscious effort. Our therapist has helped. I remind him when we’re talking that I want raw and vulnerable. So far its been working. Not perfect, but what is?
All you can do is take this ride a day at a time. Some days will be good. Give you hope. Others will be really bad and make you wonder why you even try. Most days are somewhere in between, at least for awhile. But as long as you are both working to heal as individuals and in your marriage, you can do this. Its not an instant fix. It didn’t break overnight.
Continue to show your wife you are sorry (it goes a LONG way), be transparent and communicate.
And I’m glad you found my comments and questions helpful. Like I said, it helps me too.
LikeLiked by 3 people
I like where this is going for you. I know this will sound extremely strange, but I’m jealous. I’m jealous of the way you listened, of how willing you are to at least try and respond to her need for unfiltered conversation. I’ve been asking for that for 10 years and never got it. I hope you both have a better today than yesterday and a better tomorrow than today. I have a good feeling about you guys.
I am so glad that you communicated and really talked. Communication really is key. It’s the foundation of every good relationship!
LikeLiked by 1 person
So far so good! Keep it up!
I really hope this works. I’m sort of the opposite to you. I am very tactile so if I am near my husband I always touch his arm or stroke his face. When we are watching tv together and I have to leave the room I will often kiss the top of his head when I pass him. I have never had that attention from him and I have stopped hoping for it. I would love just 15 seconds of his time.
This is so inspiring 🙂 I am hoping the best for you and for your marriage. I am not married yet but the current relationship that I want to work is in a rut, too. I will try what you guys did by taking one small step at a time. Good luck!