Thursday, July 22, 2010

Still feeling resentful

My husband and I recently shared our 11th wedding anniversary.  Unfortunately, this year we had no funds and no babysitters so this day passed almost unnoticed by ourselves.  I was too pooped from trying to manage everything to even desire to put any effort into even something small for him and he.. well he just didn't think about it. We never exchanged gifts in the past, choosing instead to put the money to going out to dinner or even away for the night once we had children.  However, seeing as how we couldn't do anything this year, I would have appreciated even some flowers.

Some times I wonder if we are on that slippery slope towards...  I don't know exactly what. I'm not talking divorce or separation but sometimes I just feel like we've lost our closeness, our desire to be with each other.
I don't think he sees it this way at all and I can only go by what I am feeling.  It's just that sometimes I get so resentful of seemingly doing everything around here that I don't want to be close to him. I entertain thoughts of "why should I do something special for him when he can't even help with...  I do everything else, why can't he surprise me for Valentines or Anniversary... ".  You know what I'm saying?  I struggle with this because I don't want to tear my heart away from him, I don't want to be grumpy or miserable with him yet... some times I just get so frustrated it's hard not to.

I used to think that we could resolve everything because we are such great communicators but 11 years of marriage has taught me that sometimes men just get tired of all our crap.  They get tired of our sensitivity, our hormones, our desire to talk everything out.  Add to the mix of working with a bunch of hormonal, overstrung women in the work place eight hours a day and my man just no longer has the patience or desire to even hear me out any more. 

Also, when you have two different perspectives on the issues doesn't help either.  I think I do everything, he thinks he helps out just fine.  Which he does, on occasion.  In his mind he is a regular helper, in my mind it's more like once a month kind of help. I've tried talking it out with him but it only gets his back up and I get the "you want me to work all the time and have no break" back from him, it's time to quit talking because he's just not getting it.  All he hears is... "you never help, you do nothing, contribution is nothing".  It doesn't matter how much I tell him that I am aware of what he does etc.  So it's this bizarre circle that we just go around with.  I get mad and become alternatively grumpy or silent and he shrugs and says "I'm not taking this on", which makes me even more mad or sad. 

I sense the problem is more in my mind than his.  I think he simply takes for granted all the things we do, he may know that I am not always happy but manlike, he also knows he can't fix it so that it is my problem.  I am sure other than my occasional grumpiness, he's quite content. I would be too if someone made me dinner everyday, did my laundry, looked after the children etc, etc.

Every time I come across some mess that he's left for me, I have to remind myself of how he worked like crazy on the backyard to get it ready for E's birthday and how he mows the lawn and waters the flowers and the other things that he does do even if it is only occasionally. 

I just wish I could stop feeling resentful about these things.  Because after all, I am the one staying at home all day every day with the kids while he goes off to work. Since I've stopped working, it stands to reason that the bulk of the work falls on me.  I can give myself a good lecture, shrug it off for a few days and get into a better frame of mind but then the next infraction brings it all back up again (like the soap dispenser or leaving his stupid dental picks all over the place). 

We will get through it   Marriage really is a complex thing.  Just when you think you have it figured out, life changes and so does our expectations.  The problem is learning to adjust our expectations into some sort of acceptable form.  If that makes any sense. 

I don't really feel like I have things down the way I had thought them out while bathing O this a.m. But the kids need me to take them to swimming lessons so I will just have to ponder this a little further.

4 comments:

  1. Please know that you're not alone in your thoughts. I could've written this very same post.

    I think men are oblivious to some of the little things that light up our lives. For some reason, they get it in their heads that we want something extravagant when really a sweet and simple note saying "I love and appreciate you" would make our heart skip a beat.

    I too get into the cycle of "well, he's not doing anything nice for me so I'm not doing anything nice for him". But I do notice that if I can put myself out there and extend myself, he'll meet me halfway...sometimes. Other times, he doesn't notice and then I just get even more resentful.

    I try to chalk it up to the fact that we're both just worn out all the time to put much effort into our relationship right now. I don't know that means for Tim and I down the road but right now we're just hanging on by a thread, muddling through the best way we know how.

    Our anniversary is next month and I seriously doubt he'll even remember.

    Hang in there...you're not alone!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is an amazing post. Thank you for sharing this personal story with us. And as the comment above says, you are definitely NOT alone. In fact, I just posted about Autism and divorce today. I met an amazing blogger/divorce lawyer who knows so much about this subject so I had her do a guest post for me.

    You are so not alone! We just celebrated our 7th anniversary on Sunday and the first few lines of your post could be mine. We are just so tired, stressed, and not in the mood to work at anything else in our lives. I feel you, more than you know.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Absolutely not alone - and it doesnt' mean your marraige is doomed.

    We're going on 10yrs, and I don't know how old your youngest child is, but for us, when we had a baby in the house it ALWAYS stirred up a lot of resentment from me to him. I was up all night while he slept, I was up all day while he was at work... I felt like I worked CONSTANTLY and he just couldn't have possibly done anything right enough back then.

    Now that our kids are older, it's so much better! I make sure to try EVERYDAY to make sure he knows how much I appreciate him. It's amazing how when a man feels respected and appreciated, he is such a better husband! I dropped the "buts.."

    like: "I know you do a lot around here, but... when was the last time you unloaded the dishwasher?"

    I just stuck to the positives. That small step took us in a GREAT direction, and it slowly but surely helped me REALLY aprpeciate him. I guess I faked it until I felt it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Absolutely not alone - and it doesnt' mean your marraige is doomed.

    We're going on 10yrs, and I don't know how old your youngest child is, but for us, when we had a baby in the house it ALWAYS stirred up a lot of resentment from me to him. I was up all night while he slept, I was up all day while he was at work... I felt like I worked CONSTANTLY and he just couldn't have possibly done anything right enough back then.

    Now that our kids are older, it's so much better! I make sure to try EVERYDAY to make sure he knows how much I appreciate him. It's amazing how when a man feels respected and appreciated, he is such a better husband! I dropped the "buts.."

    like: "I know you do a lot around here, but... when was the last time you unloaded the dishwasher?"

    I just stuck to the positives. That small step took us in a GREAT direction, and it slowly but surely helped me REALLY aprpeciate him. I guess I faked it until I felt it. :)

    ReplyDelete

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