Believe it or not, I am not the perfect wife…

August 18th, 2009

It doesn’t seem right to me to always post cute little stories on this blog about my kids and my marriage and make it seem like my life is this shiny jewel of perfection all the time, because it’s not. I love my husband and my family, but we have struggles. Real struggles. Real hard, heart breaking struggles and guess what… we don’t deal with them very well either. We argue about the same stuff over and over again and we never learn from the past. We don’t change our patterns of behavior and usually after a few weeks or months pass, we start doing the exact same things that we did before. We both have a very good sense of humor and are pretty good at laughing at ourselves, but not everything is a laughing matter.

Let’s take me for example…

1. I tend to deal with pain by withdrawing and not speaking.

2. I tend to deal with hurt by withdrawing and refusing to communicate.

3. I tend to deal with conflict by sealing myself into a bullet proof cocoon and not opening my mouth for days at a time.

4. When I am upset I move to an island of fury and never tell a soul.

5. I respond to all of life’s difficulties by tucking my body into a cave and sealing it with a large rock, then I tie a bandanna around my mouth so I won’t ever tell anyone that I am distraught.

6.  Eventually all of this pain builds into Mount Vesuvius and then I explode all over the person I love most… my husband.

7.  Whenever we have a major argument, I re-enact our entire history of disagreements and every single time he did something wrong to me is mercilessly flung in his face like a flaming pile of dog poop.

8.  Did I say that I let things build up for months and then I explode yet?

9.  Did I mention that part where I cement my mouth shut whenever I am in agony and try to swallow it down to my stomach where it sits until it builds to an angry belch that could knock down a mountain?  

None of these are very effective ways to manage trouble in your marriage.

Over the years, we have gotten better about a few things in our marriage. We no longer try to dictate every single moment of each other’s lives and how it will be spent. I don’t have to have my husband attend every family get-together that I go to, and he does not mind if I stay home and rock slowly back and forth with my thumb stuck in my mouth while he goes out for a beer with his office. We are good at giving each other space… but sometimes we give each other too much space. Sometimes we get so used to letting each other do his or her own thing that we forget that it is occasionally nice to actually accompany each other to various events… even if we don’t particularly like the events.

We parent differently, but we respect each other as parents.

We love each other, but we express it poorly sometimes.

My husband tends to express his devotion by doing stuff for me. He builds a garden, he refinishes the floor, he scrubs the kitchen from top to bottom, he fixes a broken door, he repairs the bathtub nozzle.  I tend to express my devotion by making sure that he can do the things he needs to do. I re-arrange my schedule, I skip meetings, I run errands that are not on my agenda and are on the opposite side of the county from where I need to be so that I can get the kids and he can do what he needs to do.  I think we often fail to recognize the things that we do for each other as expressions of love and believe that the other person has forgotten all about uh… the other person.

The Country Doctor gave me permission to post the ‘I Wish I had a Wife Post”. He knew it was going to be harsh, but he also knew that I had to start writing my blog again and I was stuck because I could not get beyond what had happened to us.

We had a really rough time in Europe. We did not get along for a single second. My husband started out the trip dead tired from day after day of making up call so that he could be gone for eleven days in a row. When you add his exhaustion to jet-lag, you basically have a person who was suffering from sleep deprived psychosis. I knew he was tired, but he did not. He took control of our vacation like a blood soaked banshee from the depths of hell and did not let go for a second. I tried to keep up, but eventually I had a nervous break down in Paris. We tried to repair it, but could not get past the disappointment and the anger. Our kids did not know how upset we were. We didn’t yell or scream in front of them, we just kept plugging away at a frantic pace that I could not understand. It was one long, horrible, expensive disaster. Then we had to come home and try to put the fragments of our broken lives back together. It has been tough, but we are working on it.

I write a blog. A blog that I love. A blog that brings me a great amount of joy and makes me feel valuable as a human being.  A blog that is a part of who I am. Not writing this blog has made me even sadder.  I could not come back to it without expressing in some way what I have been going through.  Maybe I did not choose the best way, but it was a way that I could tolerate without reliving the entire horrible vacation moment by moment.  As to my kids reading the “I Wish I Had A Wife Post”… I never want my children to think that my husband and I have a perfect marriage.  Not for a single second.  Someday they are going to struggle in their own marriages and maybe they will remember something that their mom posted on her blog and maybe they will remember that their parent’s marriage was not always easy either, but they struggled though the hard times because ultimately, even in the midst of agonizing disappointment, anger and heartbreak, they still loved each other and wanted desperately to figure things out.  It is always better to be honest with the people that you love.  Also – my boys are going to be husbands… more than anything they need to know how to treat their wives well.   

Post Script…

I wanted to thank everyone who sent emails and left comments during my long absence.  Sometimes the messages I read caused me to crack wide open in gut-wrenching sobs, but the tears were cleansing and it was so nice to know that someone that I have never met was thinking about me and praying for me.  If I can ever return the favor, please let me know.  

God bless you all,