Best About Both

August 30, 2011

This post is kind of hard for me to write. I made a promise to myself that this blog would not be where I would vent current personal issues but then if you want to know what it is like being a “SnipeWife” and “How do I do it?” then sometimes I might need to touch upon a relationship issue.

I was recently asked what is the best thing about DH being home. The buffer. He’s my first line of defense. He answers the phone when I don’t want to; he entertains the children the first 30 minutes they’re home from school so I can gradually transition from silence to the busiest portion of our day; he takes turns putting them to bed; he loses his cool with them letting me know it is not just me they drive crazy. He’ll say “no” for me and I don’t have to feel guilty.

He cooks. He cleans. He chauffeurs the children to their various activities and rarely complains about how busy we are.

On the flip side I was asked what is the best thing about when DH is gone. I very quickly and candidly answered, “I don’t have to take his feelings into consideration.” I can just get up and go and the children have to follow along. I can stay in work-out clothes and not wonder at the end of the day if I should have tried to “clean up” for him. After all, all those old relationship books say we wives should greet our husbands at the door in a freshly pressed dress, heels, and a cocktail so he can relax from his long day at work. HA! NOT!

If you were to ask these questions two years ago, the first answer would be the same. I’m not so sure about the second. I think if you asked me in two years I would hope it would be different as well. But I can see how such an answer can be a precursor to things I don’t ever want to deal with and places I don’t ever want to go. I can see how such a simple thought as “I don’t have to consider his feelings” can turn into resentment of the times when you do. Once that resentment takes hold it quickly passes to the other partner and it is a downhill spiral many marriages do not survive once the children are gone or retirement from service happens.

My statement right now does not reflect resentment. It reflects what I’ve been going through the past year, the self-reflection I’ve been doing, the “speed-bump” DH and I are going through regarding communication and the stress of his job. We are on uncharted territory with his new position of authority and even here at home with T1 in middle school and becoming a teenager. And it all comes at a bad time with my personal crisis and mystery pain/illness. I do not resent him or resent that I have check in with him, ask him first, or put my plans on hold for the time being–I do all those things willingly, not because he asks it of me, but because I believe he makes far greater compromises and sacrifices for me and the children.

As I said, two years ago the thought wouldn’t have crossed my mind, and I suspect two years from now it won’t either–as long as I rein it in. I’m struggling with having to consider everyone’s feelings right now–church, extended family, the school, the PTA, the scouts, the soccer teams… DH is just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It has been good to look at these two questions. Taking stock of what I’m feeling right now and being forewarned that this tiny seed could become such a horrible festering wound to our marriage is a good thing. I can do everything I can to acknowledge what I’m feeling right now and know that tomorrow will be full of different feelings and circumstances and there is no reason for either of us to resent the other if we are honest and working together as partners in this marriage.

I hope that young couples living “this life” or even military families can read this honest reflection and take one thing: the moment you start to resent anything about your spouse you are in grave danger of losing everything. Keep it in check and communicate because you may be surprised how the other person is feeling too. Armed with this realization about what I’m feeling, I have to do everything I can to make sure DH understands I do not resent him. If I were oblivious of what I was feeling and why, if I were acting and reacting accordingly then DH could suddenly start resenting the way I was treating him. Without talking to him about it we would suddenly create such a vicious circle.

For only having lived together 8 years of the past 15 1/2 years of marriage we’re not doing too badly. And I praise God for the strength of our marriage, even when it gets rocky.


One comment

  1. Wow. When I first started reading the post I was like: “Yeah, me, too.” I remember the sense of freedom I felt after the divorce…didn’t have to ask anyone what to make for dinner–I just made it and the kids ate it. Or I served cereal and all was fine. I hated when The Ex was gone on business…I would get sick every single time. I suppose it’s what you get used to. It doesn’t mean you resent him…it’s just one less thing on your to-do list as a mom and wife. I never resented taking The Ex’s feelings in to account, and I don’t DH’s either. Even if sometimes I miss the freedom of being alone for a full weekend 😉

What Are You Musing About?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: