By nature I am a very non-confrontational person. I do not like to argue, fight, or disagree. I am also a people-pleaser, which is both a gift and a curse. With a husband who shares many of these qualities, we mostly live a harmonious life. However, we all know harmony is more of a balancing act than an ongoing state, and love and marriage is definitely tough.
I am a full-time working mom of two, business owner, friend, wife, blogger, daughter, sister, and people-pleaser. Oh, and did I mention I really like order? Needless to say harmony has been disrupted many times over the past few years. This last year has been especially difficult. With fatigue from my day job, parenting, cooking, cleaning, and taking on what seems like more and more in both my personal and professional life, I became a jealous, resentful, and distracted wife and parent. This exhaustion was intensified by the loss of my mother-in-law last year. Coping with the death of a woman we all loved so dearly was hard on everyone, and since my husband lost his mother, I tried especially hard not to rock the boat.
So I continued to feel overwhelmed and kept it all bottled up. There were no major deceits or disrespects between my husband and I, just lots of little things in our life made me feel like my top could explode. Predictably, a few weeks ago it did explode! I reached my capacity and talked to a psychologist who allowed me to reflect meaningfully on why I was feeling so awful and helped me begin the work of getting back into balance. After a few sleepless nights, I decided to write an epic email to my husband without actually sending it to him. This exercise allowed me to express all my thoughts and get them out of my head. I was able to really speak from my heart and think about some solutions. Lastly, writing an email helped me reflect on things I would like to work on and things I could do better in our love and marriage.
The next step was finding time to have a serious talk with my husband. It seemed like a daunting task because we are both very busy with kids and work during the day, and at night we’re exhausted and just want to go to bed. Luckily, a week after I wrote the email we had a rare late afternoon together before we had to pick kids up from school, and I used the opportunity to read it to him. Interestingly, as I read it, I left a few things out that seemed so trivial after a time. Things like, “Remember when you didn’t put the laundry away?” and “Remember when you didn’t finish all the dishes?” When it came down to it, what I really wanted to say was “I love you” and “Life is really really hard right now.” At its core, my frustrations were about being too busy and not making enough time for each other. I miss the days of going on dates, sleeping in until ten (heck, even eight would be lovely), and staying up late talking. It became clear that our whole life is currently centered around our children, our business, and our work. As such our love and marriage has fallen by the wayside.
What came out of writing my husband an email and following it up with a conversation was reconnecting with each other. We both acknowledged we are trying really hard to be good parents, good spouses, good business owners, and good household managers. We decided together plan more love and marriage time, check in with each other more often, put our phones down, and let each know when we need some alone time. This hard talk was overdue and well worth it. It was a rededication to count on each other to pick up the pieces when things fall apart, and above all to continue to support each other and love each other through this life adventure.