I don’t think I’ve mentioned The Husband much in recent posts, and there is reason for that. there has been huge amounts of frustration and contention in our marriage, which isn’t quite even a year and a half old. I’m not really going to go into the issues themselves here, but suffice it to say, they were things that neither of us could bend on, and we could see no resolution.
my husband has been my best friend for years. the first time we started talking we immediately connected to eachother. the first time I saw him, I knew we were going to end up together. …granted, I didn’t foresee marriage and babies and life-long cohabitation, much less school for him and housewifery for me, but in my gut I knew we would fit together perfectly.
and I was right. a few weeks ago, The Husband and I talked, and decided that we are going to put an honest effort into resolving the issues in our marriage. which means working through our own shit, and is going to be a struggle. really what it comes down to is setting aside all of the bitterness and frustration, and focusing on the love and friendship that we have.
I have regurgitated the words “We are an autonomous collective, not a dictatorship” so many times, but’s it’s always in reference to my kids. being autonomous means we make our own choices, but being a collective means we need to work together. once our choices start stepping on other peoples toes, they no longer work, and things have to change.
however, the two most important facets in being an autonomous collective are: A. equality, and B. communication.
I’ve been very frustrated with The Husband for not “taking initiative” (IE: not knowing what I want him to do. so much for communication.), and for not “putting effort into saving our marriage” (IE: not dropping everything to do whatever it is I think we should do to resolve things, so much for equality.). for being an anarchist, I am a horrible control freak. I want to know what’s going to happen at all times, and if I’m not comfortable with it, I want to be able to change it. I also tend to try and put the responsibility for my own well-being on my husband. it all just goes back to my own insecurities, and my childhood programming of trying desperately to find someone to take care of me, and my childhood scarring of thinking if someone does not take care of me, that they don’t care about me.
what a load of crap. and see, the great thing about The Husband, is he’s totally never let me get away with that.
I was washing dishes the other day. alot had piled up, because The Squid was going through a weird time, and didn’t want to play or do anything but get loads of attention and affection from guess who? yours truly. for the whole weekend that her precious Dad-dad was at a friends house (and lord, did I run him through the ringer for not psychically knowing that would be a bad weekend). so, at last she was napping, I was getting caught up on the dishes, and The Husband, was in the other room watching TV. I was seething.
then, instead of going in with my usual, “I’m on strike! someone else better do those dishes, or I’m not cooking!” or “maybe everyone should just do their own damn dishes from now on!” I just poked my head in and said, “hey, babe? You wanna dry while I wash?”
and holy shit, man, voila. “Yeah, sure.” he came in, we got through every one of those damn dishes, we listened to music and talked while we worked, and lo and behold, there was the happy, helpful partner I’ve been looking for! and all I had to do was ask. not demand, not throw a fit, ask. how many times have I said to my son, “calm down, use your words. when we can talk calmly and ask for what we need, it’s way easier for us to get help.”? and then I go and quash and quash until I explode, because I never took the time to take a deep breath and just ask for what I need. it’s amazing how much easier it is to parent our children than ourselves.
we’ve been our new house for a little over 7 months now. when we moved in, I had this incredible image of what I wanted our lives to be like here. I was ready to get right on top of my housewifery, focusing on my family, my parenting and marriage, and making sure to have a positive environment that we could all live in.
and when the husband started struggling, dealing with shit that didn’t fit into my image, I started to shut him out of it. I got angry at him, for not fitting into the ideals I had for the family. instead of trying to help him, encourage him or support him, I pretended he wasn’t there, wasn’t needed, and just focused on everything else.
okay, but the reason that I am so incredibly proud of my husband is this: he is examining his demons, he is facing them head-on, and he is being here, fighting for our marriage, but not sacrificing himself to do so. he stands up for himself, he stands up to me, and he does not cave when my emotional issues rise to the surface. he is there for me, but I am responsible for myself, my issues, and my behavior. and I believe that we are going to work through this shit, because we are two of the most stubborn people I know, which is hell when we’re head-to-head, but powerful when we are side-by-side.
Ethan, my husband, I love you, and I am so proud of you it blows my mind.