On our long drive back home, I was talking to Josh about how I wanted to use this blog in the upcoming year. It’s addictive, this blogging thing. (It’s also really weirdly interesting how people find our blog, but that’s another post for another day.) I love the journaling/diary part of it. I like how it keeps me on track with my knitting and motivates me to complete projects so I have something to show every weekend. Perhaps one of my favorite parts though is sharing about our miscarriage and losing our babies. It’s such a topic that is almost shameful and very secretive (until you join the club, then you realize that it touches way more people than you could have imagined) and I feel that by talking about our experience, I’ve made it less of a shameful secret. Anyway, I already do that, so that doesn’t count for the new year.
So what I/we came up with as a (hopefully) weekly post on how we made our marriage work this week. Because let’s face it, marriage is work, and it really doesn’t get talked about a lot. It’s work in little things, like taking your partner’s plate to the sink for them and it’s work in big things, like agreeing how to spend your money. So this post will be just a little recap of our week…our highs, our lows, and basically, how we made it through another week in our marriage.
Without further ado….how we made it work this week
This week was tough. The holidays are always a rough time, especially when you now have to split holidays with this weird other family known as your in laws. And it certainly doesn’t help matters when the in laws are divorced and hey, now you have four families to work around. We have a good system though – at least, it’s worked for us for three years now. My mom seems to sometimes get the short end of the stick, since she lives in Alaska and that’s pretty hard to visit for a short period of time. And my dad might get extra benefits, since we tend to spend one night in Jackson on our trips to and from Atlanta, but all in all, it works as well as could be expected.
Holidays are also rough because no matter how great your family is, there’s always something happens that lets you down or upsets you or disappoints you. What we do though that turns that negative into a positive is that we just talk about what we would have done differently in that situation, or what we would have liked to have happened. That gives us a lot of clues on how our partner would like to be treated in similar situations.
The holidays were also hard on us because we know how different this Christmas would have been if we still had the twins, we were constantly reminded of it in some for or other. But Josh was just amazing in supporting me and as generic as this sounds, just being there for me in all sorts of ways when I needed it. It means a lot to me that he’s still willing to let me grieve like I need to and just in general act the way I need to without being judgmental or telling me to get over it or anything like that. Sometimes it’s hard not to judge your partner, especially when you can always related to what they are saying or going through. It’s so important though to never judge them because their feelings, no matter what those specific feelings are, are valid simply for being their feelings. It’s okay sometimes to ask critical questions or ask for further explanation of why they feel/think/act a certain way because that can often help both parties understand. Josh often asks me clarifying questions, because it makes me think deeper about why I feel or think the way I do. But never, ever judge and just say “that’s stupid” or “I don’t agree” without offering further explanation. (Which gets said and done so much!)
I knew this week would be kind of hard for Josh because it’s always difficult to go back to work after a long time off, so I tried as much as possible to ease his transition back. It sounds lame, but since I grocery shop for us, when I know he’s having a hard time at work, or bored, or stressed, I try to get special treats for his lunch. This week, it was yogurt with fruit in it (but no added sugar, which is so much harder to find than you think.) I also know it’s important for him to work out in the mornings before work because it just gets his day off to such a better start, but it’s got to be hard for him to get up at 5:30 a.m. while I’m still snoozing away. So I sat my alarm clock for him and told him I’d go to the gym and do my cardio with him before work then after I dropped him off, I’d do my training. I think it helped to get him out of bed, it’s hard to ignore four alarm clocks, and I at least got out of the bed too, even if he did send me back there. I tried to help. 🙂
And tonight, it’s our favorite, date night at Ikea! Lame, perhaps. But it’s cheap food and a fun experience walking through picking out the things we like and don’t like. Plus – their sale is going on!
So to sum up how we made it work this week:
- He really listened and supported my emotions this week, even if he couldn’t always relate.
- I bought him special yogurt so when he was eating his lunch at work, he would know I loved him enough to pick out special yogurt.
- I sacrificed (some) of my sleep so I could help him get to the gym in the morning because it starts his day off right
- We’re taking time out to have a date with each other.