Tonight my husband got irritated at me … I think – honestly – he was kind of mad …
So, why in the world would I admit that on a blog for anyone in the world to see? Well, my husband is probably THE MOST patient, unshakable, kind, and eternally optimistic person I know. He balances me well – which probably means that I am THE LEAST patient, most unstable, cranky, and negative person he knows?! When he finally gets mad, I am thankful that he too is human … because sometimes, I just want to be mad – just for a little while … and then, I want to forgive, forget, and move on.
As I am apt to do when my expectations are not met and my plans are altered outside of my control, tonight I was grumbling about an unexpected visit from my in-laws tomorrow. It wouldn’t be a big deal if we weren’t going away for a week as of Monday! It isn’t a big deal anyway … I just felt like making it a big deal.
You see: I had plans. Saturday I was going to FINALLY sleep … the sleep of a mom who has someone else to watch out for the baby … the sleep of a mom who stays up too late puttering around, doing all those things she can’t do when everyone is awake … the sleep of a mom who has all the time in the world over the weekend to clean the house and pack up 5 people for a trip. But SUDDENLY: I had to do a frantic cleaning of the house that has been neglected during a busy week – and think about what I had to offer for meals and desserts … and all the while my husband sat on the couch, watching baseball while I cleaned the kitchen and bathroom, so I grumbled. The more I cleaned, the more I grumbled, and after a while, I found myself voicing my complaints.
I said, “It’s YOUR parents who are coming, why do I have to do all the work?” … I meant, “I could use some help here, please!” … and he heard, “I don’t want your parents to come over tomorrow.”
We discussed if they or we could visit another weekend, but the next weeks aren’t any more convenient. I said something like, “The timing of this visit is terrible!” … I meant, “I am overwhelmed thinking about all I have to do in the next 2 days.” He heard, “There is never a good time to visit with your parents.”
Dan said something about this visit not being about us – but about letting our kids visit with their grandparents when they have the chance. I mumbled something about, “Well, when does anyone ever try to accommodate our [mine and Dan’s] schedule instead of just thinking about what they want to do?” … I meant, “I wish our schedules weren’t so full because we hardly have time for OUR OWN FAMILY” … and finally he said, “Now I don’t want my parents to come tomorrow either.”
And here in lies the misunderstanding: I never said I didn’t want his parents to come over … I like his parents … I like that they live 120 miles away, and our kids get to see them fairly often. I only was voicing that I could use a little help, was feeling overwhelmed, and was frustrated with our busy schedule right now!
We are both very tired – and my husband is by no means lazy. He regularly works 10 hour days at the school as he goes in early and stays until 5 p.m. most days, even though he doesn’t really have to. It’s been a busy week for me and Miriam as well as I’ve had some appointments and have worked in our school office each afternoon because one of the secretaries is away. We both have excuses … and yet, after 18 1/2+ years of marriage, you’d think we could communicate a little better – meaning HE could understand me a little better … and yeah, ok, I could probably just outright ask for and explain exactly what I want a little better!! I’ve often read or been told that women expect men to be mind readers … and they just aren’t.
So, in the end, we both cooled down, explained OUR SIDE of the situation, and determined it was all going to be ok. Dan offered to take care of lunch so I wouldn’t have to … and I still plan to sleep in and not worry if my in-laws show up at the crack of dawn as they are apt to do. And now we’re fine.
Guess that proves that no matter how long you’ve been married or known each other, COMMUNICATION is still the KEY to a good relationship!!
“After all, when you come right down to it, how many people speak the same language even when they speak the same language?”