Thursday, July 25, 2013

life is like a box of chocolates...

 headband c/o Sew Much Baby
I'm going to get real today. Like really real. It's scary to admit when you're struggling, when life's not fair, or when you need help, advice, love and support. And when I say " you" I really mean "I".
When we moved to this town I was depressed out of my mind! I swore I'd never live here, yet here I was. I am generally the happiest, friendliest girl but when I feel low, I feel really low. I was driving a wedge in our marriage but I just couldn't stop crying and complaining. One day it finally clicked that I was blaming Eric when it wasn't even his fault! Yes, we moved here for his job BUT we both knew this was the right move for us. We both agreed. So I worked on changing my ways and swore that as long as Eric loved his job, I would learn to love it here. Shortly after I made the changes that I needed to make to bring us back to that "good place" in our marriage, we discovered we were pregnant! Life was good. Then Eric's job started making changes that we didn't like. Shift work (days to nights, nights to days), 12 hour days, weekends and holidays. This is going to make me sound awful (because it was awful) but I went C R A Z Y! Things weren't going like promised when he was offered the job and it was so easy for me to be angry and blame it all on his job (good heavens, I needed a swift kick in the rear and a major attitude check)! Months later I got used to the awful changes (I really look up to the couples that handle these situations with grace!) and we prepared for the arrival of our sweet daughter!
When Mia was born I was sooooo grateful for my husband. Eric was so loving and helpful to me and our baby! The first few weeks I just couldn't believe how lucky I was, but I slowly stopped showing my appreciation. I think I got so wrapped up in taking care of Mia that I forgot to take care of my marriage as well. Other things like sleep deprivation, hormones and hating Eric's job definitely played into that! If you haven't noticed a pattern here... I'll point it out. Every time his job changed things up, or put Eric through the ringer, or didn't treat him how I know he deserves to be treated, I would go C R A Z Y! But what I didn't see, or rather, what I refused to see, was that I was making life harder on Eric.
Eric told me not too long ago that he just needed me to support him 100%!  I was shocked when he said that... Of course I support him! I love him! I want what's best for him! Why couldn't he see that those were the reasons I was so angry and non supportive of his job? (Has anyone noticed that something is about to click in my brain? About a year and a half too late... It's pretty horrifying for me to share how close minded and hard headed and just plain awful I've been!) Eric and I have made the decision that this is where we need to be living right now. Eric is very loyal and dedicated to his job. He is good at what he does! So my question is this. How do I support my amazing husband 100%? He needs me to support every aspect of his life. Our marriage needs it!
I've just painted an awfully dark picture of our life, but I promise it's still every bit as beautiful and happy as the picture above shows. But we (or I) have struggles like anybody else! And sometimes the simplest solution is the hardest to acknowledge. So this is where I come for advice!

Stay tuned for part 2! It will be short and sweet next time :) But until then... talk to me, people!


Anonymous said...

I love this photo

jessica said...

We've run into this a couple of times and for me the Hebrew word "chesed" always comes to mind. It's often used to mean love but I had a teacher show me to look at it as not just love but the tender mercies we do for each other in a relationship to show that love, whether that relationship be with God, your spouse, a parent, child, or a friend. So when things get this way between my husband and I, I really challenge myself to practice chesed. Do I really have to watch that movie? Or can I let my husband pick this time? Do I really need the extra half hour of sleep? Or can I make him breakfast before he leaves in the morning? Little things like that seem to make me slow down and be more in tune to how he's feeling instead of listening to my feelings in the moment. It allows us to share moments together that we tend to deny ourselves of that not only make him feel more loved but they also make me feel more loved as well. And with us, when we feel that love we can feel the support.

I hope I don't sound too presumptuous but that is what I found works for us!

jessica said...

Oh and sorry for the novel :)

lori said...

first, i think you should take it easy on yourself. you are a great mother and wife, and eric is lucky to have you as well! we all go through times like this- i don't think you painted a dark picture at all... you're just being real! is there any way for you and eric to have some alone time? i know that leaving mia is probably not on the top of your wish list right now... but it sounds like you two just need some quality together time to me :)

Alisha said...

Girl, we all have those moments. Take a deep breathe and know you're only human. :)

Brandon is always telling me I bottle things up too much and then explode later. He wants me to talk to him more, even about the little things that bother me. The multiple hunting trips he takes during the week, the late nights spending at the barn working on his toys, and the list goes on and on.

I have to gently remind him that I want "us" time, not yell, moan and complain that he's not spending enough time with me after I've bottled up so much anger and resentment.

That probably doesn't even help…Sorry, love.
I'm here if you just need to talk though! Love you!!

Alexis Kaye said...

Um, I think having a baby is really hard on a marriage, personally! It's like you're letting another person in on your marriage and it takes a lot of adjustment. It's okay to admit to having a hard time. I think you're wonderful :)

-Danica- said...

This is a big topic right now for me! The past year I have realized how much I have been slacking when it comes to my marriage for the past 3-4 years. So focusing on this has become a huge priority. After having my daughter I was amazed at how naturally i took on my role as a mom, but how much i had to work still at being a wife. Here are a few things that are starting to help me a little bit:

1- I read a quote a while back that basically said we are not with the people we are with just to make us happy all the time. if that was the point of marriage, how would we learn? The point is to struggle, to work, to forgive, to learn real love. Our spouses are supposed to do things or go through things that really try us sometimes. THAT is how we grow and THAT is how we learn christlike love. God puts us in relationships that test us to help us become more like him. And realizing that helped me to let go of so many of the things that my husband does that can frustrate me because I realize that by looking past faults and forgiving when i am mad, i am only strengthening our marriage and learning to love him in a more christlike way.

2- Make a conscious effort everyday to put him first in everything. I fail at this everyday, but I am getting better. I notice i put our daughter first with everything, and i often side with my family on things over him. But I am making sure I pay attention and try my best to think of him first and how I could be making things easier/better for him. Especially with trying to perform little acts of service the way I always naturally did when we were dating. and I notice when I do that, we get along so much better and we are both happier.

3- this kind of goes along with the last one but we don't spend enough alone time together and so i am trying to create more of an opportunity for that. Not only does it give us time to connect, but it also gives us a chance to talk about issues in a calm and positive way that don't happen otherwise.

4- Talk to him how I want him to talk to me. really THINK before I say something that might frustrate him or hurt his feelings. Is it really necessary? is saying it going to cause a fight? Because if it is, I either can ignore it all together or wait for a better time to bring it us.

5- PRAY. Pray all the time for ways to love your spouse better, to see their side more, to enjoy the things they do, to appreciate them more, to know how to support them in the ways they need THAT day.

and then there is always the standby of speaking their "love language" more :) but I am pretty sure EVERYONE has read that book haha so thats probably not what you are looking for. Anways, theres a novel for you, hope it gives you some ideas. And you should really do a follow up post with the suggestions or ideas that work best for you! I think this is an area we could all use some more ideas on :) Good luck!

eliz said...

Sometimes we don't see our significant others sacrifices...we just think about our own...but being supported by people you love makes those sacrifices easier. :-)

Jamie said...

We have bumps in the road too and I've noticed it's mostly my own insecurity that gets us down. When problems arise with Shehan (work, church, family, whatever), unless it's something that will bring us both down and harm our marriage or our family, I do my best to just keep my mouth shut and keep busy. If I want to desperately say something I just opt to say nothing, smile, and make a yummy dinner to keep myself occupied. Anything like that seems to work.

Lindsay said...

My husband just got out of a terrible job, and I am afraid I wasn't very supportive or understanding while he was going through that. But I've found that when I let things go and DON'T mention the little things he does that bother me, our marriage is so much better.

That isn't to say that you shouldn't talk about things you should improve on -- because that's a must. But being more accepting of my husband's faults has made me notice them less, if that makes any sense.

Hope that helps! I think everyone goes through some rough patches in marriage, and there are always ups and downs.

Lindsay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindsay said...

I can totally, totally relate. My husband received scholarships to five colleges after high school. I was still a senior in high school, so he chose the closest one (three hours away). I had the opportunity to go to any school with my parents paying my way, which was the opposite of my husband who relied on said scholarship, and in all our lovesick teenage glory I packed up after graduation and moved three hours up to be with him -- in a school I hated, studying stuff I could care less about because it was the only option, in a town I despised. It was hard. I wanted to be a mother, and he would have a career that he was studying for, and the plan made sense -- but I was so bitter. And took it out on him SO much over the years. I do the same thing when his work schedule gets busy, or things change...and recently he said "you know it's not my choice? You know I only try to do what is best for our family?" and I felt like a big jerk. Because it's true.

Tiffany @ Austin Family Diary said...

Loved this post. It came at the perfect time. Having a baby definitely changes a marriage and I'm doing my best to balance bring a good wife and a good mom but it's so hard.

P!nky said...

Major props to you for putting this out there, it's hard to show the dark sides of our lives.

I think we as women THINK we know how to support our men and think little things don't matter [because they never seem to appreciate the little things], but we really do need to nurture and love them.

When we women freak out, we change how we normally act and that in turn changes how we treat them. I've said some small biting comments to my fiance and not thought anything of it, but come to find out it really bothered him.

we are not perfect and all we can do is learn and pray to God for more grace.

I don't know your situation, but I do think doing a date night once a month/week would be a good thing. It's fun to redate your man :)!


Ashley @ said...

I can completely relate - Aaron being a cop requires him to work holidays, nights, overtime, all-the-time. I get you and I get where you're coming from. I had to learn to be supportive also, but what helped me was knowing that he understood how I felt and communicated that he was appreciative we moved here and sacrificed a lot for his job. Once I knew he understood where I was coming from and sympathized with me, it helped me to back off a bit and focus on him/our house/our pups/my job. You just want the best for him and I'm sure hate seeing him be put through the ringer with his job, so I feel like it's just your maternal instinct to stand up for him and want him to be happy.

Good luck lady :-)

Jeff and Cali said...

Aw, this makes my heart hurt. I completely understand and I have BEEN THERE. When we first got married, we moved to Arizona- a place I didn't like, full of people I didn't know, and I had to give up my job and my flexibility with schooling in order for us to do that. And because it was for HIS grad program, I did attribute my unhappiness to that! I was angry and sad every day, I wasn't being a good wife, and eventually, my husband told me: "I can't make friends for you. I can't get you a job. I can't make you happy. I don't know what to do, but I can't deal with this."

That was my swift kick in the backside. I realized that *I* was killing our happiness, and slowly but surely did my best to change my attitude and turn things around. We're in a great place now, and preparing to make another move to another state for his job, and my goal is to keep a good attitude about it.

At the same time, though, I feel as though you should be understood as well. It is a *hard* thing for wives to do, even when supporting their husbands. It's tough.

But I admire the way you are handling it!

Dinah Gacon said...

Oh my gosh Courtney, you are NOT ALONE at all. Not even one bit. My husband Eric's job has moved us all over the place and every time we had to pick up and move, I took my frustrations and anger out on him...I hated being pulled away from the friends and relationships I built from the place we lived at, but I knew I married him for all of it. I knew his job was going to do this, so now I have to be supportive and be strong for him and I both. Bless your heart, you are not a bad person for having those feelings and I think marriage always has ups and downs, but those downs really make you stronger as a couple!!!! I admire you for putting this out there on your blog, its hard to talk about those things sometimes but just know that there are so many of us out there that have dealt with similar situations.

Dinah @ Sunshine super glam

Pamela said...

You know my situation. I've been the same way! I ended up feeling quite pathetic & bratty! I don't have much advice to share ha but I am going to read all the other advice given! SO I thank you for posting this because it helps me too! Love you! We're in this TOGETHER! :)

My Froley said...

you haven't painted an awful picture of your life! no one is perfect, we all find things hard to deal with. can suggest something that helped me when I was in the habit of blaming other people/things for the way i felt, a great audio tape/book called 'seven habits of highly effective people'. it really changed my life and the way i dealt with situations. I hope you feel better soon friend

Kayla Peveler said...

Excited that you started following my blog and it led me back to yours. Your family is ADORABLE! :)

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Work life can throw major challenges into life in general let alone a marriage. I think the best thing you can do is put Mia to sleep and have a discussion on how he feels you can help support him more. I know it's hard but maybe when something doesn't go his way at work instead of getting equally mad or frustrated at it to. Be positive and say something like, It's all going to work out!

Alycia Grayce (Crowley Party) said...

My advice of support comes from going through Law School with Trevor. From the start of the LSAT this experience has been a whirl wind. Trevor didn't get the score he was anticipating on his LSAT and I will never forget that day. My once very confident husband became very down on himself, and thought he was "stupid." Which was SO not the case at ALL. Then Law School started and the whole mentality of law school is to break you down. His self confidence got lower and lower and he would complain... a lot. He was also not coming home until very late at night, every night. And our summers have been spent apart. I realized very early on (thankfully) that my husband was going through a very mentally draining experience, that was extremely challenging. I needed to make sure that when he came home I had nothing but a positive attitude to make sure I was lifting him up and not continuing the cycle he was facing at school of bringing him down. I can't tell you how many times it would have been easier to complain along side him, or to get down with him. And I am not saying I haven't sometimes. No one is perfect. BUT I think my attitude of looking on the bright side and letting him confide in me when he is frustrated has made all the difference in our law school experience. Eric's job comes with its challenges, however, he needs you to be his safe place. The place where he can come home and use you as his support, and to acknowledge his feels without you getting too sucked into the emotions as well. It is a lot easier said then done. When Trevor complains about something regarding the law school experience, it would be easy for me to get upset along with him, but how much better is it if I can help him see the positives? Or help him have the sense that it will all be okay? Sorry for the novel comment, I just feel like this is what I have been doing for the last two years and currently, so I feel strongly about it. Sometimes the circumstances of our lives are not as great as we would want them to be, in fact, this will probably always be the case. But thankfully we do have the control over our reactions to life, and while it takes time to get better at them, we can if we want to. Just practice on being the positive and encouraging place in his life. It will open up communication in your marriage like you could have never imagined. You will trust each other more. You will get exactly what you are looking for - Seek the good and you will find it.

Janna Renee said...

Oooooh guuuurl! I have been through this! This is basically how adjusting to Military life sounds like. You feel like you have zero control over your life, and that's a slap in the face. I used to get mad about random training, late nights, getting called in on weekends, etc., but then I just realized that I have no choice in the matter. I could let it get to me or I could just support Will and not make his life harder by him having to worry about if I was going to get mad. Life is an adventure and learning experience, so now I look at our time apart as time to improve our communication, to be independent, and to have self growth. Perception is everything ;)

RadiantKristen said...

I really think we are going through some similar types of things right now. My husband is looking for a job... any job. And his job has my life completely locked up, to the point where I have to wait to make some big decisions until we know what he's doing for work. And it's really hard to be supportive when that is the case. It's hard to be supportive in a way that encourages that person to do what they feel is best, and to do what needs to be done! So much easier to convince those men that we are always right. Sometimes I just have to grit my teeth and walk away when I want to say something about the seeming lack of progress in his finding a job, and remind myself that it's a process, and it's more important that he gets the RIGHT job over the first mediocre offer that comes his way. And likewise, I'm sure when he has to stay late for deadlines, or something stupid happens, I might just have to grit my teeth and try to find a different way to support him than to convince him to quit the thing that is causing him pain!

Really, I have no advice. Just commiseration on this one.

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