What I know about being a wife

I love my husband. Very much. He is everything I ever hoped for in a partner – someone who is creative, and smart and funny and challenging and patient and kind. He is also very handsome which doesn’t hurt. I love him deeply and passionately.

I just haven’t liked him very much lately.

I can only just write about this now, because I feel like we are out of the woods a little, but we have just been through one of the toughest patches in our relationship and most definitely our marriage. For many reasons – him working, me being over tired and over worked with the kids, and a gazillion other things along the way. You know these phases – they come and they go – this one just bit a little harder than others. The problem this time being that we turned away from each other. With our own hurts and frustrations and problems. We shut down from each other because when one of us tried, and didn’t get what we wanted from the other, and then perhaps tried again, and still got no where, we just shut down. The very worst thing you can do. Instead of really talking to each other we spoke when needed to. Instead of being kind to each other we spat out hurtful one liners (OK I did that) – to try and grab attention. To try and make and point. Point made? That we were just hurting each other further.

It’s a complex business this marriage business. Throw kids into the mix and you make it even more so. Throw in working ridiculous hours and it’s out of control. I was lucky enough to make a speech at my little sister’s wedding earlier this year and I wanted to speak to her about honestly about being married. About being a good partner. About being a good wife. And then down the track a mother and a wife. I don’t know much because I’ve only being doing the wife gig for 6 years and the mothering thing for 4.5. What I do know is that you have to talk. You have to communicate. Even if you don’t want to, you have to. Like watering the garden, like washing your clothes, if you want things to grow, to stay well looked after and healthy you have to communicate. I made the mistake these past 3 weeks to not do it and it burnt me. Badly. I hurt my partner and my friend by turning by back. Looking back I could see just how easy it would be for things to get out of hand. For the bad behaviour of not listening and shutting down to become a habit and all of a sudden for each others hurt and pain be internalised, festered and fed. Just like *that* you could be up shit creek. Frightening really.

So? The point of this? Besides being therapy for me, to work out where I went wrong these past few weeks, I guess I’m trying to say if you are having a particularly shitty time in your relationship – and you know we all have them – whatever the problem…talk. Maybe it’s beyond talking. Maybe it’s really hard to talk about. Maybe you are so hurt and so sure that you were right and that you’re not going to give in…talk. True to my form of always putting it out there on this blog – regardless of whether it will get me into trouble or not, I need to remember to talk. This post will remind me of that. Writing down the words helps the message get into my brain. I must remember to put my own hurts and frustrations aside, and talk. Be the caring partner I want to be. Be the supportive and loving wife I actually love to be.

And talk. Just talk. That’s all.

Now, if you were giving some advice to yourself at the start of your married life what would it be? I think I would say something like “Sleep now, while you can, you’re going to need it. Enjoy having sex. Enjoy having sex in the morning. Enjoy having sex in the middle of the night, cause you can. Enjoy sleeping with no clothes on if you want. Enjoy driving in the car without turning around. Enjoy eating in restaurants past 5.30pm. Enjoy Saturday afternoon sessions at the pub. Enjoy your afternoons and evenings. Enjoy your sleep ins. Enjoy each other and hold onto your hats because it’s going to be a rocky ride. And that’s OK.”

And to my ever suffering husband….I’m sorry. Again. I love you and like you. Very much.

Comments

  1. Wise woman. Life long marriage for you.

    xo em

  2. Talk and talk and talk. And put the other first as often as you can.

    Be in like and in love for as long as you can, Beth. You go together so well. x

  3. Man.

    I couldn’t have read this at a better time.

    It’s been a 2 day silent treatment here, all because I’ve been sitting on something I am so angry & hurt about.

    But you’re right, sitting on it can lead you into that dangerous land of … well, hopefully something you & I will both never experience.

    Sometimes it’s just so hard being the mature one, & initiating the conversation.

    Thanks for writing this Beth, I think it’s one I will also have to come back to.

    You have that ability.

    xx

  4. Great post. My wife goes into shut out moments too.. it is annoying sometimes, but she comes around.

    Would love if you would consider guest posting on my blog http://torkona.blogspot.com sometime. You write great :)

    - tork

  5. It’s good to get things out, being a wife, being a parent can be tough sometimes. I wish we didn’t have to have those hard times but I think we learn alot. I’m glad everything is good for you now:) Communicate all the time, even if sometimes it’s sounds like you’re rambling and say I love you. Have a good week. x

  6. Agree. fully. No speakies gets you no where. X

  7. Wise words Beth. Why is it that talking is sometimes the hardest thing to do? Just to start? So happy that things are better for you guys x

  8. Great post. Communication is the key as well as listening to the other person. I have been married 23 years and I won’t lie, there has been very hard times but there has been some fantastic times. I glad you are able to articulate what you are feeling and the solutions you have found. Keep it up, you are amazing person.

  9. Anonymous says:

    So very true. I think sometimes I (any my hubby) need quiet time to process the ‘issue’ for ourselves, but never longer than 24hrs. Then we have to talk. The beach/ocean is a great place to do this, things come out in a calm place, it makes me calm too.

    Keep writing, you have an amazing talent!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I too have had a particularly ugly patch with myself, and therefore husband and kids. when I tried to work out why, I discovered that I had had no more than 2 hrs away from my 1 & 2.5 yo in 3 months. When your husband works late and you’re doing night duties and you used to have a fabulous career, well, you kinda just lose it. All over the place. And it’s UGLY. By all means talk – hell yeah – but also, perhaps, think about what you want to talk about, what you want xx

  11. As a soon-to-be-wife come December I DEVOURED this post Beth. Thank you xxx

  12. Your honesty always amazes me, great post Beth. xx

  13. Been there in the first half of this year. 5 hellish months.
    And we made it.
    We literally feel like newlyweds again.
    It seems obvious when you’re first in love (and even now AFTER the hell time) but talk, make actual fricking eye contact, touch, be touched, put down the bloody phone, iPad, washing, child, whatever and CONNECT.

    So glad you’re getting there again, Beth.

    Um, I have tears,
    You’ve brought it all rushing back and I’m so so so grateful to still be married to my gorgeous man.
    Must go love someone now.
    :-)

  14. Oh Beth. Thanks for putting it out there. Having one marriage down the drain made my husband a very wise (and possibly better?) one this time round.

    He often tells me that we haven’t ‘connected’. And that means a good talk, some good sex, sharing our dreams, or just talking honestly about our day or our feelings.

    And if we don’t ‘connect’ it gets so easy to continue not doing it. And then the downward spiral continues.

    So glad you talked about this. You wrote it like noone else could. xx

  15. That’s a lovely post, Beth. I always attempted to be like that, but it wasn’t enough. Marrying a sociopath kinda makes normal standards of thought and behaviour not apply. Maybe one day I’ll get to try again.

    I’m glad you got through your rough patch, the way married couples are meant to.

  16. Talk. Seems so easy. But something thatncan be put off too.
    Also wanted to give you hope re sleeping bit – they do grow up and it does get easier – makes a huge difference. Xx

  17. Glad to hear things are on the up and up!

    I like to think that when the solid foundation is there, the rough spots will smooth themselves out eventually, especially if we try. :)

  18. Thanks for this post. I was writing a similar one when I read yours. Talking is something I think we should ALL be doing more of – talking about our feelings in particular.

    Sheila x

  19. I’m getting married in 26 days (!) so i’m going to take the ” talk!talk!talk! ” bit on board. The rest of it doesnt apply – we already have a child!

  20. And even if the forgetting to talk, and if going through a revolting rough patch takes a year or two and a lot of vile arguments, you can still talk and communicate yourselves back into bliss…

  21. thank you for this.
    it often gets forgotten about here too.
    hugz for you. and him.
    c. xox.

  22. Sing it sister.
    Your honesty is most refreshing, and most timely for me.
    On Wednesday, my husband and I will be celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary. We have a 17-month-old son and both work full-time (well, four full days a week for me). Late last week saw me have a flip-out because husband had been getting more and more absorbed by work and I was starting to feel very alone on the domestic side of things. I had a rather unfortunately timed vent just before he left for work on Friday, but he acknowledged the truth in what I was saying and I acknowledged a few truths about my own conduct and we spent the day reflecting (separately) on such.
    Happily, Friday also saw a conclusion of a few stressful work-related issues on his part and by Friday afternoon, he was a different man. We spent an excellent weekend together during which no mention of work was made. We also sorted out a few new ‘operational procedures’ for future domestic bliss that I’m looking forward to seeing implemented ;-)

    Geez, all that to say – ‘Love your work. Solidarity. May the force be with you.’ :-)

  23. Such a beautiful, honest and incredibly truthful post Beth. Loved it. Communication is definitely the key, and having children can make you forget that sometimes. I find that after spending day after day spent with a toddler, I start talking to Hubby like a toddler which isn’t helpful. If I’m going to communicate, it needs to be on an adult level. Marriage is a tricky business but when it’s good… It’s oh so good! Glad it’s getting better for you. xxxxx

  24. No doubt, talking with your partner is the answer. But you’ve also got to be honest. Ya gotta walk the talk!

    It’s so easy to drift apart, especially when you’re busy with the business of running a family and a house and a life.

    In my past I slogged it out. For years. We talked. But once I realised my ex had checked out of the relationship, and we couldn’t connect back to each other, I had to act. I had to walk the talk.

    One of the simplest things I did was ask myself, do I dig this person? Does he do it for me? And I was honest with my answer.

    Once I admitted my truth, talking helped us discuss the hard, massive decisions we needed to face.

    Talk is cheap if you’re not honest. Tell your truth and it will all work out in the end.

  25. Great post! We’ve been married for 21 years & are still learning this lesson, so well done :)
    I don’t think there is anything more important that communication in a marraige, I would also add time. It is so hard to find time in between work & children, but you need time as a couple to reconnect (or stay connected). Time for yourself is also hugely important (for me)
    x

  26. Gee youre a good woman Beth.
    In our 10 years of marriage we went through one VERY rocky time when the bags where nearly packed. At the time we couldn’t even talk to each other … so I went to a see a counsellor so that I could talk, get things straight in my head, work out how come I felt like I did and then we sat down and talked, really talked. Talking saved us.

    Thanks Beth!

  27. I love the fact that after 13 years together we can still do everything you mention in your last paragraph because we have no kids! Huzzah!!

    Marriage is work, anyone who tells you otherwise has obviously only been married for 5 minutes.

  28. Whitney Sigler says:

    This is just what I need today. My son and soon to be daughter in law. They are having a tough patch. A mistake made and she just isn’t letting go. Not talking,other then snipping. The have a 5 1/2 yr old and 2 yr old. So I’m going to share this with them thanks so much.
    Whitney

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  1. […] help. Don’t weigh up what you have done versus what HE has done. Just chat. It reminded me of this post that I wrote a few years back. Just talk. So simple and yet so very hard […]

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