One of my earliest posts for My Mommy Manual was How To Move Past the Nit-Pick. I have taken my own advice. There has been a lot of deep breathing, accentuating the positive, and looking toward the long distance. However, it’s come to a point where I just cannot click and move on. In fact, there’s been a lot of clicking, but we’re not moving on. I am stuck with the question of how do I accept another’s shortcomings and still be authentic about what’s not working in our relationship.
My husband and I are at an impasse. We’re not communicating well. We’re not having sex. We can barely have a conversation right now without one of us taking a sassy tone with the other.
I’ve seen other relationships crack under the same pressure. He works too much. I feel over-burdened by having to manage all things related to the house. You know…keeping the house picked up (kids’ toys!), cleaning, laundry (oh the never-ending piles of laundry that need to be washed, folded or simply put away), meal planning and cooking, paying the bills and balancing the checkbook. Then there are our two boys with drop offs and pick-ups, soccer practice, swim class, homework and play dates. Let’s not forget the trips to the library, Target or whatever other household need there is. I’ve asked Husband to do the dishes after meals that I cook and yes, he has had to put away a load of laundry now and again. He’s complained that he’s doing a lot more around the house and I’m not doing enough. Them are fighting words, Buster Brown.
I’ve started working from home again. I cram 15 hours a week into the 12 or so hours I have when the boys are at daycare or kindergarten. I also volunteer in the classroom twice a month. No wonder I’m not doing as much or as well around the house.
We both feel the strain of little time and too much work. There is a lack of acknowledgement of each other’s pain because we’re so angry that we can’t get the kind words out past our own annoyance and upset. We’re stewing on our own self-made pot of resentment and isolation. Every attempt of conversation leads to more of the same thing: frustration, disappointment and dissatisfaction.
It’s time to seek professional help. I am ready to turn our arguments with each other into a fight for our relationship. I want us to work, but something has got to change. We can’t go on like this. I knew that signing on for a second marriage and taking the plunge into parenthood would be tough. Now my limits are being tested in ways that they haven’t been before and it’s uncomfortable.
Make no mistake, we’re both in it for the long haul and we both are committed to work this standoff out. We need someone else to hear our stories, to mediate, to show us the path back to love and care for one another. We need the lid to be removed from this pressure cooker and to stir our hearts a bit.
When we’re as stuck as we are and unwilling to budge, it’s time to get help. We’re seeking counseling. But can we agree on the practitioner? Stay tuned…
by Expert Mommy, Jen Hibbits