Mr. & Mrs. Hyde

Here’s what I’ve noticed lately: being in limbo, for as long as we have been, has put an incredible amount of stress on our marriage; it’s put a lot of stress on our friendship. We’ve done our best to adapt to our surroundings and our circumstances, and we’re learning so much about what it truly means to be married. Because our marriage is still so young, we’ve spent a lot of time in the Honeymoon Phase, and being jolted right out of our comfort zone has really tested our relationship.

My favorite aspect of our relationship is our communication. Up until now, Husband and I have never argued. We never had fights or uncomfortable disagreements. We talk about everything, openly and honestly. He hears me out, I hear him out. He values my perspective, my ideas, my feelings and the same vice versa.

Lately however, things haven’t been quite so smooth. We’ve opened the floodgates somehow and all of our outside stressors are becoming imbedded in our marriage. We’ve started picking at one another over things that are completely irrelevant to our relationship, like his job and my family drama. We’ve got poor stress management skills and have been, unfortunately, using each other as relief. Just the other day, I found myself shouting at Husband about something completely trivial, all because I was so annoyed with something my mother did, but because I didn’t address my issue with her, Husband paid the price.

Last night, Husband said something to me during our shower about dishes, and I went right off the deep end. He said it with no ill-intention, but I was so offended that I didn’t speak to him the rest of the night. He sat beside me in the bed trying with all of his might to pull an explanation out of me, but I wouldn’t budge. I was so disgusted with what I felt to be a total lack of consideration. I was completely checked out in that moment, and went to sleep infuriated. I didn’t care that he was confused. I didn’t care that he didn’t understand why I took offense to what he said. I didn’t even care that he meant no harm. I was not having it. The next day, I was able to explain to him why I was so offended, but what alarmed me most was my complete disregard for his desire to work things out the night before.

And Husband is just as dry with me. I find myself having to ask for affection, or wondering if I’ve done something to earn the cold shoulder. I’ve brought this to his attention twice before, and both times he’s admitted to not even noticing his lack of attention to me. I don’t want to be a nagging wife, but I also shouldn’t have to feel like my husband doesn’t even want to be around me.

Our overwhelming stresses are beginning to bring out the worst in the both of us. We are officially starting to see the effects of, not just our individual stresses, but also our lack of dealing with those stresses. A lot has happened over the course of these nine months, and we’ve had very little time to cope, but we’re trying to keep up.

And don’t get me wrong, Husband and I spend the majority of our time in good spirits, but our fuses are getting shorter and shorter. We’re not as “lively” as we usually are. We’ve sort of stopped being all over each other, being romantic, and spontaneous. So, we started having those awkward conversations about how to rebuild the walls to keep the outside out and the inside in, so that when we are together, none of that other shit matters. We’ve decided to start a “date night” every week, just so we can be out and about, some place completely neutral, and just enjoy each other’s company, alone. We’ve decided to steer our conversations away from the bullshit too, to protect our friendship. I don’t want us to always talk about what’s bothering us. We can’t change what we can’t change, and that’s all there is to it.

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The Quiet After A Storm

Husband and I have made a relatively permanent move to Athens about a week ago. Long story short: I have a lot of issues with the women in my family, namely my mother and sister, and being in their territory was becoming a bit of a hazard. I was pushed far beyond my limit, and I needed OUT. So, here we are, in Athens, to stay.

Husband and I are doing much better here. He’s a lot closer to his job, which cuts his commute about 20 minutes. We also have a lot more privacy here. His dad is rarely around, and when he is, there’s no tension. The stress of being at mother’s house has diminished so much and is tangibly visible. My skin is so much clearer, my headaches have stopped, my nausea has subsided, and I just feel more peaceful.

We’re finally able to spend time together, talking freely, without fear of being overheard and redirected. My mother has developed this nasty habit of eaves dropping and sort of telling us how we should be living our lives. Here, we’ve been able to have a lot of easy conversation. I never really realized how structured our conversation had been at her house.

Recently we’ve been talking about finding a place here, now that we have an idea of what our prospective Peace Corps timeline may look like. I’ve also started the job hunt! I finally feel more confident in my body. I’m not spending so much time feeling sick or in pain. Plus, I’m getting rather bored. It’s been about nine months now that I’ve been on a medical leave, and I’ve NEVER spent this much time unemployed. I’m ready to move forward with my life; ready for our next phase.

When a Man Loves a Woman

I was so mad at Husband yesterday. I went on and on for an hour about how much more love I needed him to show me, and how much more I needed him to do. A lot of what I felt and said may have been valid in my own right, but since that conversation I’ve felt terrible. I have never known a man to love a woman, as much as my husband loves me, nor have I ever loved any single person as much as I love him. Sometimes, I don’t realize how much stress he really endures. I also don’t think I understand that despite how calm he acts on the outside, that it doesn’t mean he’s not completely overwhelmed on the inside…

…And I’ve given my husband many reasons to be incredibly overwhelmed with stress, fear, and worry. More than I may realize, and I’m just now suddenly taking notice. My husband is my backbone; he’s our pillar. He’s got to be, and I guess I’ve gotten so caught up in my own stress and my own lack of coping with it all, that I’ve forgotten that he too is a human being.

His wife is falling apart and still hasn’t turned up pregnant, he works with some of the most incompetent people I have ever heard of, our parents collectively are becoming too much to handle, and we’re still in between phases with the Peace Corps and grad school We’re basically in the middle of nowhere and he’s trying to make a run for it, but I can’t keep up.

I only know what it’s like, for me, to deal with news of infertility, trying to get back into the swing of things, trying to find ONE solid day where pain or sickness hasn’t consumed my every hour. I only know what it’s like for me, personally, to battle the fear, day in and day out, of never being able to have children, or being so completely overwhelmed with confusion and concern about what’s going to happen for us next, or feeling so completely powerless to my body and what’s going on with it. I don’t know what it’s like for him…

… I never even thought about it.

I never really once considered what HE may be feeling, seeing his wife sick and in pain everyday. I never really once considered the worry and concern that HE may have about our fertility troubles. I never really once considered how overwhelmed HE might be with the not-knowings of my medical wellbeing on top of all that other stuff he gets from every other direction.

But, according to my bitching yesterday, he still isn’t showing me enough.

When in actuality, he does.

He’s been there for every surgery, he’s been there for every stomachache, every pain and cramp, every prescription and every treatment. With every spell of nausea or discomfort, his world stops. He settles my soul after every conversation about the “what-ifs.” He is consistently THERE whenever I need him to be. He’s THERE even when I don’t need him to be. He is firm in his reassurance that no matter what happens, he’ll always be by my side, that he loves me more and more every day, and the happenings of my body don’t determine my degree of womanhood.

That man loves me more than he can express, and more than I can probably ever fathom. I am lucky. Lucky to have found the man that was specifically designed for me, and me alone…

…So yea, he could hug me more, or kiss me more, he could help me out a little more around the house, but my knowing how much he truly loves me will never falter.

I love you Husband, and you love me back, perfectly.

Soul Mates

Soul Mates

Decisions, Decisions… The Aftermath

After ALL that talk I did the other day about my withdrawing from NYU, and about how okay I was with it, I’m taking it back. All of it. Call me spazz whatever. It was a pretty pitiful sight though: me, in the car balling my eyes out to Husband about the situation. My confidence in my ‘decision’ lasted all of 45 minutes before I FREAKED THE FUCK OUT.

See, here’s the thing (just try and keep up):

1. I am enrolled at NYU in the MSW program. It’s clinical, which I don’t really care for, but you’ve heard it all already, it’s NYU, blah blah blah!! I’m technically on a medical leave but I can just submit my release papers via my OB/GYN and I’m good to go for the fall. We really don’t want to be in NY long term and I damn sure don’t want to have little Jenn&Tommy’s running around the concrete jungle. No thanks. BUT… if I get my degree from there I’m sure we’ll end up being stuck there because of my licensing and work opportunities, or whatever. Oh, and NY just so happens to be really expensive. And NYU…. The tuition… ain’t nobody got time for that!

Sea of Concrete.

Sea of Concrete.

Ran into Magic right after Orientation!

Ran into Magic right after Orientation!

2. We really, really want to go to Seattle. To live forever with a home and a garden with the kiddies and some dogs and all that holistic, west coast, earthly shit. I spent some time there a few years ago and I LOVED it, and our relationship really sort of blossomed there. It’s a special place to us. But it’s really far away from our family. Oh, and I applied to UW for their MSW program and was told that I’d know by February. It’s now March and I still have no word back. This is now my second attempt. If they let me, to hell with NY… we’re going straight to Seattle. First flight out with Apollo in hand! If they deny me, well… we haven’t figured that part out yet.

Space Needle.

Space Needle.

Mt. St. Helen's was around there somewhere.

Mt. St. Helen’s was around there somewhere.

3. In the midst of all of this, we (well, mostly I) decided that we should apply to the Peace Corps. I saw a big “Apply by February 28th to leave by the end of 2013 or early 2014” banner flash across the screen and we (mostly I) couldn’t pass that up. There’s really no telling how fast or slow that process will move because we are applying as a couple. They typically take a little longer to place couples than single people. I also really don’t think I’ll make it past the medical exam portion. My body is holding together by threads. But it’s been my goal to apply to the Peace Corps since high school. I start an application every year and never finish it. Finally, I can scratch that off my “To Do List” but yea… not sure I chose the best timing. Oops.

Photo courtesy of Google.

Photo courtesy of Google.

4. Endometriosis is really ruining my fucking life. I feel like there is a time bomb in my uterus and if I don’t have a baby TOMORROW, it’s going to blow my chances of ever having kids right to Mars. Nope. No pressure, and I really want to have a baby too. We both do. The baby fever is killing me. It’s on a really deep, conflicting, emotional level. I don’t know if it’s the fear of not being able to have babies that’s making me want one so badly, or if it’s that my body is really trying to tell me something. I love my husband with all my heart, and we talk about this all the time. We’ve even talked about starting Clomid, a fertility drug, in June.

5. Tommy wants to rejoin the reserves. He served seven years in the Air Force and he really misses the discipline. He says he had purpose then. I fully support and respect that decision. But he’s got to drop some weight in order to do so, and that’s kind of hanging in the balances because of our pending application with the Peace Corps.

Are you starting to see why I may be freaking out a bit??

Now, imagine trying to figure out the best combination of opportunities to satisfy the both us. Do I press pause on graduate school and a building career to try and have babies now, while I’m “fresh out” of surgeries and my chances for success are still pretty high so we can have a family? Or do we wait to have babies and live our lives, accomplishing things and trying to change the world and I potentially miss my chances of being able to create life with the man of my dreams? Oh, shoot… well what if the Peace Corps accepts us? Do we go? Hmmm. Seattle? New York? Babies? No babies? Peace Corps? Reserves?

It’s all a waiting game. Waiting to hear about school. Waiting to hear about jobs. Waiting to hear about Peace Corps. Waiting to hear about medical clearances. God, it’s exhausting. So that’s why we put NYU back on the table. No premature, irrational decisions. Not until we start to get some word back. It’s out of our hands still.

Anyone have any bright ideas, because so far… we’ve got nothing.

-Jenn