Fighting it out

Oh my gosh, this whole time change thing is soooo hard!! I’m only responsible for ME and when I had to get out of bed this morning at – gasp – 7:30, I had a husband who was giving a wide berth because of the puke green aura of unpleasantness hovering in my general vicinity. Thank God for dunkin’ donuts coffee and sunny daffodils on our table.

It didn’t help that we started a fight – THE fight – last night at 10:00 right when it was time for us both just to read for 10 minutes and go to sleep. Here’s how it goes: it starts 72 hours earlier when Henry starts his work week and immediately loses any extra energy he may have gained over the weekend. He is a zombie when he gets home from work. On his lunch breaks he comes in with greasy hair that he didn’t wash due to sleeping in and crashes into bed for 30-40 minutes, grabs and apple and plods back to work. He’s so exhausted all the time that I think he simple doesn’t have brain power to give me more than perfunctory kiss when he gets home.

I thought about this yesterday as I was doing the breakfast dishes. I get huffy with him way too often for forgetting things I “just” told him: people’s names, some detail about my day or my life or something I want or want to do. I realized that if I protected him in public when he forgets other people’s names, for instance, by reminding him sweetly I would probably do a lot more toward making the subject of this interaction feel comfortable plus not making him feel like an outcast than I do by being critical.

Anyway…during this 72 hours I’m starting to feel neglected and lonely but I don’t know it because I’m so well-attuned to being lonely. I’ve adapted (or maybe I should say mal-adapted) so well that it seems harder to ask for togetherness. It IS harder, actually. It means listening to him and meeting him halfway, loving him the way he needs. I’m getting better, but I’m not there yet. Then inevitably I snap at him when he complains about work or for some other reason and he brings it up during the only time have together (no surprise) – when we’re getting in bed. And I get super angry because it’s easier to reject than be rejected.

So…you all know all this psycho-babble. Very helpful. Moving on. Bascially THE fight boils down to:

Jenn: “You’re not present enough. You never pay attention to me.”

Henry: “I’m so tired.”

And it ends with alot of complaining on my part about how much I hate what his job does to him and how little money we make and how I feel trapped and him complaining about how he feels trapped and tired all the time and doesn’t see an end in sight. Then I have a bunch of grandiose plans about how I’ll fix everything somehow that leave me tired before I even finish thinking them and I still don’t see an end in sight. Help us Jesus!

So we wound it down with a prayer that was basically me saying all the negative things I thought and felt about the situation and asking for a changed heart if nothing else would change.  

Isn’t that what it all boils down to? There is not enough positive self-talk in the world to change a heart. I know there are so many people in the world who live through harder times every day of their lives and die in poverty. Some of those people are happier and more hopeful than us, too. I know what I need in those moments is just to sit still and listen rather than doing all of my clamoring and plotting and getting exhausted. It’s hard. Lord have mercy.

2 thoughts on “Fighting it out

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  1. hi jenn…this is an extremely random comment, but i landed soundly on my backside at this entry (after falling through the various interwebular chutes and ladders of facebook and other such time-suckers) and couldn’t leave without saying something. this is what really caught me:

    “I’m starting to feel neglected and lonely but I don’t know it because I’m so well-attuned to being lonely. I’ve adapted (or maybe I should say mal-adapted) so well that it seems harder to ask for togetherness…And I get super angry because it’s easier to reject than be rejected.”

    there really isn’t anything i could add to elaborate upon a very succinct and self-perceptive realization. i simply want to say that i’ve resonated deeply with this (mal)adaption for so many years, and although i’m a highly introspective and articulate person, i don’t think i truly realized it until reading these words of yours. i also have to admit that though it shouldn’t, it always comes as a shock to hear that married people can still be lonely (i won’t be offended if such preconceived notions make you snort).

    what good do we do by pretending we are perfect, nothing is wrong, marriage solves all our problems, life is easily lived? none. so thanks for keeping it real. i have to believe that benefits not just you, but everyone else, too.

    kristen (krier…yes, from women’s chorale!)

    1. Kristen! Thank you. So glad to know it resonated with you and glad that the message I am always trying to reassure single girls with (marriage is lonely too…why else would we go to Jesus?) got to someone!

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