Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday Thoughts

Late last night as I lay in a hot bath, soaking up the scent of lavender (I have bath salts that have the oil and the petals in it), surrounded by candles, my husband called.  Now, I have made a hot bath an every few days thing lately, but he always calls right after I get out!  He was excited that I was able to turn on web cam so he could see me while we chatted.  There was nothing sexual about it, but it was sexy.  He said I looked stunning in the light and that he missed me a lot.  The feeling is mutual.  I am not lonely, because I keep busy and enjoy my own company.  But I do miss having my best friend around.

And while talking about his day ahead (they're now 7 hours ahead of us now that we've sprung forward an hour), and discussing the mundane day I had had, we got into a discussion about a discussion I had Sunday night about marriage.  Namely, that it's the hardest thing.  A friend was asked if raising a child was harder or if marriage was and both she and her husband agreed marriage was.  Not because raising a child is a piece of cake, but there are biological things that keep you going with that.  Marriage takes work, takes loving one another enough to put the effort in.

My take on it was this:  if this is the person you love the most there are two things that are true.   First, they will be able to hurt you more than anyone else.  And second, you will hurt them more than you thought possible.  It is because there is a safety in love, and though we should treat this person better than anyone, sometimes we are careless with our words and actions, sometimes we are angry and don't bite our tongue quickly enough.  I feel extremely blessed that my husband is my best friend and that even on our worst of days we usually have moments that are amazing, simply being together.  But I can admit that he has the ability to hurt me worse and more quickly than anyone I've ever known.  And that I have said things to him that I know I'll have to answer for to God someday, things I never would have thought I could so venomously say.  We have each had to cry out and ask for forgiveness.  We have had to pick ourselves up and forgive and move on with life.  Long haul marriage is not for weak people, that's for sure.

We are both learning an appreciation for one another we had never had before.  I am starting to see how much work even the little things he did can be.  Particularly when I think he was dealing with them before work while I was asleep!  Acts of love, that perhaps I took for granted (okay, I totally did).  For him, he says he's seeing how much even my cooking he took for granted.  I do it all the time, and while he's always appreciative, he sees now that it sucks to not have that.  He's thanked me for teaching him about foods, saying he's healthier than most guys there are because he knows to pack in the veggies and get as much fruit as possible, and to not eat questionable things.  He envied our pizza from Sunday, and when asked if they had any there he said yes....but that it looked disgusting.  Most don't know that my husband used to not only not eat well, but make horrible food choices.  A few years ago he would have been at that pizza bar frequently, whereas now he avoids it.  I also am the one who keeps him up to date on what needs to be done, what's been done, etc.  Over there he's having to rely on making lists himself.  I'm hoping that 6 months of that and he'll have it down!

I think him being away is a profound turning point in our marriage.  We're each learning to appreciate the other in a whole different way, and to find happiness on our own.  We've both relied on the other too much in the past, and though we're learning what a gift the other person's presence is, we're seeing how nice it is to socialize more.  I would compare us to twins who speak their own language and don't like to play with others.  We've enjoyed the company of each other so much that at times we have isolated ourselves and then drove each other crazy.  I'm looking forward eagerly to September to see how we put our changes into action.  Because it will be work.  Just because we now see what the other has done with more appreciation doesn't mean we'll instantly be right as rain and show our appreciation better.  But I'm hopeful that we'll be so happy to be together again that we'll cut each other a little slack as we learn a new dance. 

And oh, how I miss our dancing in the kitchen in the dark....but that's another topic all together.


  1. I try really hard to influence D to make good food decisions even when I'm not there. He told me that this weekend when he was out of town, he opted for a fruit cup instead of chips/fries, TWICE! It made me so happy to know that I'm slowly making him want to be healthier!

  2. I really appreciate what you said about your spouse being the one person who will hurt you the most in the world - not because they are especially mean or thoughtless (although our manners do become quite casual in marriage), but because you expect a level of perfection from that person. Unfortunately, as you said, the reverse is true, too (that I will be the one who hurts him the most).

    I often need my alone time and am an introvert by nature. My husband chats to me about everything - things I am not only uninterested in, but things that don't really need to be said out loud (I took the trash out, I filed the papers in my office, the Deadliest Catch guy died). I've accepted that I married an extravert, but I need to really embrace this fact and stop sort of punishing him for it.

    And THAT'S why marriage is hard. You really have to die to self.

  3. We do always treat the ones we love the most - as if our love can handle all our crap piled on top of it.

    I'm trying to change that about myself but I do it too.