My marriage is work. There is no way around it. It's hard work, frustrating work, happy work, fun work, annoying work, fulfilling work.
It's everything. But I'm not mad about it. Oh no I love that it's work.
I have a friend that does not want her relationship to be work. And here is what happens. She gets frustrated with her husband and she tells everyone but him. So then she sits silently upset about what he did, he is oblivious and now is bound to do it again and slowly the resentment starts to grow.
Her #1 complaint that he doesn't compliment her. She said this to me and I felt my body twinge. I knew that complaint all too well.
Before we had Grayson our marriage was different. Not better just different, we had more time one on one and lets face it less responsibility, less pressure, and less worries. Enter our bouncing baby boy and our marriage went into shambles.
Exhaustion took over and so the kindness disappeared. We were snappy and short with each other and it felt like our marriage was slowly slipping away.
We were in the same book but on two totally different pages. I was so sad and worried about my family falling apart. I decided that I was not going to let it happen and scheduled a dinner alone with my husband ASAP. We talked for the first time in months about us and not the baby. He felt like he was trying so hard to help and I still wasn't happy . He needed to hear that what he was doing was helping us and our family. A light bulb went off for me. He needed me to tell him thank you, and I appreciate you.
I wasn't complimenting him enough for how good he was at bath time or how the dinner he made was wonderful and so helpful.
We decided right there that we would try to at least 3 times a day compliment the other one. We are not perfect at this but we try really hard.
Some days I give him 10 compliments other days it might only be 2. But I try really hard. This makes it so easy to take step back in the chaos and notice that hey we are in this together.
I work everyday to remember I'm not alone in this. My biggest struggle was my guilt. It is still there today but Michael helps me by telling me on Friday I'm going to get a pedicure and he is picking up Grayson from school. This forces me to take some me time because otherwise I would talk myself out of it.
Going through tough times are hard. We pull together but sometimes we fall apart too. I have a sharp tongue and I tend to hold it all in until it comes out in an ugly way. But in the 7 years we have been together we have learned how to fight. And yes I mean fight. We do fight, not everyday but it happens. However we don't yell, or call each other names because that it just not productive. If we get upset we walk away. We cool down. We come back express our feelings and work through it. Sometimes we have to walk away a few times because something the other ones said triggers anger again. But the key to this is we always come back. Always. Without fail I'm walking back to fight it out with that man no matter what.
Marriage is work. Any relationship is really but marriage more than any other because your dealing with a ton of relationships with one person. A friend, a lover, a partner,and a spouse. Those are a lot of different levels of emotions to deal with. All areas need nurturing and so it takes work.
Being married to Michael is the best job out there. It's 24/7 and sometimes I get to punch out and just be Katlin but it's not a job I will ever leave and it's not a job I will ever get tired of.
I guess all this to say that I'm happy to be working so hard for something with someone who puts in just as much work.