Loud, ugly, and stupid

Last night, I posted from our date night. I entitled the post “Sweet sweet evening”. And it was, for most of the evening. Then, we got home.

I’m pretty sure the neighbors heard us yelling. It was loud. It was ugly. It was stupid.

We were tired, and an argument broke out. But in the midst of trying to be heard, our motivations both changed, mutating into something neither of us desire for our relationship. So, we yelled. We were mean. We wanted to be right. We forgot our love, our vows, and our God, and both selfishly went down a road that leads to nothing.

There were apologies before bed. There were more this morning. And then, on the way to church, I asked, “Do I need to edit last night’s post?” We both groaned.

Our family reads the blog. Coworkers read it. Our friends read it. Strangers read it. We set out to be honest here– delivering an honest daily account of year one. But no one wants to read that a date night ended in an epic fight. I hate to write it. But that’s what happened.

I wish the clear headed version of myself from today could step into last night and slap the angry, selfish person I was then. I vowed to Brian that I would put his needs ahead of my own. I vowed to love him selflessly. But I didn’t remember any of that last night. All I knew was that I was hurt and I wanted my hurt to be known.

The biggest enemy to my marriage is in me– my own selfishness and pride. If I seek my own desires and put myself first, I will destroy this marriage.

I told my beloved this morning, as I held him in my arms, that I never wanted to yell at him again. I told him that I love him and I’m sorry for everything.

He forgave. I forgave.

We had a great day today. We even told our friends about the fight at church. We told another group at lunch. We both admitted fault and would squeeze the other’s hand as we spoke.

We promised to be honest, so here it is: Marriage is difficult. Sometimes, even on date night.

It blew up

So, I’m sitting there on Sunday at church, just zoning out. It wasn’t that there was anything wrong with the sermon on the Gospel & Work, it’s just that, well– I didn’t really feel like I needed to hear it.

I work at this unique little Christian school with loving women who are called to teach. It’s so different than public school. Every woman I work with is doing what we do because they have the gift of teaching and they truly love God and children. And then there are my students– oh, my students! What a precious group of personalities! They make it a pleasure to go work every day. They are so dear to me.

So… I wasn’t really listening. I have a sweet situation at work. The sermon wasn’t really for me.

And then on Monday, work blew up.

It was misunderstanding after misunderstanding. The parents I’m supposed to be “partnering with” to educate their children were coming at me. Every time I tried to reach out to one of them, I got my hand slapped. It was nuts! And then we had a meeting where I realized my sweet situation would not look anything like this next year. It blew up.

Now– nothing catastrophic occurred, so I should clarify. I’m not leaving my school or anything– my job will just look different than it does now. And most situations with parents ended up working out in the end (after some drama). But my serene scene was definitely disrupted and this was a stressful, hectic, exhausting week of work.

Know what I’m doing tomorrow? I’m listening to that sermon again. Only this time, I’m going to actually listen.

PS– I just have to say this– it’s 8:24pm on a Friday evening and Brian is already asleep. And snoring. That’s the week we’ve had. Long hours for both of us. But he listened to the sermon the first time. I dare say he was more prepared than I for the week we just had. I’m not far behind him. At least for tonight, there is rest for the weary 🙂

The biggest conflict?

I had a few drinks with guys from church this evening and an interesting question was asked of me. My friend Doug asked me: “in being married almost a year, what’s been the biggest conflict?”

Honestly, I had to think about it. There were a couple that jumped to mind, our differences in how we want keep the house, the differences between a morning person and a night person, etc. But then it hit me clear as a bell.

“The fact that I deeply want to solve her problems for her, when she just wants a sympathetic husband to listen to her.”

Doug, the only other married guy at the table, responded immediately with a, “Oh, I get that.” The other guys were a bit surprised at the answer.

“Really? That’s the biggest conflict?” Joseph asked me.

I replied that it really was and Doug backed me up that it made a lot of sense. We went on to have a good discussion about men and women and how we are designed very, very, differently. But that’s not the point I want to make.

I guess what I have to say is this: if after eleven months the biggest conflict I could identify was one that seems to be almost ubiquitous, then we must be in okay shape. Right?

What do you think, married readers? Is that one of the most common sources of conflict?

 

A point of contention

This blog is, many times, a point of contention. Are you blogging tonight? No, I blogged the past three nights. That’s not true, I blogged on…

As if newlyweds needed anything else to try to figure out in their first year.

But on Sunday, when Brian and I wished each other a Happy 11 Months, the first thing out of his mouth following that was, “One more month of the blog!”

It’s been good to write. And it’s actually been a good thing to have something force you to write. But writing EVERY day— that’s been a challenge. And with the crazy schedules we talk about all the time on here, it’s been even more of one. I won’t lie– there have been fights that started from a conversation about the blog. I don’t think they were ever explicitly about the blog, but nevertheless, mentioning the blog in this house can cause some real tension.

But I know I’ll miss it. I already told Brian that I want to have my own blog for teaching and crafting and vintage adventures. He suggested that I do that on here, though I don’t think this is the right place for that. This is the place we chronicled the first entire year of man and wife, not the place for my next Pinterest project. (Though, on a side note, we made some delicious low-fat chicken taco chili from a Pinterest pin on Monday– awesome!)

It will be nice, though, not to have to check my phone first thing in the morning when it was Brian’s night to do the blog and he hadn’t gotten to it when I went to bed, just to make sure he posted. I will be nice to not be constantly keeping a mental note of how many times I have posted in a given week to use as leverage, or to have expectations for my spouse to volunteer to post– expectations that I never verbalized but undoubtedly got upset with him for failing to meet. It will be nice.

Less than a month now. I think we can handle that. Thanks for hanging with us for the past 11 months 🙂

Cedar isn’t good for my marriage

Seething at cedar, angry at allergies, and pissed at pollen. Ugh!

Yes, yes– I’ve already told you all that we’re suffering from cedar fever. But it’s just that today I really began the suffering part. I had been tolerating the stuff for a week, controlling the situation with my tried and true regiment. But today, the game changed.

I’m a sniffling, sneezing, coughing, red-nosed, nasal-sounding, runny nosed, cranky mess. And I work with children. They handled me well, though my patience wore thin during the morning pledges.

Actually, the patience thing has been true at home for several days– for both of us. We’ve been quick to criticize, low on the grace, and apt towards anger all week. That’s not like us. I didn’t realize it until today.

When I get tired and worn out, I refer to my change in attitude as my “sugar coating wearing off”. My husband never does have a sugar coating. He’s blunt when he’s polite. But there’s his polite-blunt, his matter-of-fact-blunt, and his blunt-blunt. It’s been a blunt-blunt week.

We’ve had tiffs over some of the dumbest stuff, and we aren’t giving each other an inch. And I’m fairly certain the foggy heads, loads of meds, and lack of solid sleep deserve the blame. But cedar season has only just begun. We can’t keep this up– it’s no fun. I want my sweet marriage back!

So, pollen– here’s the deal: my husband and I are on the same team. You will NOT divide us. We are united against you– and we will annihilate you! You may have made some headway by causing a shortage of 24 hour Sudafed within a reasonable radius of my home… but I’m a Texas girl. And everyone knows you don’t mess with Texas!

(Starting to think all the meds are having an affect on my writing ability… hmm. Off to down some Nyquil, stuff some Kleenex plugs in my nose, and try to sleep… )

Bonus for you all

I’m rather peeved right now. I’m peeved because it’s my husband’s night to blog. It’s my husband’s night, he said he would do it, and after three hours of Women’s Development, I come home and he’s asleep. When I tell him to wake up and do the blog, he says he will, and in 30 seconds is snoring louder than he was when I woke him up.

Okay, let’s be honest– I’m actually pissed. I woke up long before him this morning and am now up long after him. I was on my feet all day, had an emotional evening (that I’d really like to talk to him about right now), but no– he decided to go to bed before his responsibilities were taken care of.

This is marriage, folks. I’m pissed at the snoring lump beside me. I want desperately to be asleep (since I have to wake up in six hours), but I’m so livid at my husband that unless I stop and pray and forgive him, I’ll just lay awake for another half hour thinking about how upset I am and potentially plotting against him.

I need God. I need God to help me to be the wife I committed to be even when my husband isn’t living up to who I think he should be or my expectations… or even when I’m tired and cranky and am wondering why in the word we committed to write every single day for this first year. On the upside– you don’t typically get to see this side of me– so there’s the bonus for you all. I am normal and I do get mad.

So, I’m signing off tonight upset, but with the knowledge I can’t stay this way. We posted the fruit of the Spirit in our home for a reason– those are our marriage goals. I’m pretty low on the love, patience, and kindness right now– and I am wrong for that. Brian takes care of me when I am worn out, so tonight, I should see this as my turn. I pray that I can see that.

How epic is this battle?

I love my husband, but he can be frustrating. One major frustration is that he claims he doesn’t hear me. I haven’t had any luck finding one of these in stores, but I’ll keep looking…

old time ear trumpets

But seriously, he’s too young to be losing his hearing. Personally, I think he’s distracted. He’s a perpetual multi-tasker. That’s nice for him, getting multiple things done at once, but nothing is getting his full attention… not even me. I often direct my anger at this member of our family when I can’t get his attention…

iphone-big

…though he insists he’s still listening. Tonight as he played on his iPhone while waiting for the movie to begin, I not-so-subtly asked when date night was. On date night, Brian’s phone is not invited. Don’t think he got the hint.

I keep hearing from other wives that their men develop selective hearing throughout marriage. I am hoping this is not the case, though Brian tends to hear all comments about food and technology and sex. Interesting. 

Sigh.

I guess I’m wondering if this is something we can work out, or if this is a battle we will fight until the end.

i-cant-hear-you_1

Home sweet home

Home at last!

We’ve been gone since last Sunday morning and it’s been a Christmas and family whirlwind. A wonderful whirlwind.

There were lots of highlights over the past week. We celebrated with six different groups of our sweet family. We were spoiled rotten with lots of presents 🙂 We had precious baby time with our adorable nephew. We had lots of road-talk-time, which for us means conversations from theological to nonsensical. We saw ‘Les Miserables’ on screen and can’t stop singing the songs. I won the song lyric game with Brian’s family. Brian set up my Gran’s new computer and customized the settings for her. Watching him love her so well makes me love him even more– as if that were possible. I was way more normal with Brian’s family than last Christmas– yay! And, we had snow! 

And, as with everything in life, there were some tough parts of the last week, too. Sometimes family can be tough– our own or the other’s. And it’s difficult to be away from your home and your bed. It is challenging to be with people 24/7 for days on end, especially when you want some time to yourself. Lola was a pain– her UTI caused several indoor accidents, and her aggression toward other dogs made it tricky to house her or let her run around. Neither of us slept well all week. Suffice it to say, there were hard moments. That’s life.

But… we’re home now. Home sweet home.

We’ve been home a couple of hours and haven’t done much. I folded laundry and watched a few episodes of Friday Night Lights Season 4. Brian cleaned his new gun. We ordered a pizza. Now, we’re in bed at 9:30. We’re either really lame or pooped. Maybe both.

We had a great first married Christmas. Now, we’re going to have a great first night’s sleep back in our own bed on our brand new sheets (thanks, Karen!).

An interesting point of conflict

After eight months we have discovered an interesting point of conflict, blog posts. Specifically, who is posting on the long, tiring, or boring days.

Don’t get me wrong, we genuinely like posting here. It gives us a great chance to reflect on what’s going on, to think about our days and our interactions. Overall, this has been a great experience so far.

But, the newness has worn off and our busy schedules are taking their toll. Multiple times in the last week we have had some version of the following conversation:

“Are you going to post today?”

“I don’t know, do you want to?”

“I can.”

“Okay.” Pause. “Are you sure?”

“I guess.”

Not exactly leaping at the opportunity, huh? To be fair we both do this, and I suppose it’s normal. We have not missed a day since we got married, and frankly our life isn’t all that exciting every single day. There are some days when the ideas are hard to come by.

All that said, more often than not we really do enjoy this, and we are glad you all take the time to follow our little project. A constant topic of conversation in our house is the other person’s posts. We find insight that we would not have gotten any other way, or we get to see a situation through the other person’s eyes. In the end, this has been a fantastic thing for our marriage.

Even though there are specific days when I may not have a good topic, or I’m too tired to sit down a write a quality post, I still enjoy this. Honestly, I’m still looking forward to writing and reading this blog for the next three and a half months. Even the boring days.

Frustrated with the man

He did it again. I was just trying to tell him about my day and he had to butt in and try to fix it! Ugh!!!

I got a tad hostile. “Look,” I said, “I just wanted to tell you about my day.”

“Well, Linz, if you tell me that a friend of ours isn’t doing so well, then we need to talk about what we can do.”

He is so frustrating! Does he think that I am not trying to help our friend?! Does he think I don’t know that?! Arrghhh!

I snapped. He got defensive. Then, I needed to get off the phone. The problem was, we’re apart tonight, so this phone call was “goodnight.”

Silence for a moment. We’re both thinking the same thing– don’t go to bed angry.

The truth is, it’s sweet that Brian wanted to talk through the thing with our friend. He’s a fixer– that’s all he was trying to do. And on my end, I felt like I was being interrrupted and disrespected. I didn’t need to react the way I did. I thought through this. We, then, started over.

We chatted. Things ended well. We said “I love you.” We said goodnight.

I get frustrated with the man. I will probably always get frustrated with the man. But I love the man and the man loves me. I hope we can (more often than not) just take a breath, think things through, and do a little restart… like tonight.