I’ve been thinking about whether or not I wanted to write this post, but I feel as though I want to, because I think it shows a different layer to my relationship with M, beyond the puppies and rainbows of love, to the realities of our past marriages and habits.
So, here goes.
I notice some parallels to our pasts that I wonder if these challenges fall more under ‘victims of circumstance’ or if they are truly challenges specific to just M and just me. (that will hopefully make sense in a minute).
For example, one thing M said contributed to the downfall of his marriage was his job. Meaning, his hours, the demanding schedule, weekends being on-call (every 6 weeks or so, not every weekend, thankfully), and the mental toll his job takes on him.
Sometimes his mind isn’t ‘in the moment’ but thinking back to a patient he diagnosed earlier in the day (from ‘did I do the right thing’ to ‘I can’t believe a patient paged me at 3 am to have a prescription refilled!’). Sometimes these things make him anxious or stressed or annoyed. And once in awhile, that means I actually see him get short with me or be overly cynical at times and that’s hard to watch.
It happened this weekend. He got paged incessantly. More than I’ve ever seen. All night Friday, all day Saturday, several times last night. By Saturday afternoon, he was reaching his limit. And he got short with me when I called over to him to tell him his phone was ringing again (he was in the bathroom, I told him twice. He came out and said ‘I heard it!” and turns out, he already said that but I hadn’t heard him. Regardless, his annoyance was palatable, not that I could blame him.) What frustrated me was that his annoyance was rubbing off on me and he was allowing the fact that he was on-call ruin his mood. I let him be for an hour or so and then he asked if I was mad at him.
This is where my own past parallel comes in.
I instinctively said no.
Rather than tell him that I was frustrated that he was allowing work to put a damper on the weekend and our ‘making the best of it’ since we couldn’t go to Maine together since he was on-call, I kept my mouth shut.
That was a big downfall in my marriage, for me. Stewing. Not being honest with what was bothering me. It is something I work at constantly now, and perhaps not always in a good way…meaning, I then tend to overcommunicate sometimes and/or overreact when something bothers me, than to let it simmer and then regroup.
I realized what I was doing and as my mind was going wild wondering if this parallel – his job coming between him and his relationship in the past – was starting to surface with me – and my parallel – keeping my mouth shut when I should just lay it out there – was starting to surface as well.
To be honest, I think I was overthinking a bit on work coming between us. I firmly believe that we both have a good work/life/relationship balance and that we are nowhere near trainwrecksville when it comes to this parallel. I do, however, think that it is something M still has to work on, falling into old habits, as do I.
I can’t do it for him. I can only support him through it as he finds his path.
So, we aren’t perfect. Neither of us. Together, we fit so damn well. We really do. And the love is…just there. All around us. And I know that we can face these parallels head-on and work together to make sure we form a union that has that right mix of give-and-take, communication, balance, love and happiness. I sense our next challenge approach as we move in together in about 6 weeks, but I also sense the next phase of our love…and it will be epic.
This is all about exploration. Redefining. Moving past old habits. Making new ones. Figuring each other out. It’s a love-in-progress at its finest.
And I’m as committed as ever to put in the effort…because more than ever, this man is the man for me. In so many, many ways.
PS – check me out!
I’m over at Divorced Before 30, talking about how divorce made me stronger. Emma is taking submissions for a variety of topics, so divorced (or soon to be!) friends, take a look and submit your stories!
I’m also at the barre n9ne studio blog, talking about why the barre n9ne challenge changed my perspective (and my life)!