Thursday, November 6, 2008

I was feeling particularly pissy with my husband the other day….

I heard a line form a movie that sums up how I’ve felt the last couple days, including this morning.
From tired wife to her husband: “You don’t need ME to meet every single one of your needs at the exact moment you need them met!”

He has been walking around for DAYS saying, what do we have to eat? Instead of pulling out great leftovers and popping them into the microwave, he wants me to do it FOR him. At times I enjoy doing it for him. Other times, I just don't have the oomph to

===== Any way I slice it, what I wrote here wasn’t nice. It didn’t reflect the person I am or want to become. So I have removed the “husband bashing” portion. A couple people caught it before I retracted.=====

He hasn't gone through grueling cancer treatments that may or may not work. How could he rank that?

I was about to yell at my husband and tell him I have the ultimate excuse. I have cancer. That’s a damn good excuse. Yes. Damn good. Then I realized, perhaps it’s not the ultimate excuse. Things could always get worse. They REALLY COULD.
I still have all my limbs. They still function. Though it hurts, I can still walk. We still have a roof over our heads. We have a beautiful, smart, loving daughter. I’m still married to the man I was attracted to at the age of 13. He doesn’t have an abusive bone in his body. He’s an animal lover to the hilt. He truly loves and cares about his family. Men just have a different way of showing it. He is a joke cracking, belly laugh funny kinda guy, friendly to everyone. He always does something to make you forget instantly that you were even infuriated with him in the first place, which reminds me why I love him. And I feel guilty about even thinking things like this, much less writing about them. He works hard. VERY hard despite his back problems. He takes out the garbage and does his own laundry. Even though he ticks me off, I still love him and wouldn’t want to be with anyone else. I still have my loving and supportive mother. I have damn good in-laws (sorry I’m bitching about him!)

In the beginning, the initial shock, he was fantastic. Now that he sees me walking around and talking, he thinks everything is perfect great. No pains, no sickness, I don’t need help. I think he just needs a bit of a kick in the pants. Instead of dwelling, HE is trying to bring as much normal to the situation as possible. How can I bash him for that?


Robin Easton said...

Dear Carol,

I was moved to tears here by your honesty and courage. I also want to encrouage you to set the boundaries and guidelines you need to to look after yourself. I just had discussion about this with a friend this AM. And she doesn't have cancer but is going through similar wife/husband dynamics. Interestingly enough once she put her foot down and didn't "do" anymore, her partner started to grow. We were talking about how in our mother's generation (and I am older than you) but how our mother's often did everything for their sons: laundry, dishes, cooking, etc. And how some men in our culture can tend to still expect that...not all but it was definitely often taught to men that Moms/women would take care of all the "home" type stuff. And women were often taught that they were supposed "do" all the home type stuff. I know couples who both work and yet the wife still gets home and cooks supper for the family while the husband watches TV.

I think when we dare to set the boundaries we need, including demanding help, then we not only grow and change ourselves as women, but we change the dynamic around us. We are (in the long run) actually giving ourt partners a gift, by teaching them to be more idependent. Everyone grows. It's a bit like the old adage of "tough love can rock the boat and make us feel like we're being mean or asking too much, etc., when in fact it really is a gift and makes everyone grow."

I encourage you to have courage and I also don't judge you or your husband; it's often a very typical situation even between couples who love each other deeply. I think it took great courage to write this post. It's obvious that you love your husband, but you are going through one of the hardest things any humanbeing can go through on the planet.

I REALLY encourage you to shamelessly :) take the time you need for YOU. Demand it because other's may not be able to give it willingly as they literally may not be able to grasp the full extent of what you are going through and what you have been through. Sometimes it's hard to fully understand that which we've not experienced. So, like my Dad once told me, "...don't wait for others to give your what you need, just take the time you need, as other's may not even know to give it to you." I never forgot that.

I keep you in my prayers and would have been over here sooner but have been really running slow with blogging and commenting. I got very tired as I was working 24/7.

I want you to know that you are with me and I am sending you love and hugs. You are one guttsy honest brave woman.


Carol said...

You are very wise. I can't say it any other way. You are wise and so very insightful. You saw right through the written words. Which I have now changed.(yes my husband grew up with a mother that did everything for him and the family jokes even wiping his ass, bless her dear heart. My mother did that. Worked full time and took care of the family, and house. I see myself doing the same thing for my daughter!) I was one of those people that worked 50 hours a week took care of the child & house, had dinner on the table. I changed before this, and this situation changed me further.
(Gutsy is a nice way of putting it!)
What it boils down to is evolution of typical marriage, and we just happen to be The Bickersons.

Your words consistently bring tears to my eyes, and then, opens them.
Thank you for that.

soulMerlin said...

Hi Carol ~ Maybe your husband is in a sort of denial about your condition...having said that, I understand the 'having everything done for him' syndrome. I was an only child and my mother doted on me and did everything for me...still dressing me when I went to infants school. She did the same for my father and even when she was close to the end, she had to be stopped trying to do everything. Because of that, I became rather helpless about meals and domestic things - and I still am, unless I conscously check myself. You could say that I have a tendency to be a lazy male...

No solutions here, except to remind him from time to time and also for me to send you my love and best wishes.


ps: It's a really well-written gripe! :)