Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Deep Pit

I've been silent.  I have post ideas floating around in my head, but I just can't bring myself to sit down and write lately.  I'm doing really well with the exercise stuff and eating healthy and all of that.  I think I may actually be down a few more pounds, but I'm avoiding the scale for now.  I'll check in with it in another week or so.

So, here's the reason for my silence....I've fallen into a deep, dark pit.  I'm not quite sure how to get myself out of it or how I ended up in it.  The longer winter drags on, the worse it gets.  But it's even more than that.  I have a new analogy for you:  Marriage is like a car.  If you forget to fuel it up, do the regular maintenance, it ends up abandoned along the side of the road somewhere.  If you don't turn the ignition on a daily basis, it doesn't run.  A few weeks ago, my husband and I had a marriage counseling session.  In the words of our therapist, my husband speaks German, I speak French.  For my husband, the things that say "I love you" are actions.  Like cooking a meal, doing the laundry, changing the oil in my car, spending three hours on a Saturday, trying to pop a dent out of the front of my car.  For me, I couldn't care less about the dent in my car and the laundry, the cooking, the oil change, are things that just simply have to get done at some point.  Not that I don't appreciate him doing those things, but I don't look at the three hours spent trying to pop that dent out of my car and go, "Oh my, look how much he loves me?"  For me, the things that say, "I love you" are random acts of affection, a card that was picked out and left for no special reason, an email during the day to tell me that he's thinking about me.  For me, it's all about the mush.  I need that.  Those are the things that fill up my tank and give me the energy to keep on going.  At the end of our appointment, our assignment was to make more of an effort to do things that the other person would interpret as love instead of doing the things that we think say, "I love you".  I threw myself into it.  I tried to do something every day.  I picked up the living room so it was spotless.  I swept and mopped.  I had the house clean several days before Leo's birthday party instead of waiting until the last minute.  I cooked meals and made more of an effort.  And then I noticed something; my husband wasn't making the same effort.  And I gave up.

Here's a fact that I'm becoming painfully aware of....if my marriage falls apart, it's going to be because I've given up and chosen to walk away.  My husband would never leave me.  I know that.  But, I don't know for sure why that is.  He has an amazing sense of duty and responsibility.  He adores our children, even though they may drive him nuts on a daily basis.  I know those things.  But I don't know that he loves me wholly and unconditionally.  I don't know if he's even capable of loving me in the way that I need him to.  He's used to being the caretaker, the responsible one.  But he's not used to making himself vulnerable or allowing someone else to help him.  I know that he loves me, but I don't know that he needs me.  If that makes any sense at all.  I adore him.  He's a wonderful person, an amazing human being.  A strong, faithful, loyal, beautiful man.  The problem is, I need more than that.  I need to be needed.  I need him to open up to me, talk to me, spend time with me.  I need so much more than just someone who pays the bills, takes care of the house, and shares the child-raising duties.  But because he already does so much and takes so much responsibility for things, I don't feel like I can tell him that.   How do I tell him that the one thing I need from him is the one thing he finds the hardest to do?  He's not good about showing his feelings and showing vulnerability.

Anyway, I needed to get all of that out.  I keep bottling it up and it just festers until it overflows.  Feelings like these shouldn't be bottled up.  They need to be let out before they cause further damage.  If you're still reading, thanks for allowing me to vent and stick through it.  Right now, my task is to find a way to refill my own tank so I have the energy and motivation to keep going, to keep putting effort and love into my marriage.  Once spring arrives, that'll slowly start to get easier to do, I think.  Until then...I just might be considering hitting up a tanning salon to get some Vitamin D production going!


  1. I'm glad you have a place to vent. I'm not going to give you words of wisdom or try to tell you what you need to do. I just wanted you to know that I read it and I <3 you and hope the best for you and your family.

  2. Oh, my friend.

    It is crazy how different husbands and wives are. One thing that helped us was going away for a weekend on a marriage retreat. It was actually before we had kids...when we first began noticing some communication issues. We looked at the time away as if it were an opportunity to skill-build for our careers or learn a new hobby. We entered into it with intentions to leave with new skills. Fortunately, we left the weekend feeling motivated to hang in there for the long far, so good, but I can't tell you how often I wish we could go back for a review. (ONE DAY!)

    I believe in marriage. Having witnessed the divorce of my parents...and feeling the turmoil of trying to raise a family of my own in it's wake. Their divorce has affected me more now, as a grown adult with children of my own, than it ever did as a kid. I wish so badly that my parents would have given our family more of an effort. Of course I can't talk to either of them about it. Because they're wrapped up in their own worlds...just like they were wrapped up in their own worlds when we were falling apart. I was always the one who had to hold it together...being strong...being tough...well, it FREAKING SUCKED THEN AND IT SUCKS NOW!

    Wow. That felt good. Thanks :)

    It is what it is.

    Anyway, here's a link to the marriage retreat we attended. I'm sorry it's all I have to offer, but please know I will keep you guys in my prayers....

  3. Hi Cindy,

    I have missed you and sensed something was up due to your absence in the blogging world. I have been a little worried. I am glad you are OK, but sad that you are going through these feelings and frustrations and disappointments in you marriage right now.

    I don't really have any helpful tips. I know that Dave and I hit "rocky" roads here and there. There are times we are "abandoning our car" and then we go back and refuel. It is hard when there are times you feel the car was abandoned so far back on the road. It is tough to turn around and go back to get to get the fuel to refuel it.

    I too, like Wendy, come from a broken home. I think when that happened, when my parents divorced, is when I lost some of my innocence as a child. I took that "wholesome-y" family feeling for granted as a kid...when my parents separated I realized it. Hang in there friend. I heart you BIG TIME!

  4. Oh Cindy... my heart hurts for you. Your car anology is a great one. Fred and I go through rough patches all the time, and it"s mostly due to one or both of us not getting our needs met.

    Have you ever read the book, "The five love languages"? It expands on what your therapist was talking about.

    I also come from a broken home, although for me it happened when I was older (23). It doesn't hurt any less and it ripped my entire family apart. As Wendy said, IT SUCKS.

    Praying for you!

  5. I was going to suggest The Five Love Languages, too! I have no wonderful advice. Just wanted to give you a ((hug))!

  6. I wish I had some amazing words of wisdom, but alls I can say is it is tough. I think raising two young children full time while battling depression and wanting to have a fabulous marriage just happen is tough. It's tough to have energy to do an ounce more of anything to make it work. I know. I am thinking of you and want you to know that you're not alone in all of this. Take care of yourself, remember all people have faults and are also immensely lovable at the same time. Your husband chose you and you chose him, don't ever forget that you are his love.
    Hope you're having a great start to a new week :)