Thursday, December 23, 2010

A confession...

I have a problem.  A huge problem, really.  I have money-spending issues.  I'm way too impulsive and buy things for my husband and children without thinking about the final cost or how hard it's going to make things for the rest of the paycheck period.  My husband makes a great salary, but somehow, we're still living paycheck-to-paycheck.  We have a huge amount of student loan debt that needs to be paid off.  And here I am, spending way too much money on Christmas presents.  Not because the presents are important or necessary, but because I want to do something special for my children and my husband.  It's causing some really bad marriage problems for my husband and I right now.

Christmas means a lot to me.  It's the only time that really felt special when I was growing up.  With seven kids, you tend to get lost.  My mom didn't buy any special treats or anything for us throughout the year, but Christmas morning, we always knew we'd wake up to find one toy that we really wanted.  Christmas was always reserved for just our family.  We opened presents, ate some breakfast, played with our new toys, and all sat down to a turkey dinner together.  That's what I want for my family too.  I want that sense of wonder when they wake up and see that Santa came.  I want the time spent together, the meal together.  That stuff means so much to me.  It's what I live for!  Last night, my husband came home and informed me that his sister wanted to make a roast beef for Christmas dinner and that we were invited to go and have dinner with them.  In the past, I've tried to explain that it means a lot to me to have Christmas dinner for ourselves, but my husband doesn't react well and I have a hard time explaining.  He thinks I don't want to go because I don't like his family or because I'm being selfish and just want what I want.  So, I didn't see any way to say  no.  My heart was crushed.  Not by the thought of not having Christmas dinner the way I wanted it, but by the realization that my husband hadn't even thought that it might be important to me.  He hadn't even considered what my feelings on the matter might be!  I had to go immediately from that to confessing to him how much I'd spent on Christmas presents that day.  It wasn't pretty!  He told me to take a few of them back.  To be honest with you, I understand that I need to take them back.  I know we can't afford to spend as much as I did.  But at that moment, it felt like he'd just cancelled my Christmas.  My heart was already crushed, now it felt like he was just stomping on it!

We argued.  I tried to get him to see my feelings about things.  He told me I was over-reacting, which was probably true, but it didn't help to hear that.  It made me feel like he didn't think my feelings meant anything at all.  I said some things to him that were very hurtful and that shouldn't have been said.  He stormed off and I was left, sitting on the couch with my little girl while she shook and trembled and her blood sugar plummeted.  I hate fighting in front of the kids.  I hate how emotions affect blood sugars.  I had arguing in the first place.  And now I'm left feeling like there's no way to fix this.  There's no point in trying to work on a marriage with someone who doesn't care or try to understand my feelings, who just makes me feel worse when I'm already feeling down.  I know I'm over-dramatizing things and maybe I'll feel better in a few days.  But right now, I just can't see any light.

Sorry for the downer post.  I try hard to stay positive, but right now, I just can't find it in me.  We all have our bad days, don't we?


  1. Oh Cindy...I sure hope you feel better about this in the next day or two. I understand about the bickering over monies spent...where you are going to eat Christmas dinner...etc. I think it is fairly normal. I can totally understand your need to make it special seeing your ties to your childhood memories from previous holidays.

    Maybe when things "simmer" down you can re-iterate that to your husband. It may not change where you will be eating dinner and most likely won't allow you to purchase more gifts...but perhaps in feeling understood and loved you will be back in the spirit in no time flat.


  2. ((HUGS)) I hope that you can smooth things out and that you all have a WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS!

  3. Sorry things feel so bad right now... I hope that time has helped things to settle down.

    I know it's hard when you don't see eye-to-eye with your spouse. Fred and I come from very different backgrounds and family situations and a lot of times he doesn't understand where I'm coming from when it comes to family/holiday stuff. And it feels like he doesn't take my feelings into consideration. But then I remember that he might be feeling the same way I am... like I don't understand why he wants the holiday to be a certain way (am I making sense??? I'm sick and my head is all fuzzy - it sounds very confusing when I read it back).

    Anyway, I'm not trying to discount the way you feel, just my two cents.

    And thanks for your email about the pump. I've been meaning to reply, just life is busy and I haven't had a chance.

    Merry Christmas, I really hope things get figured out and it's everything you want it to be!

  4. Deep breath girl! Sometimes spending the holidays with my in-laws can be overwhelming because of all the "different" traditions they have. I grew up with Christmas being just us too. But, after a while I realized that their traditions are good for the kids to experience also. Now, we flip flop every other year.

    It will be okay. Enjoy Christmas with your kids and try to drag the hubbs in the other room next time he wants to "discuss". That way your daughter can avoid the fun.

    (((hugs))) Merry Christmas!

  5. Of course there is a light. It is in you, in your understanding on an emotional and rational level why you are hurt. You are right to be hurt, and in his own way, he is right not to fully understand why.
    You express your feelings so beautifully in writing, I know you will be able to tell him what is going on inside you. That is the first and biggest step.
    You have been through so much together, you can work this out, even if it might leave scars.
    Scars are reminders of batttles PAST.
    Money SUCKS, honestly. If it wasn't for cash, readies, wonga (as a despicable advert over here in England goes), our life in the Three Bed Semi would be so much, well, lighter. But, dear, he did not mean to add insult to injury. After all, and I swear I mean this in the absolutely nicest way possible, he is a man. The tick differently from us, even though they are just as emotional- on a totally different level.
    I think you'd be best sucking it up, and hand him your behind on a plate. Make him read your post, if you can, it reads like a big apology/ explanation/ road map to your soul to me. And what a beautiful soul it is! He'll understand, I am sure. The turkey might end up on his sisters table, but you'll both end up stronger.

    Says the woman that refused to even spend 30 minutes with her fiancees mother and refuses to admit to feeling slightly guilty about it in hindsight...

  6. (((Hugging you, my friend)))

    I hope, by now, things have simmered down.

    In times like these, I have to intentionally refocus so I can remember the reason we celebrate in the first place. Jesus was born in a stable to parents who had nothing except what the donkey could carry...if my children get nothing else aside genuine unconditional love, then it will be enough.