Sunday is normally a gratitude practice day for me but today ended up taking a slightly different path. I’ve been with my husband for 18 years and I know it’s perfectly normal that couples will not agree all the time. The last few days of this long weekend have been more stressful than rejuvenating so I felt some disappointment today as I had hoped to achieve more than I did. I found myself blaming my husband. He has been in a funk over the last few days and very short tempered, taking things out on the whole family and just generally not acting himself. Now, I’m a very driven person so when there are things to get done, even if I’m in a bad mood, they need to get done. I don’t let that sway me. My husband tends to take a turn for the lazy when he’s in those moods and, quite frankly, I wasn’t having 3 days of it. There was simply too much to do, especially as the holidays are approaching.
We have been in the process of a massive deep clean for roughly a month that has absolutely taken its toll on both of us. Feeling emotional looking at the things I’ve held onto, feeling angry for holding onto so much, feeling guilty for not purging it prior to moving here all made a nasty cocktail for some hair trigger reactions. Throw in an unreasonably moody husband and we were volatile to say the least. Now, going into this long weekend I was thrilled because I had every intention of finishing this purge and being done with it. We are entering the holidays (which we are hosting this year) and working full time and throwing in side projects and making gifts on top of it, I know time is precious. My husband has no interest in preparing for things like this in advance, and normally I get annoyed but just deal with it myself. This year that could not be done—we NEEDED to do this together and handle the mess.
I wanted to respect his boundaries in case something truly was wrong, but I also knew that the usual pattern of handling it myself wouldn’t work. I am entering a phase in my life where I don’t want the chaos or the laziness anymore. My skin crawls at the sight of clutter and mess and I am no longer taking the responsibility of taking care of an entire household on my own. We did this together, we get out of it together. That sparked some fires between us this weekend. It actually made me question our compatibility in some regards because I am simply not the person who is ok with a lazy partner anymore. I am not ok with holding all the weight and doing all the running while he sits and enjoys. Partnership doesn’t work like that.
While I was having a moment of questioning who we are as people now, I started thinking of the ways we are differently motivated. He is motivated for the now while I am thinking for the long haul. Again this isn’t a terrible problem because he has helped me stay grounded in the moment many times and I know I still need that in my life. But I am beyond the point of dealing with a petulant partner who reverts to a teenager and me taking the role of scolding mother. I know that it is a matter of focusing on what we want to create the life we want.
The card I drew today was “Directing my focus onto what’s thriving creates more of what I want” Gabby Bernstein, Super Attractor Deck. As soon as I saw the card, I knew I was on the right track with my line of thinking. People change and evolve and that is natural for the course of a relationship as well. My husband and I met when we were young and it is natural that we have found different things. we are not the people we were when we met. I no longer want to be that person and I also no longer want to fight to make him be the person I want him to be. It is a matter of focusing on what works in our lives.
I’m not saying I want to end our relationship, but I have to respect the natural course that it is taking now. I want my focus to be on things that have return and value. He chooses to focus on things that make him happy in the moment. I know that this is a source of contention with my husband as I tend to be critical of his interests—I am working on that. He enjoys things like video games or fishing. Neither of those things accomplish what we said we wanted for our future. I’m not saying there isn’t a time or place for them, but those things can’t take precedence over creating the life we said we were going to. I am perfectly willing to allow him to decompress with a video game for a while. But if I need to shower and he needs to watch our child so I can do that in peace (and decompress myself!), I am not going to wait to bathe until he is done gaming for the night.
I really believe in the life we said we wanted and I truly still want to do that. I remind him of it all the time because it is something we said we would do together. But with diverging interests, it’s hard to see the path we need to take sometimes. It’s also hard to make it so it doesn’t feel like a battle of the wills. I do believe there comes a point where you need to question what the end result may be of your actions. Is what you’re doing now going to be of value to what you say you want? Are your words and actions aligned? That is the state that I’m trying to get to and my goal is to be consistent with it. And for the first time in my life I feel like my goals are important enough to question who I surround myself with and to make decisions about who I let close to me.
Growing up and changing means accepting your own evolution and learning to set value and priority to what you do. The good news is that everything changes, life is malleable, and we can tune in at any time. The most important thing is to look at what works for you and follow what feels good. Like the card said today, if it’s thriving and you feel good, focus on that to get more of what you want. For me, I intend to continue the process of purging and cleaning and working toward my goals. THAT makes me happy. I also intend to continue to focus on what I am grateful for—and that includes the things my husband does for me that ARE in alignment with our goals.