The smallest things can set me off in ways I hate to even admit. This is what happens when years of resentment and discontent have filled my head and my heart. There is no more room. The very next thing that tries to pry it’s way in results in a nuclear explosion.
Calmly I said we have got to start something. We both agreed to fix this now we need to fix it. We need a plan. We need to start NOW. Not after we get back from family vacation. Now. As in this very second. And I did. I cheated and started years ago. But I needed him to start. He thought he started months ago. Shit. That should be probably be written in red.
He hates my inability to organize. Plain and simple. If I could just organize to his liking he could think about starting to fix it. Without my doing so, all bets are off. That sounds absurd to me. I told him so. I can not comprehend how he can not love me because of my in ability to militarize this house. And I have never nor have had a family member involved in such a thing. I grew up the opposite. See where I’m coming from? I don’t do Marine Corp type organization. I don’t do single mom with only one child type of organization. I do a basically single mom with 3 small kids organization while trying to maintain my husbands SAHM/homeschool standards. In other words, I place stuff on flat surfaces. ie – countertops. I set things down where they don’t belong or because they don’t have a home and I don’t have time to make them one. Stuff on flat surfaces causes him anger and anxiety and everything unimaginable to me because there is a stack of mail (and kids school projects and random toys and……) on a counter top. Our house is in utter chaos because you can’t see every glaring inch of our black granite countertops. They aren’t stacked to the gills. They aren’t “dirty” but there are piles for each kid and some stray items that don’t have a home. To me, not unimaginable. To him, it’s disgusting and unprofessional and we might as well live like pigs.
He barely notices me. He rarely says good morning. His way of saying goodbye for the day usually involves some sort of sideways, turn of the head so I can kiss him on the cheek like his mother type of action. OK so maybe I just got out of bed and have dragon breath. But we don’t need to make out before he goes. Maybe a nice hug where I turn my head away from him if I haven’t picked up the toothbrush just yet. And joke about how he wants to kiss me but there needs to be some minty fresh paste in my mouth first. Perhaps a smile? I don’t know. When he gets home maybe he could notice I’m there. Maybe he could give me a hug like he does the kids. We don’t need to have some long last embrace but maybe we could acknowledge each other’s existence? I do get a “hello”. That’s something I guess. Than there is nothing. The kids go to bed. I force some sort of conversation and rehash some necessary details from the day. I go over schedules in the event he wants to join us for something. I plop on the couch exhausted after cleaning up the kitchen from dinner dishes and such. I try to talk to him. He doesn’t want to talk. I want to know how his day is. I want to know what was good or bad. I want to show my support. I want him to know how much I love him so I tell him. I want to be present in his presence because I want him to talk to me. He doesn’t. I pick up my phone or open my laptop and read about random facebook drama. Ugh…. He hates me.
I don’t have to force him to talk about us. He knows we need to do it. He’s hurt and devastated that I’ve “planned” our divorce. (I needed to figure out how I would live if he decided he didn’t want to fix us. When I first brought all of this up I needed to prepare myself for him to reject me.) He’s never even come close to thinking that. This makes me sad… at myself.
After some reading I fill out my 5 love languages profile. I don’t know what else to do. Others have written about it. I thought I’d give it a try. I sort of thought it was a bit…. dumb. Sorry. Every question asked about the importance of him buying me something. Opposite of me in every way. So naturally I chose the other option. But in the end, after I received my email with my profile results it had something written in there that struck me like lightening. I had expected the result it gave me. I need words of affirmation. Followed by quality time and then acts of service. Gifts were a big fat 0. I had my husband do this. As expected his were acts of service, quality time and very low were words of affirmation and gifts were a big fat 0. I could have told you that. What I never thought of is this….. His highest, Acts of Service, is how he shows love. He shows his love to me by doing stuff for me. He takes care of the kids for me and spends time with them. He helps with laundry on occasion (by doing his own) and dishes when they get crazy. He offers a date night on occasion if we get a night to go. He shows love by doing things for me. He shows love by spending time away from the house with just him. This is what he needs. This is what he knows. He could careless if I said “I love you” to him everyday. He knows I do, why do I need to tell him. Give me a kiss before he leaves before I brush my teeth? That’s disgusting and gross and how in the hell does that show love? Why do I need a hug or a kiss when he comes home? Of course he’s happy to be home with his family, does he need to tell me EVERY time he gets home? This is so un-natural and strange and doesn’t even make sense. To him. It’s like the clean surface. To me. How does a clean surface say I love you? I freakin tell you it every day and sometimes multiple times/day with texts or when you call.
We talked about this. Not at length but long enough that we both might have understood it.
I cleaned the surfaces in the kitchen. I started. They are completely clutter free. Every inch of the glaring black granite is showing and sparkling. I told him about it. Because I tell people things. I need him to acknowledge the fact that he sees me trying to complete the acts of service that say I Love You. He didn’t say much. He acknowledged it by completing further acts of service…. he unloaded the dishwasher and put things away (some not even close to the right place but I digress!!!!) and he did some laundry. His own. But it’s still less then I have to do. This morning he left for work and said he loved me. He kissed me even though I literally just got out of bed. He embraced me a little tighter.
I thank God that one small sentence somehow shined through a paragraph that seemed to ramble on about things we’ve already tried and discussed. It was the only thing that I read on that email. It might have pushed us over the hump in trying to figure out how to love each other again.