As parents we repeat ourselves over and over again. Seriously. You can tell your kids, “… please don’t do that…” a thousand times and they will continue to do whatever it is you’ve asked them to stop doing. Or the opposite.. “it’s time to go…”. (My personal favorite.) It’s a constant battle. Telling them one hundred times to do something.
Of course there are the parenting books and oodles of them out there that claim if you read them you can get your kids to listen to you the first time. Right. I’ve read them. And they are correct. My kids do listen to me the first time I say something. I know they hear it. They just don’t do whatever it is I’ve asked them to do. And of course, they’ll continue to do whatever it is I’ve asked them to stop doing. I need to read a book on how to get kids to give a crap about what their parents say!
On the contrary I need one for adults, too. I need a book that teaches adults to do what their asked the first time.
I’ve told my husband countless times how much our marriage sucks because I don’t think he really loves me. He doesn’t want me. He doesn’t appreciate me. I don’t nag on him about it. I don’t rattle that off every day that I see him. “Have a good day honey and remember I don’t think you love me!” Nope. But every conversation revolving around our marriage is a repeat of the one prior. And at the end we always resolve to show each other we love them a little more and try and communicate. You’ve read it all before. I always feel like I end up in the same spot and sometimes I think it’s worse. I feel like I’m drowning in our life and I can’t figure out how to make my self buoyant, let alone float. Sink or swim? I’m sunk.
We talked so many times and we are both at a loss. He doesn’t want to do counseling but will if it means we really are choosing to end things. He wants us to work. And for different reasons than I. And right now I think that’s OK.
He’s told me countless times he can’t stand my lack of organization. He can not live a life of chaos. He can not handle clutter or disorganized anything. Clean cut, straight lines. That is how he lives. He is literally disgusted by how I operate. He doesn’t tell me every day. Instead he holds it in until I bust at the seams because I can’t keep up and am so overwhelmed. I explode on him how our marriage is eating away at me and the kids are making me closer to becoming a daytime drinker. He tells me it’s because I lack organization and I’m a messy person. And every time he says it I want to punch him in the face.
Out of years and years of discussions I can say we’ve literally said the same things to each other so many times that now it seems like such a waste. Years of wasted communication… at least I thought we were communicating.
The past two weeks I’ve tried a whole new style of communicating. Actually listening to what he says he needs from me. And not just having the words come out of his mouth and through my head. He said he needs me to figure out how to organize better. I said he needs to show me, tell me, that he loves me. Every day. I need that. Both of us think each other’s needs are almost ridiculous. But you know what…. it’s working. Duh. I make the most honest effort I’ve ever made to clear the clutter. Find something a home. Even if its not a perfect home for now. Make a plan. Figure it out. I’ve been doing it. He needs me to physically DO something for him to know he is loved and appreciated. I’ve told him once, I’ve told him a million times that I love him. Not enough. By not DOING something that he requires, even if it’s absurd to me, I don’t love him or respect him enough for him to love me back. Since I’ve been doing this, he’s been doing what I require. He kisses me. He tells me he loves me. He initiates things with ME. He thinks its absurd but he knows that I need it. I require it. We see the difference. We notice each other giving. We don’t always acknowledge it. In fact most of the time we do not. But I don’t think that’s wrong. We know it’s getting done. We both feel loved. I highly different ways.
We’ve told each other once and we’ve told each other a million times…