In Sunday school we're doing a series on the book our church does for couples in premarital counseling. It was interesting to study the book before we got married and I actually really enjoyed doing it with John, but it's even more interesting studying it now that we've been married for over a year and a half. In the book, it discusses the difference between codependent, independent and interdependent relationships. Obviously, the strongest relationships are interdependent, but it's such a struggle for me to get there.
I used to be very codependent in my relationship with my former fiance. He was very controlling and abusive and I thought I could not live my life, take care of my son or function as an adult without his "guidance". Luckily, I was able, with the help and guidance of law enforcement officers (OK I say guidance, but what really happened was more of an intervention), to get out of that relationship and I discovered I'm actually pretty good at being an adult, although I did go through intensive counseling after to get through the PTSD I suffer and learn to cope with life again.
After, I became very independent by necessity. I was a single mom and as such there was no one for me to depend on. I was it. So, I did everything by myself. I'm good at it, but I always wanted a little support. Emotional, physical and financial. I wanted a husband. Who knew once I found one, turning off that single mom mode would be so dang difficult.
My husband's career path is difficult for us. He works long hours, over nights and unplanned overtime. I'm left taking care of our home and family by myself often. However, when he is home, he wants to be included, so I have to switch from leading role to supporting actor. This switch isn't easy for me to accomplish smoothly.
Sometimes, I just wish he had a normal job with normal hours. As it is now, I sleep by myself at night, get up in the morning to get the kids ready by myself, my husband comes home in time to drop the kids off at school together, then he crawls into bed after a quick kiss goodnight because he's exhausted from his long night. So I do household chores and take care of the kids who are home all day, solve any problems that come up, and save the world. Then he wakes up and it's pick up the kids, making dinner and helping with homework. We all sit down together and eat dinner, then he dresses for work and is out the door, again, after a quick kiss. I bathe the kids and get them tucked in at night then crawl into bed alone. Our sex life is reduced to a series of quickies which are fun, but sometimes I want him to make slow, passionate love to me for hours, kissing and touching all over, then fall over sweaty and exhausted and sleep next to each other naked. We don't even have time for reconnect spankings. I start to emotionally shut down and go into auto pilot. A defense mechanism my body has created over time. Then, he gets mad when I go into supermom mode, but I don't know how else to be when he's not here and when he is he's asleep or a zombie. He tells me he'll get up early to help with x,y and z, but then he doesn't, so I've begun to not rely on him in that aspect. Don't get me wrong, I am so proud of my husband and what it is he
does, also, with my previous experience as a single mom, I am more equipped
to be his wife. His job is very demanding and unpredictable. I just need to know exactly what part of me he needs and when, so I can prepare mentally. It's just a huge let down when he says he's going to be there and he's not and it's not as big of a let down when we already know he won't be there.
If you've been reading regularly, you know I had an emotional break down last week and got snappy over the weekend. But, with our busy life, my husband hasn't had the time to bring me back to normal again. I've already begun the emotional shut down process. Now I don't even want a reconnect spanking because I'm afraid to feel the pain that is sitting there waiting to bubble over. I don't want him to touch me, because I'm afraid of relying on him. Sometimes I feel like his wife-on-a-shelf. He sets me up there when he's too busy to deal with me and I am forgotten, then when he realizes he'd like his wife there he goes to get me and I'm expected to be available.
This was all just me processing some of the thoughts and feelings running through my pretty little head. Honestly, what I really desire is for my husband to run off to his job to save the world and not worry about what's going on at home. To know and rest assured that his wife has things handled at home, that she's OK and his children are cared for and that they'll be there when he gets home. Then, when he comes home, I want for him to be able to forget (although never completely) the demands of his job and take care of his family, to be cared for, loved and respected by his wife and children. To be included. I don't want him to come home to being an outsider because we've had to deal on our own for a little bit. I want to be able to emotionally handle all of this and be his perfect little wife. He says I am the perfect wife but he sees me through rose colored glasses I think.
So, I am going to end the post with some positive thoughts so you all don't think I'm always such a negative person. Yesterday afternoon, I had a good time making origami dresses with my girls then teaching my kids how swing dance and two-step. I am looking forward to a couple of date nights this month. First is our second 1-year anniversary (if you would like me to explain why we have a second 1-year anniversary, e-mail me and I'll be glad to tell you the story) so we're planning to go out to dinner at a semi-nice restaurant. It's not black tie, but it's not Applebee's either and I get to wear a sexy dress and high heels. Towards the end of the month, we have a belated birthday trip to a nearby city. My birthday was several months ago and I received tickets to see one of my favorite bands perform this month, so we've planned a little overnight trip. It should be a lot of fun and I can't wait, then next month is our family vacation. I also can't wait for that. So, I have a lot to be excited about.
I love my husband and am really proud of his career choice. I just need to learn to be more interdependent with him. Able to do it on my own if necessary, but lean on him when he's available. That's the wife I wish to be.