Smoke from their private fire crawls in the open window. A flame often extinguished with waves of work, life and young kids, re-ignited by a night of hazy, vulnerable conversation. Intimacy awakened, now thriving in twisted sheets. Passion sparked – a marriage revived.
What is the glue, in a solid relationship? That component that, above all, keeps heartstrings attached. And when that glue is starting to lose its stickiness, how do you know whether or not to throw it away, or add a little something to it, to smooth out the paste?
I knew someone once, who had a way of announcing that she and her husband never fight…not even about money. They were divorced in less than two years. I’m aware of at least one other person that said the same thing, and is now single and dating men half her age. Apparently, not fighting, is not a dependable adhesive.
We all know someone that claims they “can’t live without their other half!” They tend to see it as the passion and devotion they have for one another. They announce that they would kill for the one they love. Red Flag. I’ve only ever seen jealousy on the other side of that coin. The kind that causes heart ache, fear and dependency. That glue will always dry up, leaving you flaky and pealing. Addiction is addiction, whether it’s a drug or another being.
Some couples, on the surface, seem to have snuggled in to that elusive rhythm of love and pride in their relationship. They are that couple that hide their cracks well. It’s marital bliss on the outside and something quite rotten at its core. The pretty packaging doesn’t always make it a full-proof product…and that’s a bitch.
I have seen and experienced a lot of what doesn’t work. I’m just wondering what my followers claim does work.
So what is it? That glue – keeping working relationships together, even in conditions that beg it to rip apart.
When do we bend, when do we mend and when do we break?
I have absolutely no interest in claiming to have the answers, nor am I looking for that one right answer. I know that’s a farce. I’m just curious, perhaps even a little nosey. What is your glue?
My husband has this look in his eye. I see it from time to time and it cracks me up. I know at that moment, I’ve pulled off one of my dive-under-his-skin tactics perfectly and he would really enjoy punching me right in the temple. It makes me laugh because I definitely have my own kind of I’m-seriously-considering-throwing-this-knife-right-at-your-forehead look. It’s practically painted on my face by the time he has finally tapped danced all over my last damn nerve.
Fortunately, I also get to see many other looks in my husband’s eyes. His eyes, as tired as they are, always seem to shine when he walks in the door from work and the kids overwhelm him with love and noise. He has a way of pulling the shades of his eyes down just so and curving his slightly, boyish smile just enough to the right, that it makes me get all mushy in my heart. I get to look in the eyes of a man that holds my heart wholly. It’s for that reason, I can look past the new species he has created in the bathroom sink with all the clippings from last night’s shaving ventures. It’s my deep, passionate love that keeps him alive after he calls me to ask me if I can call some one and find something out for him. OMFG…Just call yourself!!!
I love him so very much that I allow him to live on a Saturday morning when he has decided that he has to start cleaning the house at 8am and then becomes aggravated when the little guy finds joy in strewing his perfectly swept pile of dirt, food, wood chips and dog hair the entire length that it once was.
Little Man thrives on destruction, no matter how big or small. Doing chores while he is awake or not otherwise occupied is asking for a really bad start to your day. Therefore, before I have finished my second cup of coffee, I am using proven breathing techniques to avoid homicide and figuring out a game plan for keeping us all sane over the weekend. I realize that as I write this, I am lucky I haven’t had my break lines cut over the past five years we’ve been married (total of 14 years that we have been a couple). It’s funny how I didn’t really start to plot his death, until we were married. At what point, did the love of my life, become enraged over a few strands of hair, attacking his toes while he showers? It is going to make his head explode one day, I just know it. Watching him gag like a teenage girl and kick pointed toes in the air, in hopes that the hair will fling off and stick to the wall, so he doesn’t actually have to touch it, is deliciously evil to watch.
Perhaps though, what makes him want to take me out at the knee caps the most, is my constant inability to make up my own damn mind. I know he would rather reach in my ear and violently toss a decision through a nostril than hear me say, “I don’t know hun, what ever you want”, one more time. I’m perfectly aware that if I hear him walking around the house singing “I used to love her” by Guns N Roses, I should probably lay low for a while.
I am a sucker for Valentine’s Day. I love to celebrate love. The critics call it a consumer holiday and yes, I get that. K Jewelers knows you just got your tax refunds back and they will subliminally fuck you in to buying bling if you let them. I try to ignore that though. I try to use the holiday to reflect on what I love and hate and love to hate about the man I choose to have in my life.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I asked some friends a few lovey, dovey questions about their significant others. The love/hate that was described was funny and heart warming.
Apparently, there is a guy out there that makes his beautiful wife homemade cards and encourages her to go on vacations to the beach with her girlfriends every year. They have three boys. The women that are going to marry these boys are some lucky bitches, that’s all I’m sayin’. Although very grateful for the wonderful man in her life, Kristin still had this to say:
“When he plays his game online he bitches the whole time like “man I shot him & he didn’t die but he killed me through a wall” it doesn’t sound aggravating but IT IS!”.
Yep…I see a pillow over his face after about 10 minutes of that man-childness.
The next guy is lucky he can keep his wife laughing with his British accented conversations with the French Bulldog. I suspect she would like to drive her car in to a wall at even the thought of him being in a car with her. Just picture this scene Kate so hilariously describes.
“I literally can’t be in a vehicle with him. It doesn’t matter if he’s driving or I’m driving, he’s completely intolerable. If I’m driving then I’ll hear “why are you taking this way? That doesn’t make any sense!” Or “god dammit pass them already” or “oh my god, just pull over and let me drive” or “we would’ve been there already if you didn’t drive like a fuckin old lady” and “what the hell are we listening to?”
“Think that sounds fun? It’s even better when he’s behind the wheel. I am admittedly TERRIBLE at directions or remembering my way around so I rely heaving on my cars’ navigation system. BUT when he drives we aren’t allowed to take my car since “it’s too fuckin’ small”. So that means when we’re going somewhere I’m forced to try to provide directions from google maps on my phone. Whose fault is it if he misses a turn?? MINE. Whose fault is it if we hit traffic?? Absolutely MINE. And obviously if we get lost completely It usually ends in a yelling match, me calling him a dick, and asking if I could please get out and walk home rather than suffer another minute in a confined space with him. So yea…a cross country road trip with my husband is NOT on my bucket list.”
I had one friend describe her husband as “… the suns rays peeking through my gray cloud”. However, the “drives me crazy” part of her story described a not-so-sweet-anymore wife. This side of her could probably choke him out the next time he takes off and leaves his pants in random places all over the house. I concur. A dirty piece of laundry, a foot away from a clothes basket where it should be, creates enough fury to start sending out e-vites to his funeral.
Lastly, let me tell you about a friend who described a man that could be so many good better halves/husbands/dads I know these days. She told about his ability to:
“… help so much every day. A lot of men have neverrr changed a diaper or bathed the baby or that kind of stuff but he really makes sure I get breaks when I need them and tries to make sure that I’m always happy. But that might be because he’s scared to piss me off.”
Love is worth celebrating. I hope that this Valentine’s Day you can put down the knife, avoid imminent head trauma brought on by purposely ignored pet peeves and fall in love again with the one that makes your heart explode, your eye balls twitch and laughs at you with you every day.
“Every day I come home to a frazzled wife, a messy house and whiney children.”
I’m not mad at my husband for saying that. It was out of frustration, in the midst of a healthy morning argument. Ok maybe I was a little at first…or maybe a lot. Maybe, initially I took it as a personal attack on how I run this house and wanted to fly across the room, matrix style, and connect my foot with his jewels. But after grabbing the keys, spinning the tires out of the driveway, going for a ride by myself and stewing over it for at least 24 hours…I got it. I would be lying if I said I didn’t already know he felt this way. Some days, it’s written all over his face when he walks in the house.
I could get my panties in a bunch about this and start ranting about all the unknowns I do in a day that prevent me from keeping my house clean and how dare he blah, blah, blah. The truth is, I know my husband has the same love/hate relationship with me being a SAHM as I do. He’s just graciously refrained from saying it…until now.
Here’s another truth I stumbled upon this morning: A man so candidly stating he hates living in a dirty house, dealing with whiney children and a psychotic (insert nervous laugh) wife will no doubt have a mob of angry, duck faced women, shaking their heads and wagging their fingers (yep…right there with them!). He would be a total asshat that my girlfriends and I would crucify over coffee while our whiney, ungrateful kids create more of a mess around us. It occurred to me that I complain about those things on the daily to my girlfriends and if I didn’t have that option, I would implode in to a hot mess worthy of electric shock therapy.
Believe me, it feels weird to be defending men so vigorously, but this time it’s personal and I’m connected to it by my heart strings.
This is not a post for making excuses for the chauvinistic, only a father and husband on paper kind of man. I know that man. I know women that are unfortunately married to that man. That man doesn’t deserve the effort his wife, unbeknownst to him, devotes to him.
This is a post about putting my self in a hard working man’s worn out boots. Steel toed boots that carry a man who always puts his family first and says thank you after finishing a supper I cooked, whether he loved it or not. A man that vacuums the stairs and washes the windows because he knows it’s hard enough for me to stay on top of the “normal” chores. A man that brushes his daughter’s hair before bed and snuggles with his son when he is sick. A man that rolls over and reaches for me in his sleep. My man.
There are countless blogs full of stories about the struggles of, and the thankless job that is being a SAHM. And I will probably write another one next week, but today I want to just say thank you. Thank you to the Men that raise their children, that are true partners for their better halves. To the ones that bite their tongues when they come home and can’t quite understand how the house looks like a bomb went off, but choose to acknowledge his family instead of the mess.
Let me take you back about five or six years to a time of freedom and carefree-ness, a.k.a before kids. My husband and I had this little yellow couch in our living room. It was a very small, old, slightly smelly hand me down that I both appreciated and loathed. My biggest complaint at that time was it was too small. I always felt like my husband and I were right on top of each other. Throw in our dog, an entitled Weimaraner who believes she is way above sleeping on the floor or even an expensive dog bed, and we were literally on top of each other.
Pre-kids, exhaustion didn’t take over at 7pm, so we had time to enjoy watching movies. Even though the couch was small, we somehow managed to lie down together. Hubby would lie down first, as far against the back of the couch as he could and then I would push my back against him as close as I could so that we both lay “comfortably” snuggled and ready to watch the movie. Most of the time, he would have his arm wrapped around me as both a gesture of love and simply to save me from falling off the couch. I loved it but still continued to joke and complain about our pitiful little couch.
When I got pregnant with our first child, the couch stayed it’s same small, smelly self but I got bigger and bigger. There came a point where us lying together became a laughing matter. It simply could no longer happen. I clearly remember our last attempt. I tried to lie in front of him and my big belly (about 7 or 8 mths worth of baby in there) would literally hang off the couch. I crack up just thinking about it. It was not happening. So life goes on and we just watched our movies sitting up. Or hubby would lie his head on what was left of my lap and our very active little girl in utero would practice her soccer moves with his head. But still we “had” to be so close to each other.
The little yellow couch is now long gone and was replace with a bigger, slightly nicer hand me down couch that offers more room to put between us. That yellow couch has been on my mind recently because I’ve noticed how little my husband and I actually touch each other lately. I don’t mean in a sexual way but just literally, simply touch each other. Two kids later, I could die my hair red, he could grow a beard and I’m not sure either of us would notice until days later. We’re busy. We’re distracted. We’re tired. We’re comfortable. We’re creatures of habit that now sit in “our” spots to watch tv or play mindless Facebook games after the kids go to bed. It’s a habit that I’m realizing will take effort to break.
I have a very close friend and family member who recently has had the opportunity to buy a bigger house. We were discussing how very awesome it is and how grateful she is to be able to own such a nice home. One thing she said has stuck with me. She talked about how strange it is to not have the chaos that is her three boys around her all the time now. They now have their own area up stairs. She said this was bittersweet.
I can equate that to my little, old, smelly, yellow couch. It’s nice to have added space but that previous lack of space is now seen differently. It’s missed. It’s appreciated.