Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Choosing him every day

Warning: Wordy Post

I am part of this online "community" called MamaSource. Every day I get emails from women who live near me with questions, problems, whatever and I can read the questions and responses, or respond, or not. Today one of the questions got me thinking. The woman said this:

"I've been married to my husband for four years, and we have three-year-old boy. After having a child, I began to find many dissimilarities with my husband in almost all aspects of our lives, especially in child issues. For example, he's pro medicine but I'm not: he wants to give medicine whenever our child's nose starts to slightly runny. Whenever I have problems, he immediately says 'It's OK' without trying to understand my feelings. There are so many things I've found I can't bear, and I've always expressed my concerns to him. He's such a lovely man and also a good dad. I know maybe I'm too expecting. I know I have countless bad points too. He's not my counselor, and he shouldn't be perfect. That's how the shape of love changes. That's what men and women really are. That's how we need to learn to appreciate different ideas. He never did any harms or had smoking/alcohol problems. I just wanted to know if there is anybody who felt the same way. I sometimes can't help missing about the time when we first met and I was blindly in love with him."

And I responded with this:

"I can relate. I sometimes feel like my husband is just this fun room-mate. He's there sometimes and I'm always glad when he is - but he doesn't really understand or relate to me. But then I remind myself that that is just part of being a parent. We can't both be there for the kids 100% of the time. He goes to work all day and I've chosen to stay home with the kids (we have 3). Sometimes it helps me to remember that I've *chosen* to stay home and be a mom. And that if I had to choose again - I'd choose the same thing. Also - he can't relate sometimes because...he's never been there. And that's not his fault. He has to go to work and do his part for our family. So he's never (or only occasionally) known what it's like to have kids hanging all over you for 12 hours straight depending on you for everything. But that's how it's supposed to be.
What you need is some girlfriends. Other mothers who *can* relate because they *have* been there. (Like me!) I have 3 or 4 girlfriends I can call on when I need support. Also, I love to blog and read other Mommy-blogs because it helps me remember that there are thousands of other women out there fighting the same battles I am every day. We change diapers, we discipline children, we clean up messes, we chauffeur children here and there. We fill other people's needs all day long and very rarely does anybody else fill our needs.
As far as those feelings of love that you had when you first met...of course you're not "blindly" in love anymore. You've seen everything of each other. All the weaknesses and flaws have become glaringly obvious now. The question is, do you still accept him as your partner? Even with those flaws and weaknesses? And if you do, aren't you *glad* that your love has evolved into a much more mature and accepting love? Sure you don't feel tingles down your spine whenever he looks at you anymore. Now you can be sure of his love even when he's not looking at you.
I hope this helps. And I hope I haven't totally missed your point. And I hope it's not too preachy. I just really feel like I've struggled with these same thoughts. I'm just trying to say...we're here for you."

The the other responses, from other Mom's, involved things like therapy and counseling, suggestions to talk to a Dr. about the medicine thing, etc.

Anyway, I thought maybe I'd ask for some other people's opinions about roles of husbands and wives, communication, showing love, etc. What would you have said to this woman? Do you think my response was appropriate?

6 comments:

graffiti said...

I sometimes have the same problem where my man responds to the situation before responding to me. I think it is important to remember that everyone looks at situations different. some people are natural problem solvers, some people are more in tune with others emotions, some people are unaware that there is another way to handle things outside of how they were raised. when all is said and done, 2 things for that woman - 1: women need women. we relate to each other, be us mothers or not. some how we just relate. 2: show charity (suffers long, kind, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked). when we show love as an action word, it, more often than not, is returned.

Clyde said...

Nancy,

Well responded, well written, VERY well advised! I LOVE and (sincerely) respect your point of view and the way you presented the facts to this woman (and the rest of us)... Thanks, a lot!

And Amen to Graffiti's thoughts!

Rebecca said...

I think your response was right on. Life is not going to be always fun. I think that's why so many people get divorced--or just don't get married to begin with: they're only in the relationship while it's fun and then they want to leave it when life becomes life again. I also think she needs to have a serious talk with her husband before she goes off to girlfriends and strangers--he probably doesn't realize how she feels. I find my husband understands more than I realize--even though he's gone 14 hours of the day. And, you're right, I choose to stay home by myself all day and he chooses to go to work. Neither is easy to do. I think you are right that we all need some outlet that we enjoy.As for the difference in parenting style, I think since she's the one taking care of the kids, she should have the say (i.e., medicines or whatnot) but the husband should be able to make his case too.

angela michelle said...

Sometimes when I think my husband doesn't understand me or it too different from me, I think, "Well, who would understand me more/get this joke/whatever?" And really there's not anyone else who would.

Also I think it's good to remember that it's really not your husband's job to make sure your needs are met. I mean, the relationship would atrophy if he never did anything for you, but you have to keep in mind that your happiness is your responsibility.

("You" meaning anyone, not YOU Nancy.)

Jodie said...

Hi, I just wanted to pop in and say thankyou for your sweet comment over in Ric-Rac. I don't sell many things yet - just my dollies on Etsy. I hope you pop back soon.
I can't begin to comment on this post except that I agree about having some girlfriends, who also "get" it.

Farmer Joe said...

egdnsIt's OK. Everything is going to be fine.