Friday, May 22, 2009


So, here I am. I did finally get off my butt and write to Mel, and though she told me she doesn't usually start a category with only one blog, she could see the value, and she created a brand new category of which I am the only member. Awesome. And I mean that positively and sarcastically.

I looked over my latest posts, and I've been better about writing more often, but what I'm not writing about is my marriage. My communications problem in relationships is that I shut down when upset. I give 'the silent treatment.' Which is apparently one of the worst ways of communicating, all about power and just an awful way to treat your partner. According to a myriad of well paid counselors and experts. I go silent because inside I am screaming I hate you I hate this we never should have gotten married this is all a mistake I hate I hate I hate. And I think I can't say those things, so I wait it out until the drumbeat wears itself out and I can think rationally and I remember I don't really entirely hate everything and let's talk things through and figure a way forward. In my mind, this does not feel like a power trip or an awful way to treat my partner, but like a way to be nicer - to let the emotion burn out and then talk.

Hmm, where I wanted to go with this post is not where it's going. I've been giving the blog the siltent treatment on my marriage lately, except it's not because I hate the blog, it's because. Well, I don't know. We had a bad period a little bit ago. A really bad time. A time where I said I understand why you had the affair because believe me, if someone would just be nice to me and listen to me and support me and just generally treat me as if I were a valuable, worthy person, I'd leave you in a heartbeat. A time where I said maybe it was time to end this farce and just move on with our lives. A time where I said I just didn't care anymore, I was totally checked out. And he said, he wouldn't let me check out because the stakes were too high. It was too important. And I said he had no right - no right - to get on his high horse now. Too bad he didn't take the moral high ground before having the affair.

So, I agreed to look for yet ANOTHER new counselor. And I honestly can't remember when this was because the past weeks have been a blur of no sleep and colds and runny noses and no sleep and did I mention no sleep?

But, since then, despite the no sleep, things have been better. He is trying and paying attention and not just working working working, and I feel better having said some of it out loud. And the real point of this was I had lunch with a blunt friend yesterday and we were talking kids and I admitted I love the thought of three kids and she flat out asked (and it was fine she did so) if my marriage would survive a third and I said no. Kids are awesome and great and even with the heartache and effort to bring them into this world, I can still admit they are freaking hard work. And did I mention no sleep?

So yesterday morning I said to my husband maybe it is time to get the big-ass swing out of our room, since the not so little guy (20 pounds! at 6 months!) has outgrown it and he said yes and I said what should we do with it (loaded question - sell it since there are no more babies to be made?) and he said stick it in the attic. So yes, we'll stick it in the attic. For now.

What kind of fighter are you? The silent treatment? The screamer? The avoider?


niobe said...

Can I just say (predictably, no doubt) that I really don't see what's wrong with shutting down when you're upset? I mean, I know if I vent and give voice to all the bad feelings I have, it just reinforces and amplifies them.

Plus, most of the things that upset me are things that can't be changed, so I'm just going to have to learn to live with them one way or another and complaining about them doesn't much help.

Note: the above is just one of the reasons why I'm such a failure at therapy. It doesn't work for me, in that the more I talk about my (largely insoluable) problems, the worse I feel. I've found that my strategy of avoidance has made me into a much happier person all round and that issues seem a lot smaller when I'm not trying to, you know, fix them.

As always, YMMV

Jo said...

I am so glad that Mel decided to create this space, because I found you! And I'm slowly making my way through your archives. I went all the way back to the fall of 2007 and I just want to tell you that I am SO GLAD you wrote this blog. My problems with my husband are different, but still traumatic, and I can identify so much with your struggle. The back and forth. The "I have to hang on" followed by "Why the hell am I hanging on?" Like you, I believe in marriage, and I believe it takes work, but sometimes I just get so damn tired.

Anyway, I'm going to post about you soon on my blog, which I hope is okay. It will be good stuff, I promise! If you don't want me to, though, let me know, as I respect you too much already to piss you off. . .I know that sounds weird from someone you just "met" here, but I feel like I know you from having read so much about what you and your hubby are going through.

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you again THANK YOU for branching out, for giving a voice to something that I believe a lot of married women are going through in one way or another. We'd all like to pretend our marriages are perfect -- it is refreshing to see one that isn't, but is real, and having babies anyway.


CLC said...

I do the silent thing too for most of the same reasons. I get silent because what might come out of my mouth is harsh and hurtful. So I wait for the emotion to die down. I don't think of it as a power trip at all.

Nina said...

Hi, I just found your blog through Jo! I tend to be a screamer. Pretty much whatever comes into my head comes right out my mouth. I got in trouble once for asking my hubby "I'm curious as to what exactly your mother did teach you? Spit it out, it should be a short list!" Yeah. I'm a bit blunt, too. Just the teensiest bit. I'm sorry for all the stuff you've gone through. Boys are stupid. We knew this in 3rd grade, and somehow we forgot it when we hit the 7th. I say get his you know whats and stick 'em in a jar on the bedpost till he figures out that that is not the proper thing to do with them, thanks. Just a suggestion.

Astarte said...

I'm not a screamer, but when I'm mad I usually will let it out, because otherwise I fester and get more and more angry, and it makes me feel worse. DH is a sulker, which makes me even more bananas, so I generally end up trying to provoke him until he actually says something and we can get it over with.

Joy said...

I'm definitely a silent screamer too. I had no idea it was a category! And I've had nearly the same verbatim conversations -- sometimes in my head, sometimes with my husband.