One of the things I try to be is transparent, and being transparent also means taking an honest look at myself and my marriage.
This past year has been the biggest test to date with constant sidelining caused by debt, and I spent most of it blaming my husband for me being unhappy. But the circumstances that impacted our relationship were not just on him. They were on me too.
Almost a year ago (on March 17th), my husband and I were robbed at gunpoint and I never fully unpacked that ordeal. Mind you, that wasn’t the root cause, but a bit of a catalyst for something that was already in motion. I had already realized I was unhappy, but I cited my husband’s constant struggles that stemmed from his previous marriage instead of looking inwards. So, add PTSD to the mix and you have a hot mess of a mindset.
See, from the moment I moved in over 6 years ago I felt that there was a constant battle to have the kind of forward momentum that I really desired with him because it felt like he was always being pulled into legal matters around his kids. Our weekends were never really ours. And there were times like today where our vows were tested, especially when the cupboards began to run bare and I stressed over how I was going to make what we had last until the next week (when we’d have funds again). We only had a surplus of food for the pets and the baby (the latter due to a lot of foresight and meal planning).
We had struggled before in years past, but this was bordering on the toughest we had dealt with. But when I sat back and tried to inventory what we had and realized that it wasn’t that dire. I just had to remember how to be resourceful and started making a rice dish that was ample enough that he could have seconds.
We had been eating just once a day since I stopped working consistently in order to make every dollar stretch until I was working full time again, but it wasn’t that bad. I honestly was so focused on looking after the baby that it wasnt the end of the world. But I knew things had to change. She needs a better example than what has been given, because I wanted her to grow up in a unified household.
The mistake I made was feeling like it was on husband’s shoulders to make those changes when I clearly needed improvements of my own. Yes, he could be more supportive, but I was inconsiderate of the fact that our struggles didn’t just affect me. He’s entirely beat up and discouraged too. He needed me as much as I needed him.
Tonight he moved along laundry after he got home. He collected some dishes and moved them to the kitchen. He tried, many times, to take the baby but she was in full cling mode and wasn’t having it. So, he made sure he made me some coffee. He makes a better cup of it than I can. He was trying to ease my it burden in ways he could handle.
I failed when it came to acknowledging the little ways he tries. I let my frustration with things that were out of my control fester into this skewed belief that he had done something wrong and that somehow he was the reason behind our fractures. At the end of the day, my happiness was never his responsibility, and whatever obstacles we faced didn’t just affect me. I was ready to call the entire relationship a was.
I realized I was being an asshole.
Not to minimalize my struggles, but it was selfish of me to forget that men have struggles too. I guess I got tired of his obligations and I felt that they kept me, indirectly, from living life how I worked hard to. I spent years trying to help keep him afloat and I forgot to do the same for myself.
At the end of the day, what I fail to make time to do is on me. I’m focusing on being a better parent, a better wife, and laying the groundwork for building a small startup that will be my passion project outside of my other professional obligations. I’m spending more time studying up on languages I enjoy learning. I’m doing more. Of what makes me happy so my husband doesn’t have to buckle under the undue pressure of creating that environment for me.
At the end of the day, he’s a good guy. He struggles, but he makes sure he does everything he can for his kids. When we hit a financial snag, we work on it and ride it out together. He’s humble. He shows me he loves me all of the time and finds beauty in me when I don’t see it in myself. I’ve just barricaded him out because I didn’t know how to make it work.
Now I know that the change needs to start with me. Once I’m whole, I can be a much better asset to him. And we need that beautifully unified front so the baby learns the importance of teamwork, endurance, and love.
When you think you’re spiraling out, make sure you’re not the one being careless at the wheel.