I have learned a valuable lesson this week. A lesson I never noticed until I started to see some tension or, even, started feeling a bit lonely within my marriage. And then I finally realized why I started to feel this way.
In our first year of marriage I was constantly including my amazing husband, Bruce, in everything that we did. Because we were MARRIED. In our first year of marriage I was making sure we did everything together because that is what marriage is – a bond, a partnership, and an adventure that you do together – we are a team.
But, it started to feel different. It felt more like being roommates rather than partners.
As I started to evaluate our life and how we got to where we are – I noticed that it was all my fault.
I am an obsessive control-freak, and it shouldn’t be put any nicer because it is 100% true. I am a monster when it comes to getting things done, doing it my way, and on my clock.
In the corporate world this is great – being a boss lady and fighting your way up the corporate ladder is a plus! But, in my marriage? No.
Some things have changed that I have taken control over. But, I don’t want to be in control because I miss our bond over the things we once did together.
- Doing laundry together
- Watching shows together
- Playing games together
- Grocery shopping together
- Cooking together
- Dancing silly together
I now do all the grocery shopping and cook all of our meals because I want us to be healthy! I now delegate laundry and chores as to who does what and when because I want a clean house. We watch our own shows rather than watch things together. I order anything and everything that we need for the house as soon as I notice we need it: toothpaste, new door handle, deodorant, laundry detergent, etc.
Like, “what in the absolute world am I doing?”
By the end of the day I am so tired that I don’t want to do anything. And you want to know what else I do? (I am so ashamed of myself). I COMPLAIN to MY husband that he might not be doing enough and i’m tired of doing everything.
Like, wait, what? Did she just say that?
I did. Please shake your heads at me. I welcome it.
I took over everything on my own. I do what I see fit within an HOUR if I notice it. I do not consult him before I do anything when it comes to caring for our home. And if he doesn’t do it fast enough, when I ask him to do something, then I do it anyway and then complain about doing it.
This crap happens. And, I’m ashamed to admit that I am the root cause.
If I don’t acknowledge that i’m the literal problem then how in the world do I recognize that the change should come from me – not him?
Over the last few days I have been constantly thinking, and thinking, and evaluating, “when did this freaking happen and WHY did it happen?”
And, I figured it out.
I brought home my “work mind” and applied to our lives. OUR BLOODY MARRIAGE.
And it started when I began working from home, and it worsened when my dad died.
I couldn’t separate my “work-self” from my “home-self” because my job was IN MY OWN HOME. #Thanks2020
I started my day at work – which is only, like, 10 feet from the bedroom. I wouldn’t emerge from the office until 6pm or later depending on what I needed to get done. Sometimes, I would even work in the kitchen, in the living room, and in the BEDROOM.
Then, when my dad died, all of these fears started bubbling up from within and tearing my mental health a part.
- What if my marriage fails?
- What if Bruce takes on the habits of my dad and drinks alcohol heavily?
I mean, my parents struggled HARD and were separated earlier this year before my dad died. Watching them interact, while growing up, has developed these tendencies within me to question the life I lead, and, literally, fear a miserable marriage. Like, what if that becomes us? Or what if we become alcoholics? These are fears that sit in the bottom of my stomach. And they NEVER leave my mind. These are constant battering fears that flood my mental space almost daily since my dad died, and because of that, my need for control grew much much worse.
Not only did I control our house, but I also tried to control Bruce as a person. I would be like, “Hey, maybe you shouldn’t drink at all. Maybe you should eat this way. Maybe you shouldn’t do this or that and BLAH BLAH BLAH.”
To be frank, like I’ve been so far, so much of this comes from this inner fear of everything falling apart, and that the falling apart is all my fault. And now look at where it got me.
My need to be the glue, to be the controlling element that made it feel like it was all together actually created the space between the foundation and frame that held it together. (PS: Don’t worry about me, or Bruce, or us. Bruce and I are great communicators. He let me figure this out on my own, and allowed me to fall so that I could see it for myself – and write a blog post about it because that is how I process, haha. I really do have the best partner in life that I could have ever asked or dreamed for <3).
This year has been hard. For all of us. It has challenged us in so many new ways. Especially me.
And, as we close out this year, I hope we can all reflect and make necessary changes to remain healthy and happy with ourselves and with each other.
2020 isn’t a year that we should forget even though all of us want to. It’s a year of serious growth. We should take it and glean from it.Tweet
For me? I’m cutting back from working at home. It’s time that I set boundaries with my work and my personal life. Time for me to be patient. Time for me to include Bruce. Time for me to embrace activities that he loves. Time for me to let go and relax, because I love Bruce more than my own need to control everything.
I need to breathe. Let go, and experience life as it hits us rather than predict the future and control its outcome. I also need to ensure that I’m not rushing ahead and leaving Bruce behind me. This is not about me, me, and I, and doing it all solo. Marriage is about partnership.
PS: I hope you loved this article and got a lot out of it. It’s definitely raw for me, but I always invite my readers to experience my ups and downs alongside me. There isn’t a perfect person in the entire world, and I’m willing to admit to all of my flaws out in the open. Too often we find ourselves comparing our lives to the picture-perfect scenarios displayed across our screens on social media. However, for me and my life, you will not find that. That is what Jennie Laureen is all about.
Sneak Peek: I’ve been working on moving all of my content to a brand new platform, and renaming my site from Jennie Laureen to Ownesty. I once used Ownesty as my business account for marketing and branding; however, in this new season, I have a better use for it. A permanent place to house my written content.
Ownesty means, “Owning My Honesty.”
Can’t wait to launch in 2021, and hopefully you join me on the ride of owning your own honesty too.
Love you all dearly! ❤
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash