Friday, February 11, 2011

Working on My Marriage

I haven't posted about my marriage in ages. Which naturally means things are going swimmingly because I have zero to bitch about at this time! I attribute this in large part to the fact that 1) neither of our kids is under the age of 12 months anymore, and 2) we have figured out how to communicate much, much more effectively.

I've beaten this one to death, but just want to reiterate that "Getting the Love You Want" by Harville Hendrix was a book both DH and I found very, very helpful and illuminating.

I also came across this very interesting little blog about working on marriage last week written by this earnest, adorable young married couple without kids (who BTW are VERY into Christianity though DH and I clearly are not, but no matter... whatever you believe, I suppose you just gotta be on the same page as your spouse with it, right?). They have these "Tuesday Night Questions" they ask each other that I think are absolutely ingenious:

1. How did you feel loved this past week?
2. What does your upcoming week look like?
3. How would you feel most loved & encouraged in the days ahead?
4. How would you feel best pursued in sex/intimacy this week?

Damn good questions, no?

These adorable young people get it. Harville Hendrix gets it. John Gottman and the myriad people he's co-authored relationship books with also get it.

I hope that someone out there on the internets, like me and DH, who is looking for answers to the problems in their relationships (problems that they know in their hearts to be solveable ones, NOT one of the 4 A's: addiction, abuse, adultery, abandonment) can get their hands on information like this. It literally saved my marriage. All those hard times not so long ago seem like distant memories. Believe it when people say there is an end to Survival Mode with a new baby.

Anyway, I'm off to a little date night with DH now. Wishing you and yours lots of romance, or even just a good lay this Valentine's Day weekend...


Jac. said...

Oh Hush - I'm so happy for you that things have improved! I firmly believe that the really best relationships are the ones we actively reflect upon and work to improve. I'm going to keep your recommendations in my back pocket as I am in the midst of the three month growth spurt and the flu, and I am really angry at my husband for not having boobs at the moment. At least, not milk-producing boobs. I would definitely feel most loved/encouraged right now if he did every single thing around the house that did not involve boobs.

Cloud said...

I'm glad your marriage is in such a good place, Hush! We're coming out the otherside of a rough patch here, I think. Nothing major, but the lay off threw our rhythm off. I just signed a job offer today, so we'll be back to normal soon, I hope.

@jac, your comment made me smile, because I so remember those days! And then, when I had to pump at night to make enough milk for the next day, and Hubby was jealous because my chore involved me sitting around for 20 minutes reading, while he did the dishes- so I reminded him of all of the middle of the night feedings, and the growth spurts when I was glued to the sofa nursing, etc. I think he'd still trade with me if he could.

caramama said...

It's so great to hear that your marriage is doing so much better! You guys really put in the work to make it better, and that's what I think is key to a lasting relationship. I hope you had a wonderful date night!

@Jac - Man, I remember those days. You'll get through it though. Hopefully soon!

@Cloud - Congrats on the job! That's awesome!

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

hush, I admire you for working on your relationship, and it is so nice to read that it is working. I'm a child of divorce, and of two people who aren't the greatest communicators shall we say, and I still fault them for not trying harder to communicate respectfully and effectively with each other. I think that learning to communicate with your spouse also makes you a better parent. Anyway... happy valentine's day to you two!

@Jac and @cloud -- I'm pretty grateful that my husband understands that his job right now is absolutely everything that isn't milk production (even if cooking and vacuuming are almost fun "me" time for me at the moment. Did I mention I'm not getting out much?).

Our problem is not that he resents this but that he sets the bar for himself too high and gets irritated if, despite his best efforts, I'm still tired or overwhelmed or grumpy. For my part, I try to cobble together enough sleep for myself and let the nonessential slide (read: housekeeping) and ask for what I need, so I'm not so bitchy and difficult. It helps that Mademoiselle is starting to nap more easily, and sometimes even decides to sleep a long stretch at night. It doesn't help when, like last night, I stay up until the wee hours updating my blog!

Claudia said...

Yay, great update! And as it so happens, we did have some good sex last night. Not V day, but we don't celebrate that anyway.

@Cloud, congrats! Hope you love it.

Melba said...

Good to hear hush. I guess in this case no news is good news. :)

I fully attribute the recent improvments in my marriage to sleep. Sometime in December, Annie started sleeping through the night. And while she still wakes occassionally, and sometimes Rosie wakes me up to go pee, we are both sleeping 100 times better. And suddenly we communicated rationally again. Less irritable. I don't know how it really happened, but the sleep is what did it. Amazing. I slot this into the "neither of the kids is under the age of 12 months anymore" category and I'll even go so far as to say that the "we have figured out how to communicate much, much more effectively" category is very much due to the first category.

mom2boy said...

A belated Happy Valentine's Day and I'm very happy to hear that things are going so well for you and DH. I envy you all in healthy relationships. I don't have to share Tate with anyone, no, but then again I don't get to share him with anyone who loves him the way I do either.

hush said...

@Jac - "I would definitely feel most loved/encouraged right now if he did every single thing around the house that did not involve boobs." Perfect description of my own thoughts at 3 mos postpartum. Word.

@Cloud - CONGRATS on the new jobby job!!! I have been thinking of you often, you sweet random stranger somewhere down in SD who I've enjoyed getting to know online. Hurrah!!

@caramama - I know I look to you & Londo's lead for relationship advice. ;)

@Parisienne - "I think that learning to communicate with your spouse also makes you a better parent." So true!

@Claudia - "we did have some good sex last night." Amen & WOOT!!! to that! ;)

@Melba - "I fully attribute the recent improvments in my marriage to sleep." Me, too. What a difference solid sleep makes!

@mom2boy - Thank you! Tate is one lucky little man!!! ;)

Vacationland Mom said...

Once things settle down a bit I will definitely look into reading that book. Not sure what your specific issues are but ours have to do with trust. I have never been so optimistic though about us and making it thru the long haul than I am right now, even in the midst of crisis. Sometimes you really do have to hit bottom in order to make change and make things better. Unfortunately that seems to be the only way I'm able to really learn something!!