Yeesh. 500 words or less is REALLY hard for me. A discipline I must really put my mind to.
Life continues to go careening forward full tilt as we proceed with our move. House on the market tomorrow. All the prep and cleaning that needed to go into it semi-accomplished (and so much crap now shifted into the garage, another job to sort through that). Our house now echoes, devoid of many personal trappings, curtains and area rugs, and I have to constantly discipline myself NOT to leave anything out cluttering a surface. A quick trip slipped in there to find a the new place (success, lease starts in about a month!). A college graduate in a few weeks. Now a sudden hospitalization for an elderly parent requiring SJ’s absence from home. We’ve been going non-stop.
Busy-ness is truly the enemy of marriages and couple connection and intimacy. When you fall into bed snoring before your head hits the pillow (him) or can’t stop your brain from running a million miles an hour to fall/stay asleep (me), it’s tough to dredge up intimacy, passion and excitement. And I really, really feel in deficit right now–through no one’s fault.
(Excuse me while I pour my third glass of wine…)
SJ has been trying so hard to take the pressure off me, encouraging me to take small tasks at a time with breaks between. He’s ordered in and we’ve eaten out more. Although I’m a professed procrastinator and one to say I work best under pressure, the stress does not bode well for me–less so as I age. I get irritable and uptight and critical. I start to wrestle back control. I find myself infuriated when my husband doesn’t react as I deem “appropriate.” And my husband has demurred from taking me in hand and helping me to get centered. I’m running amok. We are seriously out of balance, and it’s a disquieting feeling.
Take the hanging chandelier in our entry way, which is 10 feet up. Yea, that sucker does not get cleaned often. I KNEW a neighbor HAD to have an extra-tall step ladder for us to truly clean and polish it. SJ seemed to be in a passive-aggressive funk on my suggestions to go borrow the ladder… I just had gotten it into my head this is “a guy thing,” going to the other guys to borrow tools/equipment. But he wasn’t having anything to do with it. Finally after I had run out of patience for polite suggestions as to how he should go borrow a ladder, I just quietly did it myself, and eventually through the wonderful network of women and their cell phones and texts, tracked down the ladder we needed from a neighbor we don’t know well, but who was happy to loan it. There. Done. But as I stood on the top rung cleaning the fixture with window spray and towels in hand, I remained infuriated with SJ’s seeming push-back on this. Even though it drummed up a very pleasant neighborly exchange in the driveway of “Oh, who did your back fence/siding/painting… I’ll get you his name, he was very reasonable…”
Later, in a candid moment that had been building up over little frustrations like this, SJ did admit that “the borrowing tools from other guys” is not in his comfort zone. I don’t quite understand it, but there it is. Part of me gets frustrated and mad when he doesn’t “think logically like me.” But that is not a very helpful part of me, it’s not submissive nor supportive. And it’s what distances my heart from SJ.
Intimacy has waned to stolen moments in the early morns (not my best time of day) and I’m grateful it’s happening at all. But it’s very vanilla, soft, and quick, mostly for his pleasure. When it’s over, it’s clear we have a schedule ahead of us, and little time for lingering over… uhm… my pleasure. There is very little of the edge and dominance that I enjoy, that arouses me.
And I just feel disconnected from him. I don’t like this feeling. I keep telling myself that once we are past all of the stressers in our lives right now, things will be better. But then that little voice oh-not-so-helpfully goes off in my head, “HA! Forget that! Potential buyers are going to be traipsing through your house day and night now, and there’s no time to linger in the bed that must be perpetually made up nice and neat.”
There’s no big lesson here, just the sad realization that into every marriage comes those low moments where you suddenly stop focusing on each other… when the intimacy, the playfulness, and the fun are in deficit due the tyranny of the demands on your time.
And despite commitments and covenants and patience and long-suffering, this can’t be allowed to go on too long.
These are the times when it’s hard to see how to get back to that priority of you and me.