Welcome to The Plaid & Paisley Kitchen!
This post series is going to be a departure from recipes. I made the decision to open up my life to my readers this year. I want to share with you stories from my life. Stories that I hope will speak to you and help you in your life and relationships.
This is the second article in my How to Not Lose Your Husband Like I Almost Did series. Last week I touched on how just because one person says the word divorce it doesn’t have to be the end of your marriage. My husband asked for a divorce and we found our way back to each other. You can read The word divorce is not the end here.I can’t say for sure I know the day that things started to take a turn for the worse. At least not until they turned black. Before that though is a gentle slope, you don’t even feel the ground move beneath your feet. Looking back, and being truly honest with myself, the early signs that things were wrong go back a long way. Almost to the beginning.
Those first few wonderful months, when you have so much love between you and you can hardly keep your hands off each other, slowly fade into a warm and comfortable routine.
It’s when that routine turns into monotony is when the trouble starts.
When life becomes mundane you can’t help but start to hold silent hurt locked away. On the outside, everything looks normal. You are living like clockwork and nothing really exciting happens anymore. You don’t want to disturb the peace by talking about unpleasant things. So you continue in your comfortable silence.
Maybe you have noticed that you don’t talk as much as you use to. Remember how you could pass the whole night away talking about everything and nothing all at once. You may feel that you already know everything there is to know about your husband and feel there is no point in asking.
What you mistake for comfortable silence or just run of the mill day to day activities could be the beginning cracks of what could be a very large divide later.
Men are notoriously bad at sharing their feelings. As women, we feel that we are the peacekeepers. So neither one of us is talking. That comfortable silence could very well be one or both of you holding on to hurt, anger, frustration, or actually the worst, disappointment.
In our case disappointment was a poison that wrapped its way around and began to choke my own happiness. And like any poison, it was deadly. Anger can be vented. Frustration can be worked out. Hurt can be smoothed over, but disappointment lingers. No one wants to tell the man they love that they are disappointed in their life.
And the rift grows.
Really analyse, are you not talking as much as you used to? Do most nights pass too busy with day to day activities to really spend any time together? Do you feel like there is nothing new you can learn about this man? I felt this way also.
You can imagine how surprised I was when I found out my husband played baseball when he was a boy. We were married 10 years at this point! When I asked him why he never told me that his answer was so typically male.
“You never asked,” he said.
But I made a terrible mistake, I never asked him, “what else haven’t you told me?” Men are more complex than we give them credit for. It’s easy to wrap them up in male ego, sex, food, and sports. Of which they most certainly are, yet they have more layers than that.
Don’t let that silence continue. Don’t let life get in the way. Even if it feels awkward, after months or even years of living like this, force yourself to start talking. It doesn’t have to be a big serious talk. Just conversation. Ask more about his childhood, ask more about his work, have him teach you his hobbies.
Once you start talking it will become comfortable again. As that comfort grows you will find ways to talk about what hurts. It won’t feel confrontational because you have gotten back in the habit of just talking again.
Early on in our marriage we just seemed to stop talking about our dreams, wants and desires.
We weren’t ignoring each other we just only talked about what you need to get through the day or to make plans to do something. That’s not really talking to each other.
Take a close look. Are the signs there? You are the only one that can catch these habits before they turn toxic. You can undo the damage caused by silence. If you fix it now you have stopped the slow killer in your marriage.
Next Week: What happens when two lives become one? Do you feel you have lost your own identity?
What do you think your early signs are? I want to learn from you too!