Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tough love

All the stuff going on in our life right now has had me a little worried about the state of our marriage.

It's not like I'm concerned that III is "stepping out" on me or anything... But I've seen others who's marriages have fallen apart, and it seems to often come from the "build up" of things that are poorly or inadequately addressed.

III and I deal with stress in completely opposite ways. III withdraws. He gets quiet (and often a bit cranky) and buries himself in work, exercise and video games. I, on the other hand, reach out. I want to be hugged. I want to be reassured. I want to curl up under a blanket and have someone stroke my hair.

So when we are both dealing with the stress of, say, a family member who needs a heart transplant, or, for example, an upcoming frozen IVF transfer that will likely not work, we hit a conflict. I feel like III is ignoring me when I need attention the most. III feels like I'm being clingy and demanding when he just wants to retreat within his head.

The hardest part? He still wants to have sex. He hasn't touched me for three days, but now he wants me to make love to him? And it's not even like we crawl into bed and he rolls over and starts something. He just takes all of his clothes off and lays on the bed and says "Let's go." And that? Doesn't really get me in the mood...

So this weekend it kind of came to a head. I knew we had to talk about it... but to be honest I was feeling a little resentful that I always have to be the one to bring it up!

But I did. I told III that I was worried about us. I told him that he didn't seem to want to be near me- to touch me. I told him that I couldn't remember the last time he told me he loved me (with the exception of the auto-I-love-you when getting off the phone). I told him that I wasn't feeling pretty or desirable or even good at anything lately. Oh, and I cried. Of course. I'm a crier.

He felt bad. He told me that of course he loves me. That he thinks there are lots of things I'm good at, and that, while when I was sitting there crying I probably didn't look my best, I was still pretty, and in fact had looked very pretty two nights earlier when we went on a double date with friends. He has made an effort over the last two days to be more affectionate. (Funny story- last night he was trying to be nice and cuddle me without it leading anywhere... but he got turned on. He was like "I can't help it!" We laughed about it... it could be worse, I guess...)

As we said good night last night, I told him "I love you so much, I just wish things could always be good." But I guess they can't be always good... and they're okay for now.


Nixy said...

Glad to hear that things are getting worked out. It sounds like you are both willing to do what it takes to help each other through it.

Becky said...

In the last say year or so i've come to realize true how different men and woman can be! my husband and i deal with stress completely different too, i freak out, he remains calm. I fee like he's not supporting me, he feels like i'm over reacting, and usually i am, but that's just me. After 6 years together atleast we can recognize the patern!!!

sounds like you had a nice talk and worked through things for a while.

Oh ps my husband thinks constantly remindine me how long its been since we had sex will make me want to have sex, um no!!

Frenchie said...

My husband sounds a lot like yours. And it makes me resentful. When all the bad shit hits the fan in life, like infertility, money problems, you name it--I want reassurance, I want to talk, etc... he withdraws. I hate it. If you figure out the magic bullet for dealing with it all--let me know!!