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Such a Huge, Yet Small Moment in Our R

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TimeToManUp posted 10/12/2013 10:31 AM

As some of you may know, I work for an electric utility company. My hours tend to be absurd at times, none worse than during the fall and spring outages when demand is low and equipment can be safely taken out of service. 40 hours of OT or more is not uncommon during these times, and I've already worked just shy of 1000 this year already.

So yesterday, I texted TCD to let her know my jobs were running late, and she was (once again) going to have to bring the kids to hockey alone. I told her that I understand how frustrating it can be to manage with these hours and three kids, and I thanked her for her understanding.

She responded by saying "It's OK, do what you have to do. I love you."

It may seem like a small thing, but for us communication has always been a weak point. I've always felt that her responses to such information in the past made me feel worse than I already did for having to miss more time with my family. I'm sure that wasn't what she was intending, but that was how it was received on my end. And my own hangups about not wanting to make her upset would-lead to passive-aggressive conflict-avoidant behaviors. So it was very nice to have that exchange and neither of us walked away hurt or suspicious or whatever other emotions may have been brought forward in the past. It seemed like a huge step forward in my eyes.

I love my BW very much and I hope this was just one of many small steps towards a brighter future for our family.

authenticnow posted 10/12/2013 10:32 AM

roses303 posted 10/12/2013 10:59 AM

That is a huge step. WH and I were stuck in that passive aggressive communication loop too. It is a huge thing, not a small one that you are breaking the pattern!

TattoodChinaDoll posted 10/12/2013 11:31 AM

I think this is a good lesson for all BS and WS who are reconciling or considering it. During the A I said the same things to him. I told him I missed him when he was working. I told him that everything was ok at home with, at that time, a 6 year old, 2 year old, and a newborn while he was working. But yet some of his justifications were that I didn't appreciate him and that he took me for granted. I think that really demonstrates how the A isn't about what the BS is lacking but what was really wrong with the WS. Whether its passive agressiveness, narciccistic traits, depression, etc etc...those things need to be fixed to have a healthy relationship. TTMU said it perfectly when he said that was his perception. And the unfortunate part is that he didn't communicate that with me. But I'm not blameless either. I should have not given up on communicating with him. I posted in Off Topic about how with my kids that I don't give up of something doesn't work with them. I try something else. I felt like I had tried everything with him. Being codependent (and weirdly only with him) and making his issues mine left me feeling like I had no other way to communicate. But I did. Because he is him and I am me. I had always defined myself by him. In R both the WS and BS need to look at themselves.

[This message edited by TattoodChinaDoll at 12:25 PM, October 12th (Saturday)]

eachdayisvictory posted 10/12/2013 11:41 AM

I love hearing this wayward side perspective! That feels like where we are.

We spent 15 years handling our disagreements with passive aggressiveness, and it never felt good. I wondered aloud several times if other couples were like us, or if there was something wrong with us. The mistake is that we never went to therapy, never talked about it, and my H found someone else to talk to about it.

That hurts. A lot. But I didn't do anything about our problems either. That doesn't make the A any less of a betrayal or selfish act or mistake, but it happened, and if we want to move forward, we need to fix us - like you seem to be.

I never really listened to my H when he talked about work. All I heard were excuses or justifications as to why he continuously chose to give himself to work over family. The fact that he found time to have an affair is still, and probably always will be, a tender and painful thing for me.

But now we work out our family time together. We make decisions about our work schedules together. He still makes choices that I disagree with, but he listens to my side thoughtfully and considers what I have to say - and I am doing the same. Now if we lament our lack of family time, it is real and it is together. We problem solve it together, figure out what we need to feel good about our time and how to handle that which we cannot change.

It's beautiful, and no small moment at all. It's a reward for the work you have been doing, and I have felt the warmth and comfort of those 'small' rewards too.

Thanks for sharing.

confused615 posted 10/12/2013 11:45 AM

This *is* huge!

Congratulations to both of have worked your asses off to get to where you are now.

It's a beautiful thing to "see."

Thanks for sharing.

Skan posted 10/12/2013 11:56 AM

This is a lovely post! I'm so glad to hear that the two of you are actually hearing what the other has to say and not reacting to what you think the other implied, and valuing each for the gifts you bring to your marriage.

bionicgal posted 10/12/2013 12:50 PM

I love it when folks in our R community "do good!" Hoorah!

HardenMyHeart posted 10/12/2013 23:10 PM

JanaGreen posted 10/13/2013 06:03 AM

Good to hear! I hope you two have a great weekend. :)

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