Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thank you all for dealing with posts I've been publishing lately. Thank God for my job; it keeps me occupied and focused on things that are interesting to me and keeps my thoughts away from the sadness and loneliness I find my heart soaked in when I come home, especially on the weekends.

I want to be honest, so fair warning: if you don't want to hear me be very honest about some things that I'm dealing with, you probably shouldn't read this post.

One of the hardest things about being married so far is privacy. In our relationship, this is well defined and separate from independence. We disagree completely on how we should approach the subject. We do not share passwords for anything and do not have joint bank accounts. For a while I tried to be OK with this, and it was a charade that didn't last. In addition to his schedule, this lack of community (I can't think of a better word) makes me feel like we are living two separate lives. I really don't feel like being married means anything other than I have to wash more dishes and have two bedrooms instead of one. It makes me very, very sad, but Aaron doesn't understand why I feel it's important and just feels like I'm encroaching on every area of his life. For instance, if someone calls Aaron, he will not tell me who unless I ask, which of course makes me wonder more, driving him crazy. His mom called him the other night. He told me something about their conversation, and I asked him what else they talked about. He then got angry, saying I am too nosy. This is what he says every time I ask. I asked because there have been several times in the past when she has asked us to do something or find out certain information, and then instead of letting me know so I can do or find whatever I'm supposed to, he forgets to tell me, and then I look bad despite having no idea of what I/we were asked to do. That, and I don't really feel like I know anything about what his family's up to, so he's really my only link.

I don't know what to do about this. It is really tough for me because I do feel like being married means sharing things, but our marriage has not been about two becoming one in the terms I just described. Of course, this is my side of the story, and Aaron has his reasons for the things he does, which I just don't understand. I also don't mean to make myself seem like a victim and portray him as a bad guy. I just wanted to tell this story because I really don't know what I can do. The only option seems like not caring about those things, which seems impossible from where I sit. I'd like to know what you think if you have any thoughts or advice or have dealt with something similar.


Elizabeth said...

Obviously I'm not married yet, so I'm sure more issues will come up then, but I can relate to your struggle to figure out how your lives fit together. In my relationship, sometimes I feel like I'm giving 80 percent and he's giving 20 percent, and sometimes it's the other way around. Rarely does it feel balanced. It's not a lack of love, just a lack of (are you ready for it?) communication.

Right now we're also job hunting. I feel a lot of pressure to get this awesome job and so far it's just been frustrating and depressing, and I get so angry that my fiance doesn't feel the same sense of urgency. So I feel like I'm shouldering the burden all by myself.

The only advice I can give you that I know for sure to be true is that most problems could be solved by just figuring out why your partner feels the way they do. Have you asked him why he feels like he needs to have his passwords and accounts private? Maybe he doesn't know how much it hurts for you to not know what's going on with his family (this is one where Eric and I have conflict, too. He thinks I'm nosy). Is there a joint interest that you could both put more effort into, so that it feels like you're sharing your lives instead of just sharing an apartment?

Hope you cheer up. It'll be fine.

Amber said...

The advice we were given about arguments is to use "feel" language. As awkward as it may be at first, it really helps get your emotions out in a non-threatening way. Like...

"When you do/don't do/say(insert thing here), it makes me feel (insert emotion)." Don't shy away from what you're really feeling and be honest with yourself and your spouse. It also helps to have the conversation while there are no distractions so you can really listen to the other person.

Mrs. Parker said...

Emily, I have dealt with almost your exact feelings/situations in the last 2 years. At first I thought it was because we were living together previous to marriage...almost like maybe God was punishing me...I dealt with a lot of guilt, so your post actually blesses me much. I think some of the reasons we feel this way are because society has re-defined marriage in so many ways. It doesn't feel as sacred as I always imagined it would. That makes me sad. I've told Sam on many, many occasions that I feel like his roommate and nothing more. Coaching means he's never home...which means I'm always alone, and my thoughts are's hard. And now, baby? YIKES!

One day I asked your mom what the secret to marriage is, and she said, "You need to have your own lives." I think about that everytime I question why I got married to be alone... Because when we're together, we're happy, most of the time, but otherwise, I feel very lonely. We have to find our own way because they doesn't quite understand our dependence (yet)?

I finaly broke down last week and emailed Sam, and I asked him to read the email over and over and over until he truly felt what I was trying to convey. (I'm lonely, I'm scared, and I want my husband, no matter what that costs us - jobs, money, whatever!!) I asked him to shut everything out and ask himself these questions - "Besides finances, what am I giving to this marriage? And what am I getting?" I told him I needed a clear answer when he came home. Needless to say, we finally had "the talk" we needed for a long time, and our weekend was very different from any we've had in about 6 months or so. I guess sometimes you just have to appraoch things differently because (1) they don't realize we're hurting, (2) they're scared to depend on us/have someone depend on them, or (3) they forget they're not bachelors anymore :o/

I never understood the statement " Marriage is hard." Boy do I get it now.

Anytime you need to talk, Em, I'm with you...just one exact year more experienced :)

Elizabeth said...

The above commenter brought up something really great: expectations. When I was doing a project for my marriage and intimate relationships course last semester, I had to interview a newlywed couple, a couple married more than 20 years, and someone who is divorced. My boss is divorced and I interviewed her. I asked her what her expectations were before marriage, and she said she didn't think about marriage enough to have expectations.

Sometimes it's not even that you don't think about marriage and expectations beforehand. Maybe some people just assume that what they believe marriage (or a relationship) should be like is what their partner believes as well. And even if you discuss all your expectations until you're blue in the face, you can't anticipate every change in your lives as a couple or every reaction you'll have to those changes.

And your mom is right. You do need to have your own lives. If you do everything together, you have nothing to tell your partner about because they were there!

Emily said...

I just wanted to say thanks for all of your perspectives and comments. I love having this community of friends and I greatly value everything you guys share. Thank you for your honesty~ much love!

Mrs. Parker said...

And despite what same may think about me because of my horrible spelling in the last comment, I am indeed educated and literate, and I can spell. Sometimes, my hands just type faster than my brain thinks. :)