Momma Confessions: I (Almost) Ruined Our Marriage
These are the questions my husband keeps on asking me for the past weeks (or even months!). Either I’ll pretend I didn’t hear his question or just say “Nothing” every time he ask.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband. I really do. We may not have celebrated our tenth year wedding anniversary yet but we’ve been through a lot already – and it tested our faith in our relationship.
These past few months, I am not in my best self. I cry for no reason, my patience truck is running out of supply, I rarely smile, I constantly complain about headache and back pain, I don’t get enough sleep, and I just want to be alone. I constantly pick on my husband and get mad at him for doing the simple things in a wrong manner. Even my kids are starting to be affected with my behavior. My husband always tells me I’m not the happy person I was before, so he know something is bothering me.
In other words, my depression and overall
negative disposition is taking a toll not just on my kids but also on my marriage.
Then we had a talk.
It was around 11 in the evening and we were about to watch a movie, one of our favorite bonding activities. He asked me those questions for the nth time and instead of answering him, I walked out and transferred to another room, crying. Of course, he followed because he wants to know what’s going on and he wants to fix whatever issues we are having.
“I know there’s something going on. Hindi naman ako manhid para hindi maramdaman eh.”
He said. After my crying session, I gave in. And I talked. Finally.
“I have so much insecurities. I feel like I can’t talk to you. I want some space. I need to take a break.”
Since I left law school and became a stay-at-home mom, I can’t help but think of what if’s. Motherhood gave me a different sense of joy and happiness and I would never trade my kids to anything. However, I would be lying if I say I don’t feel a pang of jealousy on friends who are “living the life.” I got pregnant at 23 and have to face responsibilities I’m not yet ready to face – physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially. My husband was there all throughout the journey and provided more than what I could hope for, but I guess my selfish self is saying it’s not enough. I pity myself for not being able to get a haircut and a foot spa, I felt miserable for not going on vacations, and I hated my husband for so many reasons I can’t even pinpoint. My husband even gave me a business to keep me busy but I wasn’t happy.
After hearing myself talk, there’s something I realized: I became selfish.
I focused on myself too much and how “miserable” I am and didn’t notice the good things and sacrifices my husband did for us. I became sarcastic and disrespectful that I didn’t realize I was already hurting him. I keep on complaining about the adjustments I have to make that I failed to see what he has to give up for himself too. I said hurtful things I could never take back and yet he is still there, trying to win me. I shut him out and refused to open up but after all this time, he is still there.
Our marriage is far from perfect, if that even exists. We still have occasional tampuhan, petty fights, and issues to resolve, and that’s a good thing. We are doing our best to make it work not just for the kids’ sake but also for us. We’re a work in progress and these things and adjustments help us be the best not just for our kids but for ourselves as well – and these steps helped us. 1. Regular date nights.
Date nights are imperative. It’s a once a month activity where I am able to get rid of shirt and pants for a dress and a nice pair of shoes. We eat in new, never-tried restaurants and just talk and focus on each other for two hours – or three in case we decide to extend it.
Date nights allow us to be husband and wife. We just enjoy each other’s company and discuss different things, aside from kids. It also allows us to spend time together, reconnect and discuss things, sans the screaming kids.
My husband is on the active side and because of him, I learned to love running and being active too. He constantly encourages me to be healthy and reminds me every time I’m not in the mood. If we’re not running around the village, we work out at home. It’s a good bonding experience and at the same time, it makes us feel better after.
3. Find something in common.
My husband and I belong in different worlds. However, we found something we both enjoy: food and movies.
It may sound a boring activity but movie nights as soon as the kids are asleep is something we enjoy. We make movie night snacks and watch new or favorite movies. We also go on regular coffee dates and enjoy a good conversation over a cup of coffee and a slice of cake.
My tip: never get tired of doing something you both enjoy.
4. Be honest.
I bottled up my feelings and issues for reasons I can’t understand. I thought by refusing to discuss the issues, keeping it to myself and trying to smile all the time, every concern, worries, and apprehensions will go away.
Apparently not. I realized why honesty is the best policy and why it is important to maintain this in the marriage. Bottling feelings won’t solve anything. In fact, it makes everything worse. By being honest, we were able to address and find solutions to my issues, which eventually strengthened our relationship.
5. It’s all about respect.
More than love and commitment, marriage is also about respect. Being disrespectful is not limited to saying hurtful words and treating each other in a bad way. I didn’t realize that my being quiet and shutting my husband out was already being disrespectful. I am always in a “Yeah, right, whatever” mode every time he attempts to fix things between us. I shooed him away and refused to let him in, which already have a big impact in the relationship.
Marriage is a learning process. Although there are tons of books and articles to guide us in this journey, each marriage is different and unique from the others. Regardless, respect will always be among the most important ingredients to keep the marriage right on track.
6. Don’t forget intimacy.
Do you still kiss your husband every time he leaves for work? How many times in a week do you do the three-letter word? These past few months of playing the bad wife card, intimacy was lost – and it’s a bad thing. It’s not just because of the possibility of cheating. When there is less supply of intimacy, the other spouse feels unloved, unwanted, and undesired for.
That’s what my husband felt. After the “talk,” respect and love starts to come back and intimacy followed after. We were both hurt and it’s not that easy to play love birds again after that conversation. But we are trying and doing our best to bring the spark back.
7. Forgive and let go.
This is one of my biggest issues. I don’t forgive and can’t let go easily. Even if we’re okay now, there will always be a special place that holds grudges and hurt feelings. Every time there is a trigger, I always go back to that pain and find a reason to hate my husband more.
There is no place for that in marriage, or relationships in general. Grudges and holding on to the hurtful things is like a poison in the relationship. It will slowly consume you until you’re left with nothing but those negative feelings. I finally learned to let go of the negative, hurtful things that happened in the past and moved on. This helped me open up, forgive, and start over. After all, why should I hold on to it anyway?
I realized that the success of a marriage or relationships in general is not based on how happy we are as opposed to the number of times we fought. It’s not about being able to visit different places together (though why not, right?) or the kind of gifts we give each other. It’s about the actions we do to make it work. It’s about respect, love, trust, and keeping the communication lines open. We have years ahead of us and I’m glad that as early as now, we are able to figure out how to keep the love – and fire! – burning.