Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Day 91: Touch

I can't believe I had to go clear back to December to find a photo with both HH and I in it.  This is sad.

Things have been absolutely nuts over here these past couple of weeks.  It's been a whirlwind of activity and stress.

And I've learned something.

When I get stressed out, I get manic.  And then I go crazy working as hard as I can all day.  And by the time HH gets home from work, I'm sort of in a frenzy.  And still stressed because my mind keeps racing over all of the things that still need doing.  And in the process of preparing a house to sell, those things are endless.

So, HH gets home and I'm in the middle of getting dinner on the table.  Stressful even on a good day.  But now, I'm bugged that I have to do this ridiculous task every day because it's not something I can ever really check off.  I have to do it again tomorrow.  Where is the progress in that?  Plus, it's taking time away from the thousands of other things that need my attention.  And it's creating a mess I'll have to clean up.

Did you ever realize what a waste of time meals are?

Don't worry, that's a joke.


Anyway, I digress.

So, HH gets home and wants a hug first thing.  Not just the quick kind I try to get away with, but a real, longer than 3 seconds, hug.  With both of my arms involved in the hugging, not slicing strawberries or stirring a pot on the stove.

And a lot of the time, especially lately, he doesn't get it.

And I didn't realize it until last week, but thus begins a downward spiral.  He (inexplicably to me) feels guilty that I'm so stressed and wonders if I'm mad at him since I didn't take the time to hug him.  So, he's kind of hurt and becomes more critical as a defense mechanism.  I'm exhausted and definitely overly sensitive to criticism right now, plus I think, "Can't he see how much I'm doing?  Why would he be critical?".  So, I get hurt and mad and put up my walls.

And we have a fight.

And he's feeling guilty and defensive.  And I'm feeling hurt and exhausted.

And I absolutely don't want him to come anywhere near me.  Even if he apologizes.  Because I'm so tightly wound right now, I just have a hard time switching it off and letting those walls back down.

But, after a couple fights in which he mentioned being frustrated because I never wanted/had time to hug him (and I'm seriously just talking about hugs here, people--it's not a euphemism!), I had this revolutionary thought--"What if I take a minute every day when he gets home and give him my undivided attention and a real hug?"

So, I tried it the next evening.  And I decided to really go above and beyond and do things like squeeze his hand, or touch his shoulder.  Whoa.

And guess what?  I think we've had one fight since.  And it wasn't even a big one.

Maybe there are some other factors involved as well, but making time for hugs and other physical contact has been sort of a magic pill for our marriage.  And it's not been at all trying for me, like I thought it might be.  Dinner still makes it to the table, but I feel less stressed after hugging him.  And we are closer and more united.

And that's a much better place to be at with all of this stress and craziness surrounding us.

1 comment:

Linda said...

There is great advice in your post - one of those "small and simple things" that brings about great results. For the giver and the receiver. Thanks!