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.