Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bidding farewell and life thoughts

Once again we made the trek out to Alberta. The second trip in four weeks to say our farewell to another of Dave's grandma's.

This was another woman who had lived a long life and left behind a huge, continuously growing family including 15 great, great grand children. Amazing. She was much loved and will be missed by all.

While we traveled the kids tuned into a few movies, crafted and read books while Dave and I tuned into podcast after podcast. Some were techy, some were on sports and then some where on relationships. (from focus on the family)

I don't know how many of you follow the focus on the family broadcast or podcasts but I used to tune in daily before kids. Now I just catch it once in a while  but I definitely plan to catch more.

The episodes we listened to were about conflict in marriage, divorce and the difference in marriages now compared to marriages before the tech age. The marriage of gen-X ers. (born from 1961 to the end of 1980)

I realized after listening to this that Dave and I really fall into all the stereotypical problems that gen-Xers have.  The neat thing was how they talked about dealing with the issues we face.
One thing that struck me  the most was that we should put the marriage on one level and the issues on another. Big oops for us.
Whether it is lies or failed promises or annoyances or way bigger issues we need to put them outside the marriage and deal with them as a couple. What got me was how to do this.
They suggested throwing a pillow on the floor and pretending it is the issue (what the fight is about) and then standing back as a couple and discussing and dealing with the issue. By putting ourselves outside the issue and tackling it together we are supposed to be able to conquer it better.
We'll see how this goes.
Another thing they talked about was the pain cycle. When a man does something that hurts the woman she starts off hurt and then gets angry. Then she gets resentful and bitter and then doesn't want anything to do with the guy. All because of something stupid that he has done and hasn't dealt with. This is when we are to step back and deal with the issue together. Both parties have to be willing to work on it though.
I haven't quite figured out how to do this yet, I keep cycling. I know that for the guy he goes through something similar when he is hurt too. 

I think the toughest part of dealing with our pains is sitting down and actually talking it through with our partner. Forgiving and trying to repair the relationship is painful too because we don't want to get hurt again. It is sometimes easier to keep our guard up and keep the pain of past hurts while we try to protect ourselves from future hurts. Forgiving (though not forgetting) is opening up and letting the guard down. That is almost painful in itself.

What I wish is that Dave and I could just be in puppy love again. It is not that we don't love, we have  a very deep love for each other but there are so many things that seem to affect the day to day. Schedules with the kids, meals, house cleaning, stupid other things I don't want to mention out loud that we both do and then trying to find time to be alone together seem to take such a tole.
I dream that someday I will look up into his eyes and my heart will explode like it did when we were first together. Right now it is just so tired and I know his is too. 
However we do both have the fight in us to keep things together. We both know this is a season of life and that the seasons are always changing. We remind each other of this we through pillows on the floor to discuss.
Someday ( as we sit in our creaky old rockers on the porch) I hope we can both look back and think of all the stupid stuff we dealt with while young and have a grand old laugh about it. (of course while we gave into each other's eyes with that special twinkle)


Anonymous said...

T and I have definitely had those seasons in our (almost) 16 years of marriage. I'm sure there will be more to come as well. That decision to work through is the key. Working through is a risk, but it's worth it. T and I are in a much better place. I know what you mean about puppy love. That spark is hard to keep and easy to miss. Keep walking and talking with each other. You'll make it to the other side and be better off when you get there.

Glenda said...

Aww I am sorry to hear about Dave's G'ma :(

Well my dear I truely have your dreams in mind about marriage - kids definately throw a spin on things and if you don't make time for the one on one time together I am living proof can you cannot possibly keep in tune Ü

Hannah said...

I am sorry to hear of the passing of another much loved Grandma. Big ((Hugs)).

Having kids absolutely changes a marriage. So does being together for a long time. Rob & I have been together for 12 years (almost 10 married) and I do know what you mean about the "puppy love" thing. I have found having regular date nights and sending the kids to the grandparents for a sleepover every so often can help to reignite that spark which just seems to fade away in the midst of all the day-to-day routines (kids, work, housework, finances, etc). Make time to spend together as a couple, it is key to keeping that spark alive and making sure you have things in common besides the kids! I know it's hard to organise date nights sometimes, but in my opinion, it's worth the effort.
The advice on the radio show sounds really good. It is hard to separate the issues from the marriage or the person. Great idea to use a visual prop (the pillow) to help keep them separate. Thanks for sharing what you learned with all of us!

Badness Jones said...

I'm sorry about Dave's grandma, and I think that a lot of us with small kids fall into the same category. Here's to fighting the good fight, and falling back in love...again and again and again.

Gayle said...

My husband and I have been married for 23 years (wow the time goes by so quickly!) and I also wish that we could have that carefree fun love that we had in the beginning. I don't know if we will have that again, but I do feel that as the years go by and we face everything that live sends our way, our love is deeper and stronger than ever. Great post, Anna!

mamatucci said...

Great post Anna,

I am at a loss right now but do understand we at almost 14 years together. It may be broken right now but I beleive anything can be mended.

Angela Fehr said...

It has helped us so much to remember that this fatigue is a phase of life - and to live in a bit of denial of it sometimes. So funny that when I start out "pretending" that I still feel those butterflies, they usually show up a few minutes later!

BeachMama said...

So sorry to hear of Dave's Grandma passing.

Good for you guys for listening to the podcasts and trying to figure things out. I sometimes long for those puppy love days too, but the reality is that we are parents who work hard and are tired. And we know that in time when the kids are a bit older there will be more time for us again. This is how life goes.

Elaine A. said...

Everything worth having is worth fighting for, right? ; ) It sounds like the two of you know how to approach your difficulties and are willing and that is SO important.

So sorry to hear about Dave's Grandmother...

Anonymous said...

Try reading 'The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands' by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. It was super insightful and we got the puppy love back ten fold just by following her advice.

Karen MEG said...

So sorry to hear about Dave's grandmother, Anna.
You know, having kids, and trying to keep that spark is very difficult ... but puppy love isn't the type that lasts forever. From all your posts about your family and how dedicated you are to each other, I'm sure you both will have that special twinkle so many years from now.