My husband informed me this weekend that I cry too much and he's running out of compassion. And before you think of him as an ogre, there might be something to his seemingly harsh words.
I don't think my husband TRULY understands women (who does, really?) But when we cry, it doesn't always mean something is wrong. Sometimes we just...cry. This is totally true of me. Oh, and when someone tells you to stop crying, it just intensifies the whole dang thing. Don't cry? Yeah, okay, let me turn it off.
Every day I feel so strongly inadequate for this job I've been called to do.
On Saturday night, Andy decided we should let Liam cry it out. Which he did. From 9PM until 12:30AM, when I was finally told to "Go get him! This isn't working!" So afraid to make Andy even MORE upset, I slept with Liam on his glider, and then slipped into bed around 4AM. To say I was tired was a gross understatement.
At church on Sunday morning, I dressed "the boys" alike- khakis, vests, white shirts and black ties. It was adorable. We got there SOMEWHAT on time...we at least caught the sermon, and what does my mom do? Gives Liam a red drink, which he promptly spilled all over himself. This irked me, because...well, because it did. Do I need a reason?
Liam came with us to our class after church, (I put him in the nursery and that lasted about 20 minutes), and he was so ornery and obnoxious- pulling hair, screaming, running around- that I had to take him into the hallway. The tears started to form around my eyes, but I blinked them away.
My mom approached me, and perhaps a little too forcefully, or perhaps my emotions were so elevated I couldn't focus, asked me what the matter was. Why was I so irritable? What was wrong with me? I started to cry and run for the bathroom. Which my husband saw, which set him off.
I wasn't spoken to for the rest of the afternoon. He started texting me furiously as I made lunch- "What was that little Performance you pulled at church this morning?" Among other texts. This of course, ignited a fire so strong inside me that I was inconsolable. "You cry all the time. Something is literally wrong ALL THE TIME."
I may have mentioned this before, but the only way my husband and I communicate when we are upset with each other is over text- mostly because I am a blubbering fool and because my husband has a temper unlike the world has ever known. And we're both REALLY REALLY bad fighters. He bucks up and I buck down. He spews, I apologize for fear of making things worse.
This morning after I've had time to cool down and think about it, yeah, I do cry a lot. (This doesn't mean he couldn't show me some compassion once and a while, but this blog is not about him it's about me.) Men are fixers. They are also not emotional, and that's by design. Although recently it's become more mainstream for men to show emotion, old habits die hard. And you don't marry a man to change him.
So while he's off fuming, I'm crying, because that's how I deal, I cry. Sometimes I cry when I'm happy. Sometimes I cry when I'm sad. Sometimes I cry when I'm making supper. If for no other reason that I feel so grossly inadequate for this job of motherhood, wifehood, sisterhood, daughterhood...sometimes it's all so overwhelming and before you know it, you're wrist deep in a box of tissues.
Eventually it ends and the sun comes up and you're like- phew, that's over. But what men in general don't get? Is that we don't need fixed during these times. We just need...nothing. We need nothing. We need to be left to our banshee-like sobs and that's the end. Maybe a hug here and there, but mostly not. And don't expect us to explain to you "what's wrong" because honestly, if we knew, WE'D FIX IT.
It starts out as, "I'm buying groceries for my family." And then it spirals into, "I hate cooking. What if all my food sucks? What if the beef I'm making my family is actually killing them with hormones? Should I be eliminating meat from our diets? Should I be dieting? What have I eaten today? I haven't gone to the gym, so who cares what I eat. I should go to the gym. Is going to the gym taking away from my time with Liam? What if I can't play with my child because I'm not fit? What if I'm THAT mom at t-ball games? Oh my goodness I can't be that mom. I should wear makeup and less sweat pants. I need a new look. I'm so hideous. Why would my husband even want to come home to this?"
And before you know it, you're bawling in the frozen foods.
How do you explain that to people? "Why are you crying?" Um....because deep down I guess I hate cooking?
Bottom line is, this time I'm giving my husband a "get out of jail free" card. Even though his comment angered me, we ended up finishing off the argument fairly humanely, which is a step in the right direction. He's a good man. And I'm a good woman. We just have to convince EACH OTHER of this. Nobody is truly inadequate when there are people to help- and that's what marriage is, really.