I got into a fight with my wife this morning. It was a broken record of all of our fights. I wasn’t doing something right and she just HAD to let me know about it.
The thing is, she has no idea how much I do for this family. I’m at work 10 hours a day, and in the car for another two. I hate my job, but it puts food on the table, so I do it. But when I get home, the first thing she does is ask if I can help with the kids.
Hold on! What the hell? Can I get two minutes to myself?
Then, once the kids are finally in bed, and I can get those two minutes I just talked about, she hits me up with, “can we please fix the showerhead in our bathroom now?”
I told her I’d take care of it. Yeah, I know it’s been three weeks, but she doesn’t realize how spent I am after working at helping with the kids.
She’s so selfish. I wish she could feel as tired as me for just a minute. I wish she could feel the stress I deal with in wondering if we’re going to be able to make the mortgage payment this month.
But she doesn’t. She just does her thing and expects me to jump whenever she yells, “jump!”
Here he comes. It’s 6:30pm and he trudges through the door looking like the world spent the day kicking him in the nuts. But seriously, if I don’t get two minutes of quiet time away from these kids, I think I might go insane. So he better be ready to help me with these little monsters.
Plus, it’s not like I spent the day getting pedicures and massages. I’ve driven all over the city today to shop for groceries, drop the kids off at practice, pick the kids up at practice, drop the other kids off at another practice, and I just realized I didn’t each lunch. But hey, that’s what I call Wednesday around here.
Did he seriously just ask for a minute to himself?
Who does he think I am, the minute bank? That I’ve got minutes ready to loan whenever he asks?
Plus, he didn’t even notice that the laundry was clean and folded this morning before he left for work. I knew he’d need a clean uniform today for work, but he snatched it from the pile, threw it on and didn’t even grunt out a thank you.
And I bet he’s going to give me shit about fixing that shower head when I ask him tonight. But I swear, if I have to have one more shower with zero water pressure because it keeps leaking out the side, I’m going to start showering in the backyard with the hose.
I’m not even sure how to approach him anymore. It seems like every time I try and talk to him we end up in a fight. The same stupid fight we have every stupid time.
I just wish he realized how chaotic my day was. How tired I am. How stressed I am that we might not make the mortgage payment this month. But all he thinks about is work and sports.
I hate to say it, but he’s so damn selfish sometimes.
The preceding stories were brought to you by Life.
Life… it’s tough, it’s tiring, and it makes you feel like you’re on a stage, people milling about you as extras, coming in and out of your life to either bug or help you, but you’re the star of the show. The pressure is on you. You’re the one that can carry the show.
Hear me out. I know you’re tired. We’re all tired. But maybe we’re all just caught up in our own performances. We’re all aware of the bright lights on us and feel like we’re losing at the performance of life. But remember that your spouse isn’t an extra in your production. They’re on a stage of their own, with the lights beating down on them, with the stress of the whole production on their shoulders.
It’s easy to tell our own stories and explain why we’re tired and stressed, but we need to tell ourselves our spouse’s story as well. Understand where they’re coming from. Realize that their day doesn’t go on pause when we’re out of the room and then press play when we walk back in. They’ve had shitty days too.
I find myself telling the same stories as the husband and wife in the stories above. But when I do that, it’s usually because I’m overwhelmed, feeling sorry for myself and needing help. And when I don’t receive it, I get resentful, and that resentment grows and festers.
But when I tell myself my spouse’s story first, then all of a sudden I’m acutely aware of how they’re feeling and I can help them. And when I help them, somehow they instinctively want to help me back. And before you know it we’re both happier, communicating better, and less prone to argue. But that doesn’t happen until one of us tells ourselves the other one’s story first.