Something that I used to struggle with so much in the past and I am now starting to understand in an entirely new light is a relationship between you and your hubs.
When Dustin and I first got married I thought that we needed to do everything together. I would get so bitter and resentful when he would go hunting every weekend or if his friends asked him to go do anything.
I mean I was nineteen, pregnant, and a lot of my friends had moved on with life kind of leaving me in the dust after we got married. At that time in my life that's what it felt like and this cycle of me feeling resentful and bitter perpetuated. I don't think I was very nice about it either.
I remember when we moved to Southern Utah and Dustin went to work. He started making friends with a lot of his co-workers and I had a lot of internal work to do because I was a little jealous. I was depressed and the resentment returned. Again, a lot of the friends that I had in our hometown before we moved left me in the dust as well and we stopped talking. I had one friend make a comment the day that we moved that did not sit well with me. And although I talked to her quite a bit after moving it was still a struggle for me emotionally. Let's fast forward about six months living in our new town and things did start to improve. I joined a business group and I started to meet new people and one of them that actually came to the group was my life coach.
I am here to tell you that is where my life truly started to shift. I had started on my personal development journey but there were a few things that I was still really hung up on and a lot of it was like trauma caused from my childhood.
She walked me through healing a lot of that past trauma and taught me the tools needed to move forward. As I started to shift my mind and make new friends things started to get better, my resentment towards Dustin's newfound friendship subsided, and I didn't feel like a lost puppy alone in the woods anymore.
I was starting to feel like I was finding my place. Between then and now I have had to make a lot of mental shifts to get where I've gotten today and recently I actually made another big shift into realizing that you know, we are two different people in a marriage living our own lives.
So going back to the first of this episode where I was talking about thinking I had to do everything with Dustin + I would get resentful when he would go do things with his friends… you are both your own people! You might be under one roof but you don't want to be living the same life as your husband. So sure you're a team. But if you rely on him to make all of your decisions, get upset when he has his own thing to do, or you're resentful when he's living his own version of a good life then it's time to dig super deep within yourself and realize that this is codependency. Something that I had to make a big shift with in the beginning was the fact that he did not love doing some of the same things I did and he enjoys some of the things that are not my gem + that is OK! At the end of the day, we can come together and sit around the table with the kids + laugh about life and feel the love that we have for each other. You have to have your own thing outside of the relationship just as much as he needs his own thing too. If you are being secluded or not allowed to have your own thing then something needs to change either in your relationship mentally something because that's not good. It's a mutual respect and understanding. We shouldn't try to force anyone to do anything they don't want to do, and they should be allowed to be their own person.
You fell in love with them for who they are and if they are still that amazing person that treats you well, but simply has their own things they enjoy, let them! It’s what helps the relationship thrive!
The things each of you do should be for yourselves and in the service of others if that's what we choose but never in a manner that makes anyone feel guilty for not wanting to see or do things your way. Believe me, when I try to get the kids to do something they don’t want to do sometimes, it’s a freaking fight ya know?! NOT WORTH IT!!
I'm still trying to figure out why we as a society have lost touch on how to communicate. We went from like being kids to always speaking or acting out our truth to suddenly hiding our feelings + giving vague answers for fear of offending someone.
When kids grow up, they have their firm beliefs on different things and then as parents we kind of start to shape a lot of that and sometimes tell them, “Oh my gosh like don't say that” when they say the embarrassing thing at aunt Joe's wedding luncheon. Then it slowly kills their confidence and they begin to hold more in instead. Dustin and I really struggled a lot with communication at the beginning of our marriage and honestly a lot of it had to do with me not knowing what I wanted and him just not being much of a talker. We have had to learn a lot and I just wanted to share a few tips with you today on things that I found to be super helpful:
The first one is if something your spouse does or says bothers you then you call them out. Perhaps not right in front of everyone if you're somewhere that it wouldn't be appropriate but don't let it fester for too long because they might not even be aware that it bothers you. For example one time in our relationship Dustin and I were talking and I was mid-sentence when he suddenly said, “Hang on a second I need to answer this real quick” and he walked into the kitchen to respond to a DM on an account for a business that we were just starting. Immediately that upset me and I went into our room and started getting ready for bed. He came in and said okay what was the rest of your story and I know I made some sort of snide comment and then I just went and climbed in bed. He came in bed and asked me what was wrong. Well, if you know Dustin he is one that will not allow you to go to bed upset or if he knows something is bugging me. I’m the person that will hold it all in until I explode! Also not a healthy way to solve problems! So finally after him prying, I came clean with the fact that him walking away to answer a DM made me feel like that was more important than what we were talking about. He apologized and we moved on…. Nope, no week long silent treatment or me stewing about it in my head so the next thing could pile on top! Solve the problem then and don’t hold it in because it will cause more problems in the long run.
Realize your husband is their own person too. They have their own plans. They have their own to do list and they don't need a to do list from you. To do items are something that you should sit down and plan together after learning what each of you need that week again. Not everything needs to be done together. You both have your own “lives” that you're also living and so if there's things that need to be done around the house and you need his help, ask. Don't write him a to-do list like he's a child and say hey can you please do these and give him this big long list of stuff because maybe he has his own shit to do! If you want more help around the house or you're getting frustrated with the fact that your hubs isn't helping but you've never asked, cool your jets mama! Simply ask the question and plan a day each week that you can chat about your plans. He might have been raised in a home where mom did everything at home + dad went to work. Ya know, the old generation style of living might be all he knows so have some patience!
Set the boundaries without the guilt! You both share the home, the kids, and the life so it’s a give and take to make it all happen + keep things running smoothly.
Set some boundaries around what you will and will not do in the home, around the tech, and with the kids. Some boundaries we have in our home are no tech at the table, mom and dad’s room is off limits, and we respect each other’s things. I do NOT write to-do lists for Dustin, but we chat about the help we each need at the beginning of each week so we are on the same page in case something pops up. I will be the first in saying that like it seriously took a lot for Dustin and I to begin figuring all of this out and even today we still are not perfect at it. We are far from perfect. But we're continuously evolving and opening new ways of communicating with each other and it feels so good! Every now and then the guilt still creeps back in, but then I realize that if I need a few hours to get some work done or to go do my thing, I simply ask and he knows he can do the same. Keep communication open and don’t make your spouse become a mind-reader or get upset when you placed expectations on him simply because he’s the Dad or the hubs. ASK!
Don’t sweep the small stuff under the rug because eventually you’ll have to pick it up to clean what’s underneath so make it easy for you both! You get to decide!