I don’t usually post on Sundays.
But I’m making a special exception today.
My husband has been feeling down lately. Overworked, exhausted, and missing his family because he works evenings now and doesn’t get to see us much.
I have been feeling down too. Upset by the loss of a friend who callously mismanaged (yet another) creative project of mine. Triggered by a detailed interview with Family Court Services….if you don’t have PTSD you don’t understand how bad that is…but…it’s bad.
And as anyone who is married knows, when both partners are suffering emotionally, the relationships suffers too.
We have been bouncing between bickering, giving each other the silent treatment, and kissing half-heartedly just try try to keep things going. On top of everything, my mother in law is visiting. She’s been helping us…a LOT…with cleaning our apartment. I’m super grateful, BUT it does mean we haven’t had much time alone to talk or rekindle our relationship or anything.
But we’re married. We live together. We have kids together. We really can’t afford to be super dysfunctional. So I have decided to challenge myself, and I invite you to join along with me. It’s simple, here’s how you do it: Save this page. Pin it, bookmark it; whatever your favorite method of saving pages is, do it. Now go about your life. Next time you and your S/O get in a fight, or even the next time you just get annoyed with him (or her, or them), open up this page! Re-read my ten for inspiration, then grab my badge and create your own post. Seriously. You’re in this for the long haul, right? What better to help get over an annoyance with your significant other than to remind yourself ten whole reasons WHY you started on this crazy journey with them in the first place. *deep breath* Here goes.
This isn’t going to be easy. It is, afterall, a challenge. Expressing gratitude is especially difficult for me because in my abusive relationship, The Ex would frequently beat me hours after I said or did something nice for him. It was like he relished being especially cruel in response to my being especially kind. But, my husband didn’t cause my PTSD. So I’m giving it a shot, and I hope you’ll join me….If I can do it, you can too!
The S/O Challenge: Ten Things I Love About YOU Ricardo Brico
1. You Have A Unique Way Of Viewing The World
Like me, my husband loves to write. But our writing strengths are different. My strengths are in the poetics of language, while his are in descriptive observations. I am continuously impressed by his ability to notice tiny details and make insightful realizations about people and events; things that neither I nor anybody else I know would ever notice!
2. You Are Affectionate
My husband has had to crack through a pretty hard defensive shell that my trauma caused me to put up. It’s still there sometimes, even after almost five years together, but he never stops trying. A day does not go by that isn’t filled with kisses and embraces and cuddles. If he’s not around to give me a kiss, he makes sure to text me throughout the day and remind me that he loves me.
3. When You Try, You REALLY Try
It has been hard for me to come to terms with the fact that my husband sucks at remembering important dates. He has forgotten our anniversary more than once, my birthday…he’s even forgotten to get me gifts for Christmas. I hate that; it plays right into my fears of abandonment and exclusion. BUT when my husband does make an effort, which can either be on a special occasion or just randomly (maybe to make up for forgetting a special occasion) he goes all out. There was the birthday in Boulder when he carried a surprise special order vegan cake down the street, lit candles and all, to the bar where I was having my birthday party. There was Mother’s Day, when he had to work, but he still went out of his way to pick out prime ingredients and cook me a gourmet vegan lunch before he left. There was the day he randomly brought home a new copy of Fig even though we couldn’t really afford new things, just because he knew I really wanted it. It’s not always big gestures like that either; when he sees that I am having a trigger-heavy day he gives me a hug and takes over the parenting duties so that I can rest. He doesn’t always remember special dates, but when he wants to show he cares, he really makes an effort.
4. You Make Really Cool Music
I had to put this one in because he hasn’t been making music. Don’t get me wrong, I like my husband’s writing, but I really LOVE his music. He makes it using some computer program, I don’t really know anything about that, but I know that it comes out sounding really cool and unique and I wish I had more of it.
5. You’re A Great Daddy
My husband works as a cook, which means he works a lot of nights. He doesn’t get to see our daughters as often as he, or I, or they would like, but he always makes sure to give them goodnight kisses when he comes home, and to spend as much time with them as he can. He plays with them, or when he’s just totally exhausted, he cuddles with them and watches their favorite cartoons with them. He’s a big Latino guy who grew up in a culture where men don’t usually change diapers or haul their daughters’ strollers around, but that doesn’t stop him from doing all those things. When he cares for them and plays with them, he really gets into it, and we all love him for it.
6. You Take Care of Anabelle At Night
Neither of our daughters sleep through the night. It’s super exhausting. Our littlest one still wakes to breastfeed throughout the night, and our older daughter has some kind of sleep issue that we have been trying to get diagnosed almost her whole life. She’s done a sleep study (which Rick accompanied her on), she had her tonsils and adenoids removed, she’s tried medication..nothing has helped. She still wakes up repeatedly throughout the night. My husband has not yet mastered the art of lactating so the breastfeeding duties fall to me. But, he takes care of Anabelle. Even when he’s exhausted from work, he gets up and helps soothe Anabelle back to sleep so that I can rest between night feedings.
7. You Go To Work
My husband has PTSD, just like me. Unlike me, however, he does not currently have anyone who caused it actively harassing him. For other reasons, his symptoms are generally less severe than mine. That’s not to say it’s easy for him, or that his symptoms don’t suck. They do, and I know he wishes he didn’t have to work. But one of us does have to work, and right now that’s him. And he does. Even though he’d rather not. Even though it’s exhausting, grueling work. Even though his boss makes him close on Saturday and open on Sunday, he shows up. And yes, he still takes care of Anabelle on Saturday nights.
8. You Make Changes When It’s Important To Me
My husband and I were raised in radically different backgrounds. He was raised in New Jersey and I was raised in Seattle. I was raised primarily by my mom. He was raised by both parents, but in a patriarchal household. He wasn’t much of a feminist when I met him, and I doubt he would proclaim himself one now, but he has listened when I have explained that some of his thoughts or actions are misogynistic, and has made an effort to change them. Sometimes those changes don’t happen as quickly or as drastically as I would like, but I have to remind myself that a lifetime of social conditioning can’t be undone overnight, and the fact that he is trying at all is pretty cool.
9. You Are Supportive Of My Writing
My husband has always supported my writing. He always encourages me to write, compliments my writing, and provides constructive feedback when I ask for it (and sometimes when I don’t). When I decided to start blogging, he never tried to stop me. Sure, sometimes he gets annoyed when he thinks I’m spending too much time at the computer, but he has also gone out of his way to find blogging books at the library and to reach out to blogger/techy friends of his to help me out, and he has even given me to the go-ahead to try to monetize it without focusing too hard on finding a paying job before I’m ready.
10. Sometimes You Bring Home Chocolate
Maybe those of you reading this think that bringing home chocolate shouldn’t take up a whole section, but you’re forgetting that I’m vegan. Vegan chocolate is not as easy to come by as Hershey bars, and it’s generally twice as expensive. Nonetheless, my husband will, every once in a while, randomly come home with a delicious chocolately treat. Will today be one of those days? Who knows..but I certainly wouldn’t mind a (get ready for affiliate links) Ritter Sport Bar, Dark Chocolate with Marzipan or a pack of Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. 😉
So there you have it! Ten things I love about my husband. And yeah, it did work. I feel a lot less annoyed, and a lot more content in my relationship after sitting down, remembering, and writing these ten things I love about my husband. It was hard at first, but I feel like I could totally keep going! Except it’s a Sunday and there’s only so much time my daughters can spend playing with each other sans mama, so I’ll leave it at that.
Join me in the S/O challenge! Pin, bookmark, like, or otherwise save this page. The next time you feel annoyed or angry with your partner, open it up, grab this badge, and create your very own list of ten reasons why you LOVE the one you’re with. Then SHOUT IT TO THE WORLD!! Don’t forget to drop your link in the comments after you participate so we can all see what each other comes up with!
‘Til next time!
Te quiero baby!
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