Monday, February 03, 2014

Remember when we were friends?

"I need you to pick up the kids"
"Did you do the laundry"
"How come you don't come to my games"
"I made dinner, YOU clean up"
"Not tonight"
"Just go with your friends"
"Your turn to get the sitter"
"Why don't you ever put gas in the car"
"You don't have fun anymore"

well, I am sure some of these phrases on this very short list has been uttered by you or your spouse. I can attest that it has happened to me and many other couples I have talked to. Its totally normal and its ok. But, I do want to share one thing that seriously has changed my marriage.

We have been married for 6.5 years. In that time we have lived in 2 states, in 8 houses/apartments, had two kids, five jobs (together), we both went back to school, and mostly one car. We now have two little ones due this summer :) and we have traveled to the UK, Asia, and the southeast states. Through all of this, I know we have been blessed. We haven't faced any big trials or tests of faith. We have always has SOME money in savings and more often than not, had at least another couple we were good friends with.

And then came the time I like to refer as month of hell.

Let me preface and say that we both could not see eye to eye. And that I was, in all honesty, picking fights. I was really in a bad place. I was angry and through that lens I could only see  the bad. Even the good was tainted. Example: Hubby doing the dishes after dinner. In my mind he was doing them because he didn't think I would do them. I wasn't doing my job. So, I got really mad. (Anyone else ever felt the same? That "self-inflicted-spouse-guilt")

It really went on like this for only a few weeks but it felt like the whole 6.5 years were a joke. (See what angry does? Or a mis-balance of hormones?)

So one VERY LONG night, we called a truce and decided to just treat each other as friends would. Somewhere along the lines, we started to treat each other as partners vs best friends. Looking back, it did start when we had kids because I think that is what naturally happens. You both have to share the load. But in the drive to be really good parents we lost that part of ourselves we fell in love with to begin with.

Example: McKay used to make me lunch almost every day. It was always cheese quesadillas (we were in school) After we got married, we still met for lunch most days. But then it stopped. I used to be adventurous. And I will be the first in line to say that I am NOT that person anymore. And we used to read every night together a Classic book. Somehow that ended.

Well, the past few months we have been trying to remember that we are friends. And as such, we need to treat each other as that. Think about this... would you ever tell your friend you don't care what they are talking about? No! You would give them your UNDIVIDED ATTENTION. If your friend wanted you to got to a game or play, would you at least consider it before declining? Of course!

So that is what we have been doing. In this process I have found that I crave his companionship and I really enjoy that he wants to hang out with me. We played on a volleyball team together and it was a lot of fun.

I hope that this month, the month of love, you can try really hard to be that friend to your spouse. Practice saying yes to everything for one day. Then make it two, then three etc. And don't let that "spouse-guilt" get you. If she decided to take out the trash or he id cleaning the kitchen, be grateful.


Rachel Murray said...

This is so true! We will often catch ourselves turning into business partners where our relationship only consists of running our family together. All we talk about is schedules, the kids, parenting problems, and finances. It's hard when you have so little time together and these issues must be discussed, but it's always nice to designate a night when none of those topics are allowed and we tap into our friendship and the reasons we fell in love with each other. Thanks for the reminder. And by the way congrats on the babes! Super exciting.

Tina said...

Very well said Makana!! I've felt the same way you had been feeling and it's no fun at all! I loved reading it from your perspective though and it is a great reminder about treating your spouse as your best friend. Thank you!!

Tyler&Kiana said...

Sister, that was sooooooooooo needed. I think we all become too "comfortable" and since you're married to the person they (you think) must forgive you for all you say and do including rude remarks that are unnecessary. I'm trying to be better at being grateful rather than nitpicking (sc) at how it's done. ie: loading the dishwasher. Simple thing that I should be grateful gets done without asking but for some reason it angers me because it's done wrong or like you said, I spouse-guilt myself. Love you!!!!!

Angelica Nelson said...

I think this is one of the best posts you've ever written (and I think all your posts are fantastic btw). It's so easy to take your spouse for granted when you're with each other day in and day out. I remember before I was married thinking how wonderful it would be to be with your best friend all day long. The fact of the matter is that sometimes it can be hard! Remembering why you're friends and what you love and appreciate about each other is key. Thanks for the wonderful post!

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