Friday, January 11, 2013

mole hills.

some people say that the first year of marriage is the hardest.  for us, that wasn't the case.  we've been married for over three years, and i would say that the first year with a baby is the hardest.  easily.  don't get me wrong, joe and i have a great relationship and we both absolutely LOVE being parents and get insane amounts of joy from each day with our little guy.  but having a baby adds stress, plain and simple.  on top of the stress that comes from a constant feeling of "what do we do when [fill in the blank]," you're also sleep-deprived, and have less time for yourself and for each other than you once had.  i truly don't know how people who had a rocky relationship before kids make it through when they have a newborn.

communication is key.  joe and i have to relearn that lesson every day, i think.  one of my not-so-great qualities (the other being how i'm too good at everything- ha) is that i tend to "make mountains out of mole hills."  i can't be 100% sure i know what a mole hill is, but it's smaller than a mountain, and that's the point.  anyway, this is especially true in my relationship with my husband.  an exchange of a few snippy comments, to me, is a fight.  a string of a few days with a few "fights," is a rough patch.  sometimes i'll say to joe, "i'm sick of fighting."  his response is typically "we're fighting?"  to be fair, joe and i are on completely opposite ends of the spectrum on this one (and pretty much everything else, if we're being honest).  he would barely call a screaming match a fight.  well, we've never actually had a screaming match.  but if we did, i am certain it would be a minor disagreement in his [rose-colored] eyes.

when i start to think about the things that might not be going perfectly and i start to compare our relationship to the relationships that others [appear to] have, that's when the mountains pop up.  big, scary, daunting mountains.  but it just dawned on me yesterday as i was thinking about our latest "sick of fighting" conversation: these mountains were created out of false and selfish ideas of what relationships should look like.  where it's all about ME.  I'M not getting what I want.  I'm not getting MY needs met.  joe's not doing enough for ME.  i think the mole hills are every day stressors, common conflict, normal tension.  the mountains are I, ME, MINE.  thankfully, i think i've discovered a way to combat the mountains.  and that is, focusing outside of myself and putting joe first.  at our wedding, the pastor said [something to the effect of] "marriage is about giving your spouse the bigger, or even the last, slice of your favorite pie."  when i think about it, all too often, i keep that bigger slice for myself.  i really do love pie, and i really just wish she'd used a different example.  like, giving your spouse the last dill pickle.  i hate pickles.  easy.  done.  but then it wouldn't be hard.  and it wouldn't be about the other person at all.  so, the real solution when i don't think i'm getting what i want or deserve in my marriage is to give what i think i want or deserve to joe.  and i bet the return will be ten-fold.

another recipe. i made salad for dinner. not typically joe's favorite thing (see, already demonstrating my selflessness...), but he seemed to like it! i used a rotisserie chicken so it was super easy and quick. if you want the recipe, here it is: chinese chicken salads with sesame dressing.

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