Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The ugly side of moving

I don't talk about Mr. Wumpus much, and certainly I don't talk about big serious stuff here on All Caddywumpus. Well, not often.

Except today. I'm just going to lay it out.

This move to Saskatchewan has been tough on our marriage. There, I said it, and admitting it and talking about it is what Mr. Wumpus and I have started doing and already it's better, so no worries, but I still want to put it out there. Why? Because I don't think this bump in the midst of wedded bliss is all that rare. I suspect that many couples go through similar things and no, it doesn't all need to be laid out on the Internets, but maybe it should be more often.

The issue is this: there is such thing as too much time together. Alone. Not having a lot of fun. Just existing. Some couples do this right - they work. live and play together and would have it no other way. Mr. Wumpus and I have always been in each others pockets, but with active, separate social lives. That was the key, we've since discovered.

Because moving here has been over three months of just us. And yes, in some ways it's been lovely. We often spend our evenings after Chou has gone to bed just sitting on the front porch, sipping wine and chatting. And we talk about big stuff, little stuff, life-changing decisions and inconsequential ramblings. I love it. He loves it.

But.

There comes a time when the monotony of the every day gets to be a bit much and without some time apart, away or just plain having fun, it's not fun anymore. At all.

Which is where we got to these past few weeks. Our company over last week made a comment somewhere along the lines of "OK you two, knock it off" - as in, stop sniping at each other. I don't know about you, but that's bloody embarrassing and it was exactly what we needed to hear. You know how you don't notice how dirty your tub is until company comes over? Hmmm, yeah. Same thing.

Finally, the other night, I brought it up. It wasn't easy (as in, Mr. Wumpus always takes a very, very long time to give a thoughtful answer and I am not patient) but our marriage is worth it, so I waited. We admitted that we were angry with each other, irritated and annoyed with each others' nasty habits and behavior, and we agreed that neither of us wanted this to continue. We decided that yes, we need to each have fun, a sometimes-separate social life, and that while we love our little town, we're going to have to get a bit aggressive when it comes to socializing. The people here are lovely and friendly, but I think we're going to have to invite them over or invite ourselves. Also, Mr. Wumpus and I need to pursue our own interests at least once or twice every few weeks. Maybe it's yoga (for me or him), a night out, a day out, something, anything that doesn't involve the other. Because there is no shortage of together time.

And that's where in all of this, I consider myself quite lucky, too. Both my brothers in law travel quite a bit and are gone for a week straight sometimes. Friends of mine have partners that work long hours or have very full social calendars that exempt their spouse from joining. Some have to pencil in time together. So I know that while this too-much-togetherness is a bit of a strain right now, it's also a blessing.

We're better. Each day since, we've smiled more, touched more, let little things go, because even when we're driving each other to the brink, we are partners and in love. We want to spend the rest of our lives together, making our dreams a reality. That was what we promised, and we're sticking to our word. We just need to let loose a little and enjoy ourselves - apart.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, what do I have to say about that? After 28 years of being with mine (this week in fact) I can honestly say I still love him, but sometimes I don't like him. Such is life in a relationship. There are times when you think you are living with a stranger, and then suddenly, you remember why you are together and what it is that makes it work. It is difficult and rewarding, frustrating and satisfying, crying and laughing... It is a work in progress. Constant give and take. But it doesn't have to be difficult. We just need to find some of the energy we had when the relationship started.
I always write a little note when I sign any wedding card. "Always remember what brought you to this day, and how being together made you feel. " It is surprising how we get caught up in the day to day, and forget how we made each other feel...
Here's to you both. Live, laugh, love...
J9

Smithers said...

Sometimes, you just gotta let it all out. :) FYI, in the future you can vent anonymously at Her Bad Mother's Basement. You know...when you want to let it out, but not feel like you are sharing with all your friends and family.

Anyway, in only 2 years (next Tuesday) of marriage...and 8 years dating before that...B and I have ran into the same problem. Most recently in Taiwan. Me working very hard + him unemployed at home + non-English speaking country + sharing friends from my job = crabby-ness. We talked...and talked...and then moved back to the U.S. and things are much better.

It sounds like you and your husband do a great job of identifying the cause of the problem and taking care of it. Plus, more yoga will give you kick-ass abs. :)

Oh, And I think it's wheat...but I am just a city girl. :)

Jennifer said...

Makes me realize how truly lucky we are to have great partners that we can talk like this with.