My husband drives me crazy. No, really. I mean hot, red-faced, screaming, yelling, bat shit crazy!
Much like this couple in the Haagen-Dazs Gelato commercial:
It’s mid-October and we live in snow country. My husband is a skier before all other roles in life. These simple facts mean we have this limited moment of downtime where he is unemployed from his seasonal trade of landscape design, before the snow flies and we see him only after the lifts close and his headlamp batteries die and he can’t hike into the back country.
The rub is that we are new homeowners with an unnerving list of projects to complete before old man winter forces the rest of the family indoors and my husband abandons us to fly through powder and huck himself off cliffs.
Here’s an abbreviated version of our list:
- Repair the leak in the new $5,000 office before the sheet rock molds and collapses.
- Enclose the carport so ALL of our belongings don’t get rainy and moldy (including ski gear, for god’s sake!)
- Insulate under the house
- Winterize the sailboat and get to storage
It’s worth noting this is the version of the list in order of importance we agreed on earlier this summer.
In my world, we discussed and agreed on this priority list, and it’s a solid as the martial contract we entered into in the first place. You can imagine my frustration when my husband took the tasks out of order and spent the entire weekend futzing around with the boat.
Shrill voices ensued, doors were slammed and the word divorce spat into the living room alongside our bookcase, as our kids stared on in amusement and to my embarrassment. It’s moments like this I wonder if moving our family onto a sailboat will lower the incidents of frustration, or raise the bar to code red.
One of the big reason we feel compelled to take off on a slow family travel journey is to put our family at the center of priorities. I like to think if we reduce some of the stresses of typical North American life–40-hour work week, day care dilemmas, keeping up with Jones, etc–we’ll have time to cultivate a more harmonious union. I like to think that when we experience stress on the ocean, as we most certainly will, we’ll have no other option but to lean into collaboration and mutual respect.
(Or, my husband could just chuck me off the boat. )
The truth is marriage is hard. There are times we all want to walk away, and many of us do. For me however, the gifts far outweigh the compromises, and overall I feel blessed beyond words. I also believe in a world where we are bombarded with the highlight reels of other families through Facebook and YouTube, it’s important for us to be honest with one another and acknowledge the sticky parts. Anything worth having is worth working for. And it’s always easier to blame the other party than look at ourselves.
What are you hot spots with your partner? Are you a yeller? Any tips for keeping your temper and keeping your marriage off the rocks?
Martinis and Moscow Mules are helpful for me!
Share yours in the comments below, I’ll take all the advice I can get!