Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Life Goes On

Have you ever noticed that people in the blogging world hardly ever speak negatively about their significant others? Despite the fact that most of the blogs I follow include really emotional topics, such as infertility, pregnancy, new parenthood…I never read about the true pain and struggles that go on in the relationships behind the scene. All I ever see is most people referring to their partners as “supportive,” “caring” or “kind.” Sometimes, we might make jokes about him being “clueless” or just “not getting it.” Or, in a really negative moment, we might say we’re “frustrated” with our other half. But really people? Is everything really that sitcom-perfect?

I’m calling bullshit.

Now, before I go on, I have to admit that I’m guilty of it too. I try not to badmouth B on my blog – partially because he READS it and partially maybe because I just want everyone to think I have the best husband ever. But the truth is, relationships involve two people who are real and human. Everyone pisses each other off sometimes. Right? So this post is about being in a REAL relationship. Wait, strike that. This post is about being in a REAL relationship while pregnant.

Way back when I was barely six weeks or so pregnant I wrote a post about lying in bed next to B and feeling irrationally emotional. At the time I thought it might be pregnancy hormones making me act that way (insert ironic laugh), but now I realize it was just me. Last night was a flashback to that night. Except, last night? Last night I think was definitely pregnancy hormones. Remember when I naively said in my review of the second trimester that I haven’t been having mood swings? Well I must have jinxed myself because I swear I’ve been an emotional mess ever since.

Last night was no exception. I was lying in bed, propped up on pillows trying to get comfortable and find a position in which I could breathe but wouldn’t feel the knife-stab of pain between my shoulder blades and I started to get irrational. No, that’s not true. It started ok. I asked B how he was feeling, because he had been feeling a bit off all day. He said he was fine. I sat there a moment longer. Then the irrationality set in. I started wondering why he never asks me how I’m doing. I mean, I’m the one who’s pregnant here, right? Why doesn’t he check in with me more? Ask me if I need anything? If there’s anything he can do for me?

At this point I should backtrack a bit and explain that I maybe-just-maybe had unrealistic views of what it would be like to be pregnant. I imagined an overly attentive husband who would be running out to the store to buy things for me, rubbing my back, looking at me with concern and adoration, and basically worshipping me because I was carrying his baby. HA. Where did I learn about this silly little stereotype? The truth is, life goes on. Life cannot pause for nine months simply because there is a baby in my belly. B still has to work – and he works hard. I still have to work and go about my day to day life and no one can do that for me. Basically, we have to continue living our lives.

But still. Lying in the dark last night, I was stuck on the fact that he never even asks me how I’m feeling at the end of a hard day. So I said it out loud. ”How come you never ask me how I’m feeling?” This is where my husband gets less-than-perfect, because he says back, ”I ask you all the time. You just have a terrible memory and your memory can’t extend past whatever feeling you’re currently having.”

So obviously that didn’t sit well with me. I asked him if he wanted to get in a fight and if that was why he said that. Luckily, he chose that moment to get up and go do something in the kitchen. Smart guy. When he got back, I was still seething. I let that fact be known by lots of sighs and irritated movements such as thumping my head back against the pillow or wrestling with blankets. I am so mature. Then, somehow it rapidly switched from anger to self-pity and I found myself doing a lot of sniffing and tears and feeing pathetic.

Then, I felt B’s hand on my arm. No words, nothing more, just a hand on my arm. So, I of course started to cry more. Then, he put his hand awkwardly on my face and started awkwardly wiping at my cheeks like a baby who doesn’t have fine motor control. What the hell? He was basically swatting at my cheeks? So I said, ”What the hell?” And then he started laughing and then I started laughing and then, somehow, we just started talking about random things, like what my sister was up to recently or how annoying my boss is.

And that, my loyal readers, is how a fight ends in a REAL relationship. No dramatic, wrap-up, perfect-solution ending. It just ends and life goes on. And we’re fine. Everything is fine. I can stop being such an emotional mess (yeah right) and maybe he can start checking in with me more because I’m sure, somehow, he got the subtle message that his wife may need more attention in the third trimester. And then? Life goes on. Even when you’re pregnant. Even when you’re pregnant and your back hurts.

Update: After I finished writing this, I realized, irony of all ironies, that today is our anniversary. Eight years married. We don’t have any major plans, we’re both exhausted, B is sick, and he leaves to go on a business trip tomorrow. We decided to watch movies on the couch together tonight and then do a nice dinner on our Labor Day trip to Napa. But it leaves me with the question: do I post a less-than-glowing post about our relationship on our anniversary?? I decided the answer is yes. Because, this post is not just about having a real relationship with real arguments and frustrations, it is also about how real relationships weather time because you don’t get too caught up in the small stuff and instead focus on the strong base you’ve built that keeps you going even when you just want to scream at each other. Sometimes maybe you just need to place a hand on the other person’s arm to remind them of that.

Second Update: Look what showed up at my office after I posted this post! Happy Anniversary Flowers. I really DO have the BEST husband EVER. Just sayin'.


  1. LOVE this post! It is funny how no one badmouths their spouse. My excuse is that I have a perfect relations- HAHAHA I can't even finish that. My excuse is that he reads my blog, so if I posted about the fights it would just start another fight. I also have those same stereotypes about pregnancy, you really burst my bubble here that they won't come true. I will never forget the indignation I felt when my sister-in-law's husband intentionally farted on her while she was pregnant. It was like... SACRILEGE. I saw her as this untouchable entity and he kept on seeing her as his wife, who apparently, got farted on. This was years ago and it still sticks out in my mind. Anyway, I related so much to your fight - I have a legendary deep sigh to convey how pissed I am and am known to do a wicked eye roll. It's OK. They just don't think to be considerate, then they accuse you of not listening, when you know for a fact they never said it.

    Thanks for making me feel blissfully normal in my dysfunctional but oftentimes fun relationship. And Happy Anniversary!

    1. Mine reads my blog too! Hopefully he understands what I'm trying to say here. I mean he's the one who always tells me that the best blog posts I write are the most personal, so here goes ;)

      I LOVE the story of you thinking it was sacrilege to fart on a pregnant lady. Ha, ha, ha.

  2. I'll be honest, I laughed out loud a little when I read what B said to you about your memory, because that is EXACTLY the kind of thing that would come out of AE's mouth. And, ya know, at least in my case, it would probably maybe even be true.

    I am also a heavy sigher when I want to show my disapproval. And a pillow rustler. We're all such grown ups, aren't we?

    Happy anniversary, friend! I hope B feels better. And you know what? I think this actually IS a glowing post about your relationship. No one can be on point all of the time. What makes this glowing is your resolution. And your recognition that arguments and bad days don't mean horrible, awful, relationship shaking things. They just mean arguments and bad days.

    1. Yep, it's partially true in my case too. I DO get caught up in my emotions in the moment and focus solely on that. But STILL! ha. I'm glad you took the deeper message from this post. It's funny I didn't know that's how it would turn out when I started writing it.

    2. PS, did you read Dogs Aren't Kids' post from this morning? It's titled, "Husband Rant: You’re Annoying, Shut Up." Hilarious.

    3. Oh no that's a new one for me! I'll have to start reading :)

  3. Wow, eight years! Congratulations!

    By the way, I know of at least one blog where the blogger talks honestly on a regular basis about how pregnancy, life, etc affects her relationship with her husband: Lauren at Better In Real Life.

    To be honest, I try not to talk on the blog about the fights and the hard times in my relationship with my husband, not because these things don't happen (of course they do), but because I generally try to keep a positive vibe on my blog. It may be just my nature, my personality, but for me it would be real easy to turn the blog into a bitch-fest, and I try really hard to avoid doing that.

    1. Oh I LOVE Lauren's blog and I totally agree. I thought of her while I wrote this. I wish I could be as honest and well-written as she is.

      And you're right, I don't want my blog to be a bitch-fest. But I do want it to be honest and, if someone reading it can relate and not feel so irrational and frustrated, I hope that will help :)

  4. Oh man my husband has not been chasing after me and buying me ice-cream at 2am either. Instead he CONSTANTLY nags me about eating more, happily drinks booze in front of me and still makes the coffee with the smell that I hate. Because, like you say, life goes on.

    Generally, we don't really fight because we are too lazy and have really short attention spans. I've learnt that nagging him about things is completely pointless, so I just wait until something goes wrong and he figures it out for himself (example, we now only have 4 wine glasses left because he ALWAYS leaves the kitchen cupboards open when he's done. It drives me NUTS. Last week the cat got into the open cupboard and started pushing the glasses onto the floor. He closes them now...)

    I don't blog about him or our relationship particularly though, he doesn't read it really but I feel bad that he doesn't get to offer his side of the story. I'm sure I'm a bloody nightmare to live with!

  5. Oh man, I am totally a passive aggressive sigher/pillow rustler/loud drawer and door closer. I'm not proud of it. Also, totally love the honesty. Before I started blogging, C and I had a deal that I wouldn't rage against him in print if I hadn't at first brought it up with him in person - it didn't mean we had to resolve our differences (let's get real), but I at least had to try before maligning him for public consumption. What can I say, we were trying to be all "mature" and stuff. And to that end, I believe that it was back in February that I wrote about not actually liking my husband (for a period of time, most of which was Clomid induced, BUT STILL). http://fallopiangroove.blogspot.com/2013/02/precautionary-measures-cycle-3-day-6.html

  6. Um, you have obviously not been reading my blog very long because I talk some real talk about my relationship there, pretty often. In fact, MV stopped reading because he couldn't really handle it. I even have a category for couples counseling and for our relationship. We've been through some hard times--most of our biggest decisions have been REALLY hard to reach--and we've been to regular couples counseling a few times. So yeah, if you want to read about real relationships, troll through my archives. ;)

    It is hard to realize that life doesn't stop for pregnancy, especially when your waited a long time and tried really hard to achieve it. It also sucks when our partners can't read our minds. ;) That really annoys me. I have to tell my partner to give me hugs and kisses when he leaves or comes home or goes to bed, otherwise he doesn't think to do it. That is hard for me, that I have to ask, but I've come to realize it's not about how he feels for me, it's just about who he is.

    I hope the mood swings die down.

  7. I'm not sure I had any visions of what pregnancy would be like, but my husband actually is doting on me and taking care of me. He is always making me sit when we are out so I don't get too tired, he gets me food, he won't even let me open a door. It's sweet, but also a little too much sometimes. A couple weeks ago he told me it's because he feels helpless and doesn't know what to do. He just has to sit back while I deal with all the ups and downs of being pregnant with twins. He likes to fix problems, and he doesn't know how to fix the nausea and all the other crap that is now starting so he overcompensates by hovering and trying to anticipate what I might need. I can't/shouldn't really complain about that, I guess, but it's also not as dreamy as you would imagine.
    That's not to say we have any sort of perfect relationship. We certainly fight and get on each others nerves, but who doesn't?
    Happy anniversary!!

  8. Happy anniversary!

    CP doesn't read my blog (at least I think that even after 5 years he still doesn't know about it), but honestly the fights that we have are too small to document. Readers would think that they were really boring- and they end like yours did- just letting it go and starting to talk about something else.

    Our relationship hasn't changed that much while I have been pregnant, except after the SCH scare he is doing the heavy lifting of things (and not complaining/sighing/etc) about it. He also had to plaster/paint/etc. our master bedroom by himself and will have to do the same in the nursery. So yeah, he gets some points for that, even if he isn't running out to the store to get me ice cream at 9pm.

  9. Oh my gosh, that's too funny. And so true! Thank goodness Troy doesn't read my blog often. He could if he wanted to but I think really it just bores him. :)

    Troy and I bicker all the time. But for a guy who's not getting any, he really has been a trooper. I'm lucky he still adores me. :)

  10. A) Happy anniversary.
    B) Last night was a lot like that for Jesse and me... my feet hurt, one foot in particular. As we laid on the sectional couch (thank God for that thing, because we really don't like to couch snuggle, and there's no way I could any more with this budda belly) anyway, I put my foot up by his chest, as a hint, a gesture to rub it. He picked it up, put it on the ground and said, "if you want to stretch out, use your side of the couch." WHAT?? I said, "I put it up there for you to rub it. Duh." I went and got my heating pad for myself. 10 minutes later he says... "let me and see your foot. I'll rub it." and for 15 seconds, he did.
    that's marriage. and that's how frustrating little fights fizzle out, like you said. we went to bed, still in love with each other, no biggie. but damn it, I would kill for a good foot rub :)

  11. Haha, and now it seems we have another thing in common -- wedding anniversaries in August. :) Ours is on Tuesday. Yeah, I agree with you on the weird/suspect prevalence of happy-go-lucky couples in the infertility blogosphere. In my case, I'd say we're like 90 - 95% good, but I can't really write too much about the other 5% because my hubby (and friends/family) read my blog.

    I'm also fully passive-aggressive when it comes to arguing, but this is precisely where my husband steps up. He can sense that I'm pissed off practically before I can and will call me on it ASAP and insist on talking it out before it even becomes an issue. I am SO grateful for this personality trait of his because in other relationships I would end up sulking for weeks before anything got resolved and it felt horrible.

  12. I've had a few meltdowns in recent weeks that have produced similar type of fights. I absolutely have fighting with my husband (especially if its simply because of ny pregnant hormonal state). is totally normal. thanks for being real. and happy anniversary!

  13. You're so right about the fact that we rarely if ever "trash" our significant others. I think I'd vent about my husband a bit more if my blog was anonymous but I guess it just feels kind of unfair since he doesn't have a blog to trash me on. I love this story though. And the flowers were a nice touch. (-:


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