I know this amazing woman who is going through some really trying times right now, and I've been thinking a lot about her and how strong she has always been. She's always so open about her trials, hoping that maybe her experiences can help someone else, which is so different from me. I am an extremely private person and have a really hard time opening up to people and really saying how I feel. I'm an expert at putting on a brave face and just pretending like I'm okay, when in reality, I am anything but okay. So, this amazing woman that I know, has inspired me. I think it will do me a lot of good to write some things down, and if I'm lucky, maybe I can help someone else out in the process.
Marriage is hard. And it takes a lot of work. I knew that going in, and everyone tells you that before you get married, but I don't know that I actually KNEW that until recently. Dan and I have always been a dream team, no bragging, just the truth. We don't fight, we don't really disagree on much, and most of the time we just have a lot of fun because our sense of humor and temperaments are so similar. But, since we've been here, I feel like our relationship has been put through the ringer. From the minute we got off the plane in Osan, Dan has been pulled in a million different directions and has been busy, busy, busy. Which means that our little family has been coming in second. They didn't give him a week to in process like they were supposed to, but instead immediately threw him into work and told him to just get it done. How was he supposed to get those things done if he's not in the system, has never done any of this Army administrative stuff before, and there's no one around to tell him how to do it?
It's been rough. For the first 2 months or so, Dan would come home and just be silent and cranky all evening until we went to bed because he was so stressed from work. I tried hard to be understanding and supportive, but there's only so much a person can take before they snap. So, one day I finally snapped. I was mean and belligerent, and he was cranky and stressed, so our house was not a happy one.
We would still try and go on dates every weekend, but you could tell that we weren't really enjoying ourselves. Sometimes Dan would say some flippant comment about something that would seriously hurt my feelings, because I was being overly sensitive, and then I wouldn't talk to him the rest of the evening. Super mature, I know.
We never sat down and talked about anything, but instead we were passive aggressive and mostly just ignored one another. I don't know why I let this go on for so long, but I guess I was being prideful and wanted him to admit that it was his fault that we were so unhappy. There was even some talk of me taking the kids and going to live with my mom for a little while, until things slowed down a bit for him.
But one day while I was cleaning the house and the kids were napping, my best friend called me and I started to just vent and cry and rage at her until I was empty inside. And through all the ranting, she was super supportive and listened to what I had to say, and even backed me up on a lot of things, but at the end of the conversation she gave me some sound advice. She told me to just start doing nice things for him all the time. If he's so bothered by the dishes not being done, even though I felt like he should do them since I cook and take care of HIS children, she told me to just do them. Maybe I was right in feeling the way I did, but wouldn't it be better if I just did the dishes so he would be happy?
At the time, I was thinking there was no way I was going to do that because I was right. I was right, dangit, so he should have to be the one to do nice things for me, but after giving it a lot of thought, and praying a lot about us, I decided she was right. I started doing the dishes, and making him breakfast, and driving up to his work to bring him lunch. I would buy him kit kats at the store or make chocolate chip cookies for no reason, and the difference in everyone's attitude was palpable.
Dan and I started talking, really talking, to each other again. We started to actually enjoy our dates again instead of just going to dinner and coming home. After a while, Dan started doing nice things for me in return. Like, letting me go to lunch with a girlfriend for most of Saturday afternoon.
One night, we finally sat down and discussed what's going on. He told me how stressed he's been, and I told him how lonely I felt, and I cried a lot, and then we went to bed.
Things certainly aren't perfect or anything, and sometimes I still get very frustrated with him because I feel like he should be doing more to help me, but I am trying to be more selfless and more service oriented. Doing service for someone really does increase your love for that person, and in turn, it makes you a better person. People were always telling me that, and preaching this exact thing, but when you experience it first-hand, it makes it very real.
I heard this song on the radio the other day and decided this is exactly how I feel about Dan now. So, I sent him the lyrics via email.
It's not a walk in the park
To love each other.
But when our fingers interlock,
Can't deny, can't deny you're worth it
Cause after all this time.
I'm still into you
I'm still into you