March 5, 2014

"How ARE you today?"

Emotions! RAWR! (Source)
I've not been having a very good couple of weeks. Nothing terrible, just my emotions running rampant through our house causing havoc in my boring life because I'm stuck here all day with no one to talk to or see, nothing to do, and nowhere to go. Movies, TV shows, articles, and even commercials are causing me to cry at the drop of the hat. The only person I see daily is Philip. Occasionally we visit with his parents and of course we nod to strangers at the grocery store. I'm trying to remedy this, as the chances of me finding a job here are bleak, by going back to school.

Sitting on the couch, like every night, with a cat on each side watching something on Netflix and browsing Pinterest I came across an article, The Daily Check-in and Why It Matters by Maggie Reyes on Modern Married. In the piece, she stresses the importance of telling your spouse, or significant other, what's happening in your life with enough detail that they understand why you might be extraordinarily grumpy, unusually quiet, or down in the dumps sometimes. Her point is that if your Someone knows what you're dealing with outside of your relationship, then they know that it's not them causing the mood fluctuation.

I love this idea, but have no idea (without sounding naggy or needy) how to implement it into my own relationship.

I have tried asking Philip how his day went. I really do want to know about the people he works with and why they get on his nerves sometimes and why they don't. Rarely, he will tell me a story like the time that Big Foot was somehow brought into daily conversation every day for a week. Most of the time, however, all I get is "good" ,"ok", "people just piss me off, that's all", or a shrug of the shoulders and a "meh".  I'm dying for more!

On the other hand, I never get asked how my day was. This is my fault, and I think I know why. I stay at home, so most of the time my daily tasks are mundane and not much happens. If something does happen I can't wait to tell him all about it. As soon as he's in the door I offer up the goings on of my day to him with excitement or frustration or boredom. So, I guess he just expects that I'll tell him everything without prompt.

Writing this made me think that maybe I don't need him to ask what I did today. Maybe I just need him to care and ask about how I am emotionally.

I moved here away from everyone I know and love and the only person to ask me how I'm dealing with it is Philip's mother. But he asked her to stop because she asked in a way that made me uncomfortable, like she doesn't want me here, which is definitely not the case. Her heart is in the right place, and I really appreciate her concern for my wellbeing, but she tends to muddle things up more rather than help. Therefore, I choose not to confide in her for fear of her unintentionally making things worse.

"Why not just tell Philip all of this, Amanda?" you ask?

In many ways I feel I already have. I've opened up to him about my past, cried in front of him, and told him things: how much I miss my friends and family, my wish to make new friends here, my goal to finish school. After all of that, I thought that maybe he would ask me later how I am doing with these things.

The other night, for example, I mentioned that I've been crying a lot lately. Philip just stared sleepily back at me and I got upset, we exchanged a few heated words, then he just fell asleep on the couch. I probably shouldn't have made the snarky comment I made or gave him the stink eye, because, later, he woke up and went to bed without a word or a goodnight kiss. I deserved that and I'm sorry I took out my emotional frustration on him. But, I also deserve to feel like he cares about my emotional well being enough to ask about it, to follow up on my goals and what I am doing to reach them. I know he loves me and supports my goals, but knowing and showing go hand in hand. He shows me he loves me and it's awesome. I just need him to show me he cares about how I'm doing.

How do I convey all of this to Philip without hurting his feelings or sounding needy and high maintenance? How do I get what I need from him without having to initiate the conversation every time? My mom says that I do much better at communicating my feelings when I write them down in a letter. That way I can edit myself and not say the wrong things, because I do that... a lot. Perhaps I will write to him, or perhaps he'll see this post (he does read my blog from time to time). For now, I'm going to sleep on it, process my emotions, and wake up fresh tomorrow.

1 comment :

  1. Oh my goodness! This is just like me and my fiancee! I will ask him how was work and his response is always "fine". He rarely if ever asks about mine, much less how I'm feeling. Are our significant others brothers? Can't really give any advise because I have been unable to figure out a way to get it to work, but if I ever do figure it out I will let you know. Good luck!


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