Magical Monday: Decluttering My Marriage

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All this year I’ve been on a HUGE decluttering spree. Not one corner of my house has been exempt from my cleaning, clearing and organizing. I’ve gone on decluttering sprees before, but this one feels different. I’ve given some of my favorite clothes away (including some of the only ones that fit!), I purchased drawer organizers, jewelry organizers, I’ve rearranged furniture, and simply taken everything to a new level that it’s never been. The energy in my house feels HAPPY! It’s a joy to look around at all the new space I’ve created. You can open any drawer or cabinet and see it’s contents in a supremely organized way. This is not my usual M.O. but I’m LIKING it.

I’m finding that my decluttering spree is spilling over into different aspects of my life as well. I’ve been cleaning up my self-talk, my negative habits and old patterns. I’m releasing ALL that doesn’t serve me anymore. One of the things that’s been getting my decluttering attention recently is my marriage.

My marriage before children was one of those sticky-sweet-bliss-bunny marriages. We read each other’s minds and finished each other’s sentences.  We worked together, ate together, showered together, went to bed and rose in the morning together. We rarely fought and our marriage was never something we had to work on. When other women would complain about their husbands, I would have nothing to contribute. We were perfect. We were soulmates.

It’s true what they say: having a baby DOES change everything. Our relationship didn’t change right away, but it did so incrementally, in small doses that you couldn’t even notice until much later when all of a sudden you wonder “HOW did we get HERE?”

Quite simply, our focused changed. Especially MY focus. I was so wrapped up in perfecting my Mothering that I didn’t notice that I had stopped tending to my marriage. So, my relationship with my husband developed leaks.

I noticed resentment where there wasn’t any before.

As I got overwhelmed with Motherhood, my husbands key role (in my mind) was to be the one who provided me with breaks from my baby.

I was always tired, mostly cranky, and somehow it was easy to blame HIM for it.

All at once I noticed I had PLENTY to contribute to those “complaining about our husband” conversations.

We had our first baby 8 years ago. I’ve been actively working on our marriage for probably close to 2 years ~ not on getting us back to where we were, but on getting to a new place. A place that embraces both parenting AND our relationship.

Just this week I had a disturbing but breakthrough realization. I’ve been doing all I can EXTERNALLY to make our relationship a priority (regular dates, nights away, and lots of rockin’ sex) but there was still something INTERNALLY that needed to change: the way I talk about my husband IN MY HEAD.

The following is an excerpt from an email I shared with a friend. It’s extremely personal and I’m not at all proud of it, but I am proud that I’m taking the steps to change it:

I’ve had this notion in my head all these years that since hubby and I are soulmates, we also probably think and believe the same things and follow the same path. It became very clear to me recently that this is not the case and I have to admit it’s been difficult realizing this. I thought because he could always speak my language and because he always “got” me, then deep down he was on my path, even if he didn’t admit it. 

Now I’m understanding that my constant attempts to pull him on MY path, has been keeping him off of his own. I’m noticing I’ve been treating him like another child, even going so far as to constantly correct his behavior . I’ve been focusing so much on getting him to “catch up” with me on MY path, that I haven’t noticed that he could be alongside of me (or even ahead of me!) on his own path. 

I’ve learned to embrace my dark side, but I don’t allow him his. I try to change his feelings so I’m more comfortable. I correct his words and his fathering. If he’s not doing it MY way, he’s doing it wrong. 

I’m finding I’m constantly nagging him in my head all day long for keeping his chewed gum on the table, his shoes in the wrong place, not cleaning up right away, etc. This is just IN MY HEAD! 

I’ve already caught myself so many times just this morning as I silently berate him. 
I. sincerely. had. no. idea. I. did. this. 
No idea. 

 I need to let him go on HIS PATH. He really is insightful, wise, and a genius. Why do I think I know better than him what he should do? 
I need to get out of his way. Just get out of his way. 
And create new habits. 
Working on this right now…

*********

I’m pleased to report that since this realization I’ve been easily able to correct that inner self talk that wants to say “Why does he ALWAYS…” or “How come he NEVER…” by redirecting it to a positive statement such as “His path is perfect. He knows what he’s doing and he’s mine to love!”

Later in the day of my realization, when my husband got on the office phone minutes before I had to leave I could hear the words creep in, “Why does he ALWAYS…blah, blah” and I redirected. He got off the phone in plenty of time.

When I got in his truck and noticed his chewed gum everywhere I could hear myself thinking “Why does he ALWAYS…” and I redirected. As I redirected I realized his chewed gum in his car was actually an HONORING of me, as he would usually throw it out the window.  He knows I don’t like that so he litters his car instead of the Earth. His chewed gum was actually romantic!

The changes inside ME since I changed my inner-hubby-talk have been truly revolutionary. I’m cleaning up the energy that flows between us, decluttering all the trash that doesn’t serve us, and taking us to a new place of being together… a place where I truly know ANYTHING is possible. ♥

Me and my Hubby (photo credit: Michelle Noehren)
Me and my Hubby
(photo credit: Michelle Noehren)

12 thoughts on “Magical Monday: Decluttering My Marriage

  1. Thank you! I have been in a similiar boat recently and your words have finally put things into perspective for me. Thank you!!

  2. Oh I can SO relate! Even before we had children, I would find myself cutting off or not even paying attention to my husband when he spoke. I found myself too wrapped up in my thoughts or responses to what my husband was saying. I was so worried about MY path and even thought of marriage as OUR path. The thought never occurred to me, until now, that we each have our own path. Love means giving each other the space to live our lives and have faith in each other that we are doing what is right for our marriage and family by staying true to ourselves. Thank you for a great post – xo!

  3. I could have written this post, I thank you dear Kate for writing from your heart being willing to be open, to be vulnerable and truly honest. I have been experiencing similar realisations and everyday I am working on this, navigating a relationship as parents is fast track soul growth! I love how quickly you are able to flip the head talk around, I’ll have some of that EASE please! I have one thing that hubby does that I really dislike that has become such a stuck point but I know that too is a matter of perspective, acceptance, letting go…

  4. Such a great post, Kate. When i was pregnant with Jake, the husband and i would have regular discussions on how we would always try our best to maintain regular date nights, weekends sans-kid, and ways to keep our relationship the same, for the most part. Now that we’ve been parents for two years, it’s gotten easier to read the cues of a stressed couple, and date nights always seem to do the trick! it’ll get to a point that we’ll look at each other and say, “When was the last time we ate in a restaurant for more than a half an hour!!??? TIme to schedule a date night!” i can definitely relate to your post, and agree that a marriage is always a work in progress- you just have to work on it whenever a new change arises, and go with it! and as always, i love your insight!!! p.s. you guys are beyond cute. i LOVE that pic from our blogeversary party!!

  5. Thank you Diana, Michelle, Vivian and Dena for your comments, support and love! This was a difficult one to put out there but the happy ending (beginning!) makes it worth it. LOVE to you, Sisters! ♥

  6. Such a great post and such an important reminder that your role as a partner in life is not to change your mate, but to complement him/her.

  7. I.love.this.post. What struck me the most when reading it is your vulnerability. Thank you for sharing a part of yourself that you are working on. Your honesty helps the rest of us feel like we aren’t alone. I love how you are re-directing your thoughts to ones that are most positive, I’m working on doing the same thing and it really does change things doesn’t it? I especially loved the one for you about his habit of leaving chewed gum in the car. What a beautiful thing to be able to flip around the annoyance to realizing that he’s actually doing something for YOU by not harming the earth. Love it.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this. The past eight years of my life seem to mirror exactly what you have expressed in your post…..pre-baby = bliss with hubby, post-baby = exhaustion, disorganization, marital issues, a tireless quest to improve all these things and more…..resulting in a frequent feeling of defeat and disappointment in myself. In spite of this, however, I do try to live in the light, enjoy every moment of the beautiful life I have been blessed with, and never take it for granted. Just wanted to let you know that I look so forward to reading your posts, as I do all of the CT Working moms. Thank you so much for taking the time to write them, they help me and inspire me always 😉

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