I have been posting on Mormon Momma for awhile now, and those who have read my posts know that I have been known to…ahem…complain on an occasion or two about my husband's schedule. For the past almost-12 years we have been married, and particularly in the past 3 years, we have spent much time apart as work and church commitments took him out of the home often. There were many times when we really wouldn't see each other all day – he would leave in the morning and I would be in bed when he got home at night. Many nights I would feed myself and the children and fix him a plate to warm up when he got home at 9:00 or 10:00 p.m.
While I have always been a very independent person, I am realizing that these circumstances made me even more so. I was on my own more often than not, and very used to doing things my own way. I had my routine down, and it usually functioned like a well-oiled machine. Of course there were times when I complained about doing it on my own, but overall I was content to be the one “in charge” at home.
A few months ago, my husband was offered a job transfer that has changed his schedule significantly. He now is working a much more “normal” work schedule, and his church callings are in music which is something he can do in his sleep. Most nights, he is home by 6:00 p.m., and that's the first that has happened in a long time. His weekends are free. He is here all day on Sunday.
And I am going crazy having him here all the time!
Does complaining about him never being home in the past now exclude me from complaining about him being home all the time now?
It is an adjustment. In all seriousness, in most ways it is wonderful. There is someone here to help with homework, and practice, and getting kids to bed. In particular, it has been wonderful to have him here to be the one helping the kids with their piano – for he is far better at it than I am, and more patient too. But I feel like I am always in his way, or vice versa. I have had my own way of doing things for years, and suddenly there is another adult person around all of the time who doesn't necessarily do things the same way. I am finding that our interests are quite different from each other. We like to watch different shows on television. We have very different energy levels. I need less sleep than he does. The list goes on, I'm sure many of you know what I am talking about.
I believe this is why we are counseled to continue our courtship during marriage, going out on regular dates and spending time alone as a couple. People change over the years, and you need to adjust to those as they happen rather than waking up one day and saying, “who is this person that I married?” I will admit that my husband and I did not give this as much diligence as we should have. Finding a babysitter was hard. Finding money to do something was hard. Eventually, just finding an interest in making the effort wasn't there. It was a gradual process, but we both let the relationship go a bit, when we should have made it our top priority.
My marriage will be fine. I exaggerate my discontent, but honestly would like to be able to go back and do things just a bit differently. I would like to make our time alone together a priority, instead of letting little things get in the way. I would insist on him speaking with his employer and his bishop about more reasonable hours while he had a young family. I would turn off the television and TALK in those rare moments we did have alone. Our relationship will be fine, but it could have been even better. Right now it feels like we are in a rebuilding stage – getting to know each other again in many ways. It is a positive change, but any change brings with it a little bit of stretching. Sometimes the stretching hurts a bit, but in the end it is worth it.
So for all of you who have been through periods of change in your marriage, what have you done to make the necessary adjustments?