Learning to live with my husband...again

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

One of the hardest parts of getting married, for people who have never lived together, is learning to live with each other.  Learning their behaviors, tendencies, cleaning habits, or lack of cleaning habits is frustrating.  You look at your husband, who has left his dirty socks on the floor next to the dirty clothes hamper, like a little kid, and wonder if they will ever grow up.

Eventually it all works out, you learn to live together, and go about the newlywed bliss.

But, what happens years down the road? Do you have to re-learn how to live with them again? 

I did.

After Russell and I got married, a year and a half later, we moved to Tennessee.  Immediately after we moved Russell started traveling.  His job had him traveling four days out of the week.  We had weekends free to be together but then I got pregnant, had a baby, and Russell started his 2-yr online MBA program.  Our weekends were no longer spent together and instead, he had to devote his time to school work.  That left him with traveling during the week and school on the weekends.  

We made it work and became used to it.  Russell got used to being by himself during the week and upstairs studying on the weekends and I managed everything with the house and baby my way.

Now, fast forwarding to the present day, we have moved to North Carolina and the job has him home every single night.  I remember being so ecstatic over the opportunity to see my husband every day, to have him give me help with the house and Ryan.  And, I was shocked when I realized how difficult it was to have him home every night.

Russell was used to living in a hotel.  Maids cleaning every day, I was used to getting things done around the house my way.  We had to re-learn how to live together again.

We had to learn boundaries.  Russell had to learn my schedule and Ryan's and I had to learn that Russell wasn't going to immediately pick right on up.  Ryan and I had a routine down pat, I couldn't expect Russell to immediately know that.

Now, over a month and a half later, things are going much smoother.  We take turns getting Ryan ready in the morning and if I am cooking a meal, then he has bath duty.  We alternate and talk about what we need and want.  In the beginning, we didn't talk about what we needed and wanted help with, we thought we could read each other's minds... that didn't go well.

Some of the key things I realized were:

1.  Tell them what you need! 
Men cannot read women's minds...they were not programmed that way.
2.  Be patient. 
It takes time, just like it did when you first moved in together.
3.  Be appreciative.  
Tell them how much you appreciate their help when they jump in.  It validates their efforts.
4.  Remember their sacrifices
To provide for our family, Russell sacrificed a lot.  He missed out on a lot of milestones with Ryan.  I have to remember those sacrifices.
5.  Count your blessings!
You have them back!  Enjoy it!

We are both still learning, but man, I will take this learning curve any day of the week than have him back on the road.  Ryan gets his hands-on daddy back and I get my husband. What could be better than that?