Friday, June 13, 2008

2. Communicate, communicate, communicate! It's the key to a good marriage.

Communication really is the key to a good marriage, or to any good relationship for that matter. I think it's interesting, though, what we choose to communicate to each other. I'm perfectly fine with relaying the most mundane aspects of my day to my husband, but I sometimes have a hard time asking him to do something for me, no matter how small a task and how easily it can be done. It's difficult because I've learned to become so self-reliant lately, and I feel that I shouldn't have to ask him to do something if I can do it myself. Then, when I don't ask him, and I realize I can't do it on my own, I get mad at myself for not communicating my needs and mad at him for not just reading my mind and knowing my needs in the first place. Of course, that's just irrational thinking on my part, but how many of us women really DO think our husbands should have ESP and know exactly what we want when we want it without us having to say a word? Come on, wives! You know who you are! ;) I remember, too, when we first met in college, and how we would talk about everything! After being together for so long, there have been some evenings in which I've spent hours surfing the net or reading a book, he's spent hours playing his video games or studying, and we've barely said two words to each other. I think we've just become comfortable with our lifestyle and feel that not much has to be said anymore. Also, I know that he needs his evenings to de-stress from his work at the hospital, and me talking his ear off all evening does not help him to relax. It is important, though, that communication happens at some point, or things can get really hairy! For example, this past Christmas, we had a difficult time trying to come up with a plan for our holiday get-togethers with our separate families. Both of our families live several hours away from us, and it keeps getting harder to try to coordinate seeing everyone over the holidays, especially when B has to be on-call at the hospital. Anyway, he ended up telling his parents that we would be doing one thing, while I told my parents we would be doing almost the complete opposite! I think there were hurt feelings on both sides of the fence, and things only really worked out when the weather got bad in our state, and we had to change our plans anyway. We were able to see everyone over Christmas, and we had a pretty good time (despite the stomach flu that made the rounds in our household). However, we learned from our experience that my husband and I need to discuss our plans with each other before communicating them to other people. This may seem like a no-brainer to most people, but because of the nature of his job, my husband can put in AT LEAST 80 hours of work in ONE WEEK with him being absent from home at least one night in that week. In the past couple of years, those hours have included him working a full day at one hospital (starting at around 6:00 am), coming home for maybe a half an hour (if at all), then moonlighting a night shift at another hospital. If he moonlighted on a weekday, he would immediately have to leave that hospital in the morning to start another day at his regular "job site". There were instances when we wouldn't see each other until after a 30 hour period or so. Many times, he wouldn't be able to call me or e-mail me from work because his job could get extremely busy. Surgeries sometimes take longer than doctors think they should, and babies can come into the world at any time. So, with all of this going on, it could be hard for us to discuss the more normal, everyday things, let alone the important stuff. Once he starts working at his new practice, we won't have to worry about him moonlighting somewhere else once or twice a month. And, he'll only be on-call every so many nights in a month, so we won't have to worry about him having to deliver babies every night of the week. It'll be interesting to see how our communication patterns change, if at all, when we move to our new city. And, I can't believe that move is taking place in a week from tomorrow! Have a great weekend, everyone, and we'll catch up in the next post.
Best to you all,

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