Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Easing in to the New Year

For the last few years or more, I've held true to the theory that you should start the New Year as you mean to go. That how you spend the first day of the year should reflect what you want the rest of your year to look like. I've usually spent that first day doing a little bit of all the things I enjoy in life; knitting, running, spending time with my family, cooking, etc. etc. If I can manage it, I sleep in a little bit, after staying up way past my bedtime to watch the ball drop. (really, we stay up because The Boy™ is convinced one year it's going to crash and if we don't stay up, that will be the year it happens). It's a nice way to enjoy the last day of vacation before heading back to school, and I like to think that it sets the tone for the rest of the year, even if the reality of it is that it never does.

New Year's this year was a little rough, however, and I'm not holding to this way of thinking exactly. The end of the year was rocky, much to my dismay, as I had looked forward to this vacation for such a long time, and we didn't reach the New Year in a good place. We spent most of New Years day having some big discussions. There were a lot of tears shed, mostly mine, but some his, and at the end of the day we were in a better place than we had started. This is certainly not the tone I want to set for the rest of the year. Having lived through this kind of year already, I can't imagine being strong enough to get through another one just like it.

The days since then, however, have been much nicer. We've had smaller conversations, and we're both making more of an effort to focus on what is really important, which is our love for each other. As ugly as this past year has been, and as much hurt as I have suffered because of it, one simple fact remained through it all. I never stopped loving him. We may have gotten to the point where I was so broken that I thought, however briefly, about walking away from it all, but as I told him, I would've hated every minute of it for the rest of my life because I never would've stopped loving him. So I issued him an ultimatum and hoped for the best. I told him that he needed to do some soul searching and decide if this is really what he wants, if I was really what he wants. If our marriage was important enough for him to fight for. If so, I told him, then he needed to take a long hard look at things and step it up a notch. If not, then we needed to have some serious conversations, as much as he hates talking. When he came to see me the next afternoon, after sleeping most of the morning (he was sick with a cold), I have to admit I was a little nervous about which direction our conversations was going to take. Deep in my heart I knew that he loved me, and that he kept telling me he wanted this to work, but I was afraid that maybe the reason things haven't been working out for so long, was that he wasn't really willing to put in the hard work and he was ready to be done.

We have both apologized for our parts in the recent issues we've been having. A relationship is always two people, whether it's working or failing. There are seldom situations where you can place the entire blame on one partner (notice I didn't say never). When I start to feel ignored, and unloved and unwanted, I have a tendency to withdraw into myself. After an extended period of feeling this way, I also have a tendency to get a little cranky. Sometimes, no matter how you are feeling, you have to push through it and make an effort for the better of your relationship. In my heart I know this, and in the past I have done this, quite successfully I might add, but lately I just haven't had it in me. I have been so hurt and broken, that I developed a bit of a "if he isn't going to bother, why should I?" attitude, and that wasn't helping anything. On top of all of that, sometimes when I'm really hurt, I say snippy things that aren't nice, even though most of the time I don't mean what I say, or I know that it's not going to help the situation. We all have our failings, and I think it's important to recognize them and apologize for them when necessary.

So a week into the new year, and things are slowly coming around. We had a rough patch on Saturday, but we worked through it and didn't let it ruin our whole day, or the rest of our weekend. We are learning, and growing through our struggles, which is more than I can say for where we were a year ago today. I stood on the playground yesterday afternoon, and let the warm sun shine down on my face. I thought about how grateful I am for the days we have enjoyed lately. One day at a time is all that I can ask for, and hopefully, it can be just a little bit better than the one before.

No comments: