Saturday, August 22, 2009

Partner

My husband is my partner

I knew when we met
my life was going to change
even though at the beginning he told me
“I don’t volunteer”
and
“I don’t want to talk about it”
I knew something special was there

we had so much fun together
we went out alone
we went out with friends
we laughed
we never fought
we talked about our lives together

we got married
at the ceremony
when the rabbi asked him
“do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife”
he answered
“you bet”
I laughed
I giggled throughout the ceremony
he does that to me

we enjoyed our time by ourselves
but we knew we wanted a family
we talked about kids
I wanted four
he wanted two
so we compromised and had three
we had no idea how much our lives would change

that is when the fighting between us began

how do you compromise your position when
child rearing is never taught in school
no instructions

again I had instinct
being a kindergarten teacher I understood about
rules and consequences
I believed in behavior modification

we began to discuss
how to raise them

when I was strict
he was lenient
when he was the rule follower
I enjoyed breaking them
we had “discussions”
we are both the oldest of our siblings
so we each think we know best

we still enjoyed vacations alone
but
we always talked about our girlies

on weekends
we would get babysitters
and go out on dates
sometimes just us
dinner and a movie
because we were too busy
to remember
to make plans
with anyone else

but we never minded being alone
we still enjoyed each other’s company

but when crisises happened with the girls
we would argue
we would get mad
we would point fingers
we would sulk

instinct
we both had instincts
but we didn’t realize it

I wanted rules and behaviors
also I wanted fun and a happy house
yin and yang
what was the right decision
where were the instuctions?

when the girls would fight
I would think
oh sisterly squabbles
it will stop soon

but no
I don’t think it does
my husband has three aunts
who are his father’s sisters
they are in their 80’s and 90’s
they still fight
there is no hope

but we didn’t know
in some ways
when after the outbursts
they appreciated each other

still
we needed a plan
we needed structure

we listened to teachers
we went to parenting seminars
but everything we learned
we already knew

then we asked ourselves
why wasn’t it always working?

we had great kids
they did great in school
they got good grades
they had friends

but there was so much fighting at home
where did we go wrong

the situation was usually two against one
it wasn’t always the same design
but it usually was

we still loved each other deeply
we just didn’t know how to always show it
when we argued
we got so angry
we wanted right for our family
but we didn’t know the answers
we tried
we talked to more doctors
we talked to therapists

we wanted a happy house
but we didn’t have one

we needed it for us
yes
for our girls also
but for us
it tears us apart
we both want what is best
but
without instructions
how can we tell what is the best method?

instinct doesn't help with this

we know we belong together
we lean on each other for support
there are days
he is strong and I am weak
and others
that I am the leader and he is the follower
we stick together
we stand by each other's sides
we know
that we can't do this alone

I am so lucky to have him as my partner
I am blessed every day
and for that
I am grateful