I’ve been pretty open about our struggles Craig and I went through during our first few years of parenthood and marriage. If you’re new here, you can read on that here.
Carver was just 7 and 8 months old. I was deep in some serious mental health issues. We were struggling to make ends meet. I was not used to working crazy nurse hours. It was bad. I was in the process of selling out of LuLaRoe. I had a serious spending problem. Craig had his own issues he was working through at the time too.
One of our reoccurring fights we had was about how Craig was home, he never wanted to be around. He would come home and take off to go wood working in the garage which was okay but I was so lonely. Most nights he’d take Carver with him. We had a whole setup in our heated garage for Carver to hang out. We weren’t connecting even when we spent time together and every time he went out to the garage it hurt even more. I’d “give him permission” to go to the garage and then when he was out there, I was mad that he wasn’t in the house. So our fights weren’t about him actually spending time in the garage, I’d pick a fight out of no where about anything when he finally did come in.
By the time Summer rolled around, he was running gout of wood working projects and decided to tackle our fence. We have a really long fence that lines our driveway. It is a good sturdy fence but needed a face lift. All Summer long, any chance he could get, Craig was out there power washing the fence and re staining and sealing the fence. Again, I couldn’t figure out what this fence had that I didn’t. Why didn’t he want to spend time with me?
We started marriage counseling that Summer.
It took a few years for him to admit and for me to realize but here’s the truth:
Our home wasn’t a welcome environment for him. The more angry I got that he didn’t want to be with me, the more angry I was with him when he actually was home. When he was home, he thought, “Well, this is what I get for staying inside and hanging out with her like she wants me to.” Our home was a place where he was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t.
We are both so intentional now about making sure we are creating a welcoming environment. I want Craig to feel appreciated and I want it to be a place where he wants to spend time. I was projecting so much of my own personal issues onto him, lost in my own self pity. If I came home and Craig was always mad at me, I wouldn’t want to be there either.
That looks like offering a warm greeting at the door.
That looks like answering the phone kindly even if you’re drowning in kids.
That looks like asking what they’d like from the store.
That looks like putting all phones down and pausing shows to listen to their day.
That looks like cleaning up after ourselves so the other one isn’t left with a huge mess.
That looks like leaving supper ready before I have to leave for night shift.
That sounds like, “I may seem super angry but it’s not with you, I’m just totally exhausted.”
That sounds like, “Is there something I can do to make your week easier?”
That sounds like, “I appreciate you and you do so much for our family.”
That sounds like, “You go to bed, I’ve got the kids.”
So that’s it. That’s the story. That’s Kalissa’s piece of marriage advice for the month. It sounds super simple but it took us years to figure out how to put it into practice and how to identify where that breakdown was. I also learned that I used picking fights as a way to falsify a sense of connection. This is still something we work on every day.
Long story short: Create an environment that other people want to live in.
That’s the end of today’s blog post but I did quickly want to direct you to check out my Etsy shop, someone had a special request to make the Quiltmaker sweatshirt as a tee shirt and I liked the color she picked so much that I printed a whole batch! This shirt is SUPER SOFT – same material as the Blessed are the Piecemakers Tee! Here is the link: kalissageorgia | Etsy
Check out my latest posts:
- PART TWO: STUFF and THINGS
- Part One: STUFF and THINGS
- Wacky Wednesday
- “If it’s not one thing, it’s another.”
- A Wild Weekend and a Manic Monday