Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Truth

Sirach 9:9
"With a married woman dine not,
recline not at table to drink by her side,
Lest your heart be drawn to her and you go down in blood to the grave."



This email was sent to me yesterday, quite only by coincidence, with God there are no coincidences though, are there? It explains my thoughts exactly about Facebook. I think it's fine for other people, but it's not for me and this is the reason. I know lots of people use Facebook for other reasons, especially teenagers, but my generation, I think uses it for contact with their pasts. Again, it's fine for some, just not for me.



"There's a point in life when you realize
who matters
who never did
who won't anymore
and who always will.
So, don't worry about people from your past. There's a reason they didn't make it to your future."


My husband recently opened a Facebook account. He also recently has gotten in contact with quite a few people from his past, like close to 60. I say great! I'm glad he has this network to be able to email people or leave a few notes through Facebook. Not old girlfriends.


Truth be told, it was my husband who got the call from an old very close friend from college. I may have met her once shortly after we were married, although I don't remember her. Doesn't matter. I trust my husband completely, and know he would never do anything and I believe this is perfectly innocent. It just is not right. Lines are crossed when a married person meets with another person of the opposite sex alone. I believe it's inappropriate. I think it opens the door for, well, nothing good.


I have run into people from my past in stores or wherever, but that's just it, we run into eachother, speak a little, catch up a little and move on. Now, maybe my past is different, having moved so much, I don't think my social network on Facebook would connect anyone. I have no desire for that type of conversation. I grew up mostly in Princeton, MN, but moved 5 times to California, including my last 2 years of high school, which were in 2 different schools, in 2 different parts of CA. Then besides moving, I had different friends with my first marriage, (annulled) with different jobs, etc. I think if I run into someone from my past, it is meant to be for whatever reason, probably to pray for that person, nothing more, in which I always do.


Now, I'm not talking about old friends who I've stayed in contact with over the years, like my friend Denise. We met when I was 4 and her family bought our old farmhouse. We've been friends ever since. We hardly see eachother, but we do email, and plan to visit, although it rarely happens.


My husband thinks I paint a perfect picture life here on my blog. Maybe I do. Truth is it's far from perfect. We all have struggles in life. I like my blog to be a place of happiness, a place people come to and feel just a little better about whatever, even if just for a moment. I think my blog is a place to escape to, it's pretty, it's all the good in me. I don't want to paint a picture of perfection here though and make anyone feel less than anything by coming here.


I have been crabby and complaining (daily) for all of February and I suppose part of January. I have been feeling like crap all the time and my husband gets the worst of it. I have had no energy to do anything, go out, nothing but do what had to be done and lay on the couch for the rest of the time. No, I'm not that picture perfect pregnant woman. Don't get me wrong, I love this little baby, I'm just not good at suffering happily. Now why wouldn't my husband like to go to coffee with an old friend? A friend who is happy and not complaining to him? Don't answer that.


This past week, I have started to have some more energy and just the drive to get off the couch. (I'm still puking every afternoon and evening but the energy is coming back)


Marriage is hard. For my husband and I, we end up co-existing. We work well together and rarely fight, maybe 3 times a year. But with 4 small children, life just gets away from us and we go into this mode of just taking care of what needs to get done, going from need to need, yet not taking any time for the two of us. We drift apart. We've tried "dating" once/month with a sitter, where we actually go out and having weeknight "homedates" but by the time the kids are all asleep, and we're ready to sit down, it's 9pm and well, we're exhausted. Finding a sitter for 4 busy kids is no small task either, not to mention expensive, it's either dinner or a movie, not both. Lately our weekends have been full of other things. Packed with other things. No time left for the two of us.


We resort to relaxing and watching a movie. No talking. No conversation. We've done it again as so many times before, we've become second to the kids in eachothers lives. It's supposed to be: 1 God, 2 Spouse, 3 children. But somehow Spouse moves to 5 or 6 on that list of priorities. How does this happen? Better yet, how can this not happen?


I know, it takes time. Time every week. Time every day. Time together. Talking, having fun together.


It is during this time of co-existing that little things build. After a long time of it, it takes something like an old female friend from college to call my husband and ask him to coffee, to make me jealous and angry. Jealous of the time I'd love to spend with him. Jealous of the conversation that she'd get to have with him, that I'm not getting. Angry that we disagree. I don't get mad that often, but when I do, I admit, I blow up!!! I yell, I am defensive and full of "you" statements.


Yes, sometimes this happens in front of the kids. This is something I need to pray about. I need to remain calm until the "right" time. In the heat of the moment, that just seems impossible. I know it's something I can pray to God and beg for those graces from our Sacrament of Matrimony to help me with, to help us with. Thank God for the Sacraments and all the graces that come from them!! I don't know how a person could make it without them.


Life is hard. Marriage is hard. But it is also easy at the same time. Does that make sense? The ups and the downs. I guess the ups are easy it's those downs where it's hard.


I know the co-existing thing happens in lots of marriages. How do you deal with it? Is it a constant struggle for you? It seems to just sneak up on us and before we know it, it's there and we are in it!


I know through the grace of God we will overcome this. I hope I have painted a more clear picture of real life here instead a picture of perfection.


If you leave comments, please keep it nice, if anything bad is written about my husband, I will delete it. I love him and he's innocent in this, and is planning on seeking the advice of a priest.

15 comments:

  1. You know, I try so hard to write and I just can't. I can speak my mind perfectly, I just can't get the words down on paper. You, on the other hand, can. This post is so true, so beautiful, so you. I've been feeling this way lately in my own marriage. I realize that I'm letting outside influences affect me, and I need to pray harder for those same graces you spoke about. Thanks Jamie.

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  2. You wrote about this so perfectly. Thank you for sharing your heart and life with us. I am happy every.single.time. I come here. Honest! I'm glad your hubs is seeking the advice of a priest. This is good. Like you said marriage is hard and it's easy. I so get that.

    Be sure of my prayers for you both. It's rough and tumble, but it's love. Love always finds a way.

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  3. Dear Jamie,
    That was a tough confession. I pray that you receive the support you need, both here and irl.

    We all make errors in judgment. Often we don't even know when we are doing it, at least not until later. Sadly, Satan often capitalizes on those weak moments and makes then more than they should be.

    If your husband listens to good counsel and his own good conscience, he'll make a good choice.

    Praying for you and your family.

    PS I think date night is highly overrated. Just a touch, a look, a smooch is worth an entire date night.

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  4. There is a self sacrifice in parenting and that shared vision that acknowledges that you will have your own time together when they are grown....and we know that they grow so fast.

    Hugs.

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  5. Oh, Jamie! My heart goes out to you and your husband! That certainly wasn't easy to write, let alone to post. The piece that stuck out for me was when you said, "Jealous of the time I'd love to spend with him. Jealous of the conversation that she'd get to have with him, that I'm not getting." Maybe that's how you could approach it with him? Tell him how YOU long to have that conversation over coffee with him! Maybe he needs to hear that? I pray that both of you find grace and strength to persevere, and try hard to find those little moments you can enjoy together. My dh and I have found that going out on a Sunday afternoon works well, because we're more refreshed than on a Friday night. Just a suggestion. May God give you peace tonight! {{hugs}}

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  6. About facebook... I only joined because that was where all the planning was going on about my 10 year HS reunion. Well, ended up not going after seeing what kind of people were going to be there. I have reconnected with some old neighbor friends and schoolmates from my childhood which was fun. Had a big internet brawl with my cousins after trying to hold a conversation on it. So it's been a so so experience. I am trying to avoid myspace and facebook as much as possible, but keeping it open incase someone I really want to chat with comes on.

    But it's funny, as soon as my husband started getting "friends" which included female classmates - I couldn't help but be jealous. It creeps me out a little, even though I trust my husband. So I can relate.

    About dating - oh my gosh - our last date night for dinner and bowling cost us $100! And because we didn't want to be wimps and go home early we went shopping at Target for some basics. We'll still do date nights, but will have to be more creative with the cash.

    There are times when it just seems necessary, because as you said - if we don't take time for each other, we start to feel more like roommates. The best lesson I've learned through it in 7 years of marriage (not much I know)... is always tell him exactly how you feel (they don't like to guess) and keep your head out of the negative gutter.

    **Hopefully you'll feel up to coming to visit us soon?

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  7. oh, God bless you jaimie. life is hard, marriage is harder, that is why it is a sacrament.
    and from the title of your blog-Lord, make me a saint-we know that you're not one yet and neither is your hubby, but in your humility, that is what you are striving for.
    it is unrealistic to think that any marriage is perfect, and i would think that anyone-blogger or not-who says their is-i'd say is a liar-especially when there are so many little ones to look after-there is a lot of sacrificing going on-on both sides-but it would be improper for your hubby to seek that relaxation in the company in the presence of another woman. it may take some arranging on your part-sacrificing-for you to make a little time for him-i know i have to force myself to do this. my hubby has been working out of town lately and i am so worn out-and then he comes home wanting all sorts of attention, but i feel like if one more person asks me for one more thing i am FINISHED! so it is very fitting and proper that not just during lent, but always, to turn things off, put the sewing away and make time for his needs too, just the same way i make time for mine and the kids and my sick grammie and my friends and other family members, etc. etc. you get the picture? it is not right for me to always put off to the side whose very hard work keeps me at home and puts food on our table.
    so while i've rambled enough, i'll keep you in my prayers, with God's grace, you will get thru this bump in the road.
    ps. please pray for a family in our homeschool group who just lost their baby girl yesterday, imagine the strain on that marriage/family right now....so very sad.
    take care of yourself-baby needs you to be well!
    hugs.

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  8. Wow, what an honest post. I have a date tip a young couple with 3 very young children use. They hire a sitter for Saturday Vigil Mass and then go to dinner. It works for them.

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  9. What a beautifully honest post, Jamie. I am glad for you that you do have this blog to express yourself and feel a little wind in your sails. We all need a little to keep us going.

    Count us among the co-existing couples. My husband, when we were dating used to turn off Star Trek so we could talk and give each other some undivided attention. We can't turn off kids except by putting them to bed and then there are always still things to do.

    We seem to do better when we are in a habit of taking 15 minutes to sit on the sofa to talk before tackling all the rest of the evening chores.

    That's about all we need in this season - and it is a season - of our lives. Some years we have been able to go on more dinner dates, but honestly - although the food was nice, we didn't have much to talk about to fill up the hour drive there, dinner and the hour drive back. It actually made me feel even worse (and lonely) to sit at the table unsuccessfully trying to make conversation in a loud restaurant full of talkative people.

    I might add that sometimes it can be extremely difficult to actually talk about issues that have built up if one spouse gets defensive and angry when the other has any concerns. Ahem.

    You are right on the money, though, about how affairs start. If we wives nag and complain at home our husbands will crave to be around people who respect, admire and appreciate them. It might be a younger model, an old flame or a little old lady down the street but it is a reminder to do our best to make our homes a pleasant atmosphere for our husbands. I too often give my best away during the day and have little left over for my hubby, especially when I run out the door at 7pm for this meeting or that.

    You two have something too precious to risk and I pray that the sacramental graces of marriage take you through this to a better place.

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  10. You are not alone. My husband and I struggle with the same thing. My husband grew up a large family, though, so he's seen what it's like on the parents. He's very patient and understanding with my ever changing moods, and I know he suffers when I don't give him enough affection (his love language is physical affection). But I do say you have to make the sacrifice with money if you can and make a date. I have a goal for my husband and I to go out once a month, and I'm going to be moving stuff around in our budget to make it happen. If it's just dinner, that's great. If it's just a movie and some window shopping, even better. But it's the time alone that counts. You'd be amazed at what a afternoon date can do for both of you. I will be praying for both of you. Raising a young family is not easy by any means. And remember, there are three of you in your marriage, too. :-)

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  11. Thanks for your honesty, Jamie. I think it was a well written post. I always enjoy reading open and honest posts of other moms/wives, mostly because I think it can be easy as a reader to see all that is perfect and noble in the posts and easily (for me) to wonder why my home cannot be exactly as theirs is. Yes, it is easy to paint that 'picture perfect' life in a blog, but occassional 'truth' posts are understood as well. (Have you noticed that I rarely speak of my infertility and the struggle I endure on my blog? Most days it's just easier to paint the perfect picture than really share my heart. Rest assured, a 'truthful' post is coming soon...it's still working its way in my heart before I can post it :) I really understand how easy it is to just co-exist in a marriage with kids. We have to work hard too to continue to be open with each other and communicating so that we are not simply existing together in our household and getting through the tasks of raising our children. Yes, marriage is hard and it's easy, almost always, a juggling act to keep in motion and to pay attention to every detail in order to nurture your relationship with your spouse. Blessings on you and your Hubby!

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  12. I used facebook to connect with college friends and discovered that I really didn't have the time to devote to it. It was fun to catch up, but my life is in real time. I enjoy your blog precisely because it is joyful and pretty and fun and well, you get the picture.
    My pregnancies stink and I've had 9of them. I adore my babies, I love being open to life, but I consider pregnancy to be purgatory. Our marriage has been on auto pilot more than I care to remember. I think it is a constant struggle, part of the "good fight" of life. It has made us stronger in the long run(18 yrs, to be exact). We stay close to the sacraments and He always sees us through. It's a mystery.
    Don't beat yourself up over your children seeing you angry. I always thought this was a bad thing because I never saw my parents fight. But I've discovered it's really important for them to see the whole cycle. I think my kids are better at dealing with conflict.
    Sorry this ended up being longer than I intended...you are in my prayers. Missed you at Schoenstatt last week.

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  13. There is a lot here to digest.

    Facebook. Tried it and did not like people knowing my name and where they could find me. Totally creeped me out. If someone REALLY was concerned about me and wanted to be in my life they would call, or email or send a letter or better yet...come visit me. I think it totally stinks that life gets so busy we need facebook to keep in touch with "whoever".

    Marriage is hard. You hit that nail right on the head. It is double hard with kids. Brian and I do not really date. We take our walks together every sat. morning. We are lucky that Zach is old enough to watch the kids for 2 hours. Hang in there....kids grow fast and become great helpers. I think it is the day to day hugs and kisses that make a good relationship too. You should see all the kinky notes I put in Brians lunch boxes!!!!!!!!!!;)

    This is a bump in the road for you guys. A big bump with the old "gal" friend situation.

    To have 2 married people (not married to each other) go out for coffee...alone....well the word that comes to my mind is SCANDEL.

    I really never thought of scandel until Brian and I were dating. He had his own place and I lived far away. When I would come and visit I would sleep down in the bsmt bedroom. His roommate...had a conip. He said..."You are causing scandel!"

    I just think keeping situations squeaky clean never has hurt anybody.

    My prayers are for you today my friend.

    Great post...ohyah...I really like the part about blogging painting a false picture of what it is really like out there. Because I live in reality and know that there is no one on this planet that doesn't have difficulties...no blogger could convince me their life is "perfect". So keep your blog a happy place.

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  14. Jamie,
    I think there are times in all marriages where feelings like these occur. And date night is not the answer. I have to agree with whoever said that it takes a touch or a look. It is so true! We need to make sure everyday that we take at least one moment to say something wonderful to our spouses... about them!!
    I also want to say that I have to agree about the mixed feelings about Facebook. I was really enjoying it, until an ex-boyfriend found me. Luckily Hubby and I went to school together so he knows the guy too. But you know, it was not why I joined and kind of ruined it for me!
    Take good care of yourself and I hope that you will be feeling better soon. Pregnancy is hard. {{{{HUGS}}}

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  15. Oh Jamie!! Remember that Christ makes all things new.

    Don't lose hope. God bless you for letting it all out.

    I'll add more prayers for you!!!

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