Sometimes Marriage Is Hard

I was trying to think of a snappy title, something more enticing but the simplicity of that statement (“Sometimes marriage is hard”) is something that a lot of people don’t quite understand. They don’t understand why marriage is hard at times, what to do when those hard times come, and how to move past the hard times when everything is good again.

I’ve been having some issues offline in my marriage. Nothing too major but just those minor aches and pains that you have when you’re still (even 8 years in) learning each other as part of a couple. Our biggest problem has always been communication. He’s not a talker and I am. As a writer, I love being able to sit down on the couch and just…talk. Throw in some food and that, to me, is a great date night. To my husband, that’s torture. (Well, he’ll enjoy the food.)

But lately, his effort to have meaningful conversations with me just wasn’t enough. I wanted more. But I didn’t know how to say that. So I did my usual beat around the bush approach, to which he stared at me blankly. So I had to be blunt.

“I need you to make more of an effort to respond when I try to have a conversation with you,” I said. “I don’t like when you give me one-word answers, when I feel like I’m pulling sentences out of you, or when you act like you’d rather be anywhere else than having a conversation with me. How does that sound?”

“I’ll work on it,” he said.

Now here’s the hard part – believing that this change will come. To be sure, we’ve had this conversation before. I don’t know if I’ve ever been this blunt before, but trust me, it isn’t the first time he’s heard it.

So believing that this will happen, that my needs will get met – it’s hard for me. Sometimes you don’t feel like showing patience toward your spouse. Sometimes you don’t feel like be nice all the time, considering their feelings, working toward a resolution. Sometimes you just want to be mad because, well, those are your feelings and you have a right to express them.

What I’m learning is that I can choose to be better. I can choose to show kindness to my husband rather than run my mouth (my first instinct). I can leave the room versus risk a verbal explosion. I can choose to take those hard moments and act in a way that shows my husband that I am willing to grow.

 

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Written by Tara

Tara Pringle Jefferson is the founder and editor of TheYoungMommyLife.com.

Comments

  1. I just had a post up last week about this for our Anniversary. My hubs is the same exact way I talk and he doesn’t. As I get older I find it to be more profound I never noticed it when we first started dating. After 10 years he still does not talk much and its sad I would love to talk to him about problems or concerns but it seems to fall on deaf ears and I find myself talking to other people when I should be talking to him. What I now do to get him to talk is to make sure when we eat we discuss our days at the dinner table and everyone has to talk for 5 minutes this has helped but it’s the only time he really talks so I will take it. Good luck to your marriage it’s hard but it’s worth it.

    • @Kita – You know I feel you! I don’t want to talk to other people about problems I may have so I’m working on improving our communication – it’s hard but it’ll be worth it in the end!

  2. The biggest issue in my relationship is communication too. Difference is, I’m not much a talker, like your husband, and I tend to internalize or avoid issues altogether. We’ve been working on it and I’ve gotten better at it.

  3. The flip will work in this situation. What’s the flip? It would sound like “Remember that time when we talked about (insert a time when you talked for a long time), I really loved that” He will probably say “why?” You respond “I just really felt connected to you. The words we shared, the way we communicated made me feel like I mattered.” Now, wait for the change to come because it will happen. Positive reinforcement works. Also try texting, letter writing & emailing. Communication comes in many forms. Oh and he might talk more after sex.

  4. You are definitely not alone… I could sit and talk alllll day long, but my husband is more of an introvert. Our lack of communication has caused a TON of conflict, but we are slowly, very very slowly working through it. One thing I am trying to do is not take it so personally that he isn’t talking to me. For a while, it has even made me feel lonely, but I know he is not doing it to intentionally hurt me or because he doesn’t want to be around me, it is just how he is. We are different. Sigh…one day at a time :-) :hugs:

    • @Jasmine – You are right – it is hard not to take it personally because I’m an awesome person to talk to (lol). But I realize he is just quieter than I am but I need more. I’m bored. And I feel better saying that. We’re working on it, because our communication could stand to be improved.

  5. Communication is the key esp when you are trying to guess the person opinion and you have to literally pull the information out of him. We didn’t communicate about simple things until there was an argument. Which is not good at all. Actually we going to counseling have been doing it for two months. It is an eye opener on what the other person feeling and how to communicate and actively listen. I was happy that he was open to it. Plus the greatest thing is it is only five dollars a session because the therapist are interns that are going for their masters in the field. I don’t know if this is something you are open to but to have someone outside express views on how both of you can communicate and work as a hold is the best thing that happen to us.

  6. It’s hard though sometimes, because I feel like the wives are always the one thinking about it or trying to work on ourselves to change. Sometimes it just feels like guys have it so much easier than us…maybe that’s unfair of me to admit, but that’s how I feel a lot of the time!

    • @Tiny Blue Lines I do agree that men seem to have it easier on the relationship front. I always feel like women make more of an effort to keep the relationship sailing along. Men just kind of…exist.

  7. I’m your husband in this situation. I’m not much of a talker. I live in my head. My husband and I have arguments because he’s waiting for a longer response. Meanwhile, I’ve said what I felt. It was just shorter than what he wanted. We’re working on some sort of middle ground. Where he feels like I’m communicating and I don’t feel like I’m being tortured.

    • @Rae – Yup, middle ground is all I’m looking for. I’ve already lowered my expectations down as far as I’m willing to go. I don’t think a daily chit-chat with my husband is too much to ask for. But I also don’t want him to resent having to “change” to suit me. So we’re working on it. It’ll work out, I’m sure.

  8. Some people just aren’t talkers and we have to be okay with that. Maybe finding a way that he feels comfortable communicate is key here. And if need be seek some tips and exercise suggestions from a professional. Hopefully, you all see some improvement in this area soon.

    • @YUMMommy – We’ve been at this for eight years and I am not happy with the level of conversation we have right now. I’ve tried coming up with ways to make him more comfortable. I suggested emails throughout the day, or a 15-minute “catch-up session” at night, or texting or whatever. It hasn’t worked. I don’t want to just accept “maybe he’s just not a talker” because that’s not enough for me. I’ve tried it and it’s not enough. What I’m HOPING is that the next suggestion will come from him. So far it’s just been me shoving suggestions at the problem with no solution. So maybe that now I’ve made it clear, we can move on to some suggestions from his end. I’m thinking those will be more likely to stick. *fingers crossed*

  9. I have learned that sometimes we really just have to love our spouses for who they are and take them for who they are as well. Its funny because my husband is a talker. It had bothered me for a second there, but I had to realize that even before we got married, he was a talker too. It would be unfair for me to ask him to change when I married him that way. It is part of his personality. I would be upset with him if he came to me and ask me to change something that is part of my personality because he is not satisfied especially if he married me that way. I have to remember why I married him and keep that in focus. I am by no means perfect and hope that he can look past my “flaws” just as I have to look past his. It sounds like you both compliment each other. Can you imagine if you both were talkers?

    • @HappyFitMom – I appreciate your comment – I really do. But I don’t think it’s fair to me either. When we were dating, I had no problems getting him to talk to me much more than he does now. But somewhere along the line (around the time we had our first child) something shifted and conversations went on the back burner. I love him very much and I understand he will never be a big talker. But one word answers when I try to talk to him about our future? Nope. Don’t like that. He could *try* to make an effort there to meet me halfway. That’s all I ask. He won’t ever be the type of guy who will talk my ear off but we can work to get to the point where we can have conversations – real, to-the-point conversations. I believe in that.

  10. New to the site but had to comment on this post because I understand exactly where you are coming from. My husband is an introvert and quiet is his nature so while I try to be cognizant of that, it can be downright difficult when we are in the middle of a disagreement and I ask a question and he just stares at me. Drives me crazy. When he finally graces me with an answer, its usually no more than one short sentence. Drives me crazy too. My answer is almost always, “Is that it?!” It can be annoyingly frustrating but I do try to take to heart what one commenter said which is that sometimes we just have to take our spouses as they are. I don’t think that means we shouldn’t be able to expect more from them, I just think that mindset will (hopefully) give us more patience. Lord knows I need it!

    • @Nicole – Yes, yes, yes! I have been working on my patience because I get frustrated almost EVERY time I try to have a conversation. Because I appreciate how much my husband is a great listener (he never interrupts, he’s always taking what I say to heart), but I want to hear his opinions and have a real discussion with him. And those one-word answers send me up a wall! So I am asking him to give me more and while I’m waiting on him to rise to the occasion, I’m also working on me and my issues. :)

  11. “I’ll work on it” is a line I hear often. But I’ll take that over completly ignoring my concerns. If I didn’t know any better I’d think we were married to the same man lol. I’m still a newlywed so I’m trying to figure my way through this entire “communicating with a husband” thing. Maybe I talk too much? Maybe he doesn’t talk enough? Maybe I expect too much? Maybe he doesn’t give enough? All concerns I’m sure time will answer. The good thing is that I do see my husband actually working on his communication skills and, like you, I’m working hard on this patience thing. Men…marriage…life! Smh, can’t live without them but it can be hard to live with them lol.

  12. “What I’m learning is that I can choose to be better. I can choose to show kindness to my husband rather than run my mouth (my first instinct). I can leave the room versus risk a verbal explosion. I can choose to take those hard moments and act in a way that shows my husband that I am willing to grow”.

    First, I want to say how excited I am to have stumbled upon such a wonderful blog to which I can relate to, Kudos to you!!!! Next, I wanted to say that I also have moments where I don’t really feel like turning a cheek or anything else that forces me to act in a calm and rational manner, lol. But then I have to look at the bigger long term picture and swallow my pride to do what might not only best for my marriage, but the best example for my child.

  13. “Now here’s the hard part – believing that this change will come.” – this is so true, and I’m not even married. But having been in a few relationships, I can say that sometimes the change doesn’t come as quickly as we’d like, and may even need follow-up conversations, which can be frustrating. Thank you for your honest words about the challenges. I hope you’re both able to overcome them soon, finding a way to adjust that matches each person’s personality.

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