I Like My Husband More When I Like Myself
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. And so does loving yourself.
Relationships have been top of mind lately. I’ve been intrigued by the insight revealed from relationship books and podcasts this summer, mainly because my marriage had fallen into a funk — thanks largely to the 24/7 confinement in a rental home (in a new state) with no one to understand but my prissy poodle.
I’m in Ohio right now on a Writer’s Retreat/Friendship Tour. I am husband and child free for the first time in a long time and it feels incredible. Not to be without them, but to be able to do the things that make me feel exactly like myself.
Parts of me that were asleep in quarantine — like my drive to work, my longing for social supports and my will to workout — are now alive and thriving. Quarantine put me in a dark, depressive state, and I hope it doesn’t come back.
My therapist, after diagnosing me with “chronic adjustment disorder,” had confirmed that because I had “disconnected from my social supports” and “withdrew from my creative pursuits” that my new mom identity crisis (which I thought had passed) had come roaring back.
She was correct.
Upon mentioning my most recent move to Connecticut was my third move in four years, she had tactfully explained the internalized “trauma” I had been carrying around. Coronavirus was the bright red cherry on top.
Therapy is a real treat, and I highly encourage it.
My Marriage Wasn’t The Problem. My Self-Worth Was.
Like the majority of the population during lockdown, I wasn’t doing any of the things that made me me. I wasn’t getting dressed, I wasn’t putting lipstick on, I wasn’t going to cycle class, I was ignoring my friends and family, and I was filling my head with constant and obsessive negative self-talk.
As a result, I began expressing resentful hatred to Jake about everything that was going wrong. Essentially blaming him for something no one could pull me out of except me. I never understood why people took their frustrations out on other people until I caught myself doing it. I wasn’t mad at him. I was mad at me.
And slowly but surely, once I started opening up to the people I trust about what was happening, I started to feel better. Less alone. Spending time with friends and family + basking in the sunshine + going to new restaurants + getting my old writing groove back gave me the confidence I had buried in quarantine.
That confidence then reminded me that I wanted to treat my marriage like a fun adventure instead of a Monday chore.
Had we not gone through that rough patch, I doubt he would be calling me with “I miss you’s,” and including HEART EYE EMOJIS in text messages (a rare occurrence from big tough Jake).
All because I became alive again.
Prioritizing Yourself Brightens Your Entire Life
My point is, if you’re in a funk, talk to someone about it, work through it without a bandaid approach, and go find yourself again. The people you love will thank you for it. But most importantly, you will thank yourself for doing the work that always ends up being worth it.
Takeaway Tip: Do things that make you feel alive and excited about your life. It’s easy to pinpoint what’s going wrong in our lives. But it isn’t as easy to remember what’s going right. Hold on to what’s going right, be thankful for those things, and reevaluate when something seems off.
As always, thank you for reading! I’m finally making headway on my Modern Motherhood Book and it feels awesome. I hope you are all making progress toward whatever makes you feel like you, too.