Monday, December 17, 2007

Friction when joy should be here.

Hi all. I'm very tired from a whole day of packing and traveling back home, and now on top of everything, I am angry and frustrated so I figured I would vent my frustration here on the blog.

The trip to my mother's house overall went well; the next day after the fight it was as if the fight never happened. I thought about saying something to my mom about what happened, but I didn't think that she understood what she did wrong, and I wasn't in the mood for a rehash of the previous night's argument. Yes, calling me selfish shouldn't have set me off, but it was more the fact that my mother was insulting me and calling me names in front of my wife that got me annoyed. One thing that I have found to be paramount to a good relationship is respect by both the husband and the wife for one another, and if I let my mom step all over me, that would have sent a message to my wife that it would have been okay for her to do that too and I don't believe this is kind of interaction would be acceptable in a marriage. I got angry because firstly, she was wrong -- I am far from selfish, and secondly, her actions put me in a situation where my wife was watching how I reacted to my mother's instigations and she would have judged me negatively if I lost my temper.

Now moving forward in time... My wife and I had an argument and I am not so sure I was in the right this time. Happy news, I got a job offer which I accepted just a few days ago. As you know, I worked tirelessly applying to jobs and going on interviews for over a year and I took dead-end jobs with killer hours and sometimes non-existent salaries just to get experience and to pay the bills, and it wasn't easy. There has been a lot going on since with an enormous amount of responsibilities, I have had very little energy when I am not giving my all to the projects I have been working on, or to being a good husband and father by spending quality time with my wife and my son. Since we have been spending so much time away from our non-existent home (we moved out of our apartment as planned and have been living out of a suitcase while visiting either the in-laws or my parents since the end of November) my wife is getting antsy about the fact that we don't have a home to live in. What annoys me is that it was our plan to do this -- move out by the end of November, have a goal to find a job by the beginning of December. Well, G-d took a little longer than we expected, but we are two weeks into December and I have a new job in a new place.

I took responsibility for various things, and the only thing my wife took responsibility for in this whole slew of moving our lives to the next chapter was to find us an apartment, particularly because she had such a strong interest in exactly what it looked like, etc. so to give her what she wanted, I let her take care of the apartment searching.

Needless to say, she has dabbled in apartment hunting, but I don't think she has done anything substantial. I haven't faulted her for this, nor have I even said anything to her, but now (tonight) she started a tirade of complaining that it was my fault that she didn't find an apartment because I wasn't taking care of the baby and she can't live out of a suitcase anymore and that she wants to live in a hotel until we find an apartment.

As per her claims, I don't deny that she spends a majority of time taking care of the baby -- she is an amazing mother and devotes her whole life to taking care of our baby. She stays up at nights for him, feeds him and holds him, takes care of his napping schedule, takes care of his eating schedule, and she cottles him when he needs her attention. As things would have it, I am our son's entertainment. I hold him quite frequently and I give my wife as many breaks as I possibly can, and I play with him multiple times daily. I talk to him, play with him, and watch him, and although I sometimes feed him or bathe him or change his diaper, the quantity of times I have done this doesn't hold a candle to the number of times my wife does it regularly. However, the last thing someone would say is that I am lazy -- I am more involved in my son's life and I spend significantly more time each hour with him than most fathers would with their sons. I just feel that the way my wife and I have been built with regard to what each of us can contribute to the baby, she takes care of the things she does because she was made for this. She never let me give him formula because twice when he was an infant, he vomited from it, and so we rely on her to feed him.

Okay, I'm tired and off topic. However, in short, she is nudging me about not finding an apartment when this was the only responsibility she has taken on other than taking care of the baby in the capacity of a mother. I would be happy to go out and find an apartment, but then it is she that wanted the task and it is she that has to ultimately live in it. I am just annoyed because I feel that I have done my part by taking care of everything that I needed to and she hasn't done her part that she committed to. You can be critical of me by saying that we should be working together as a team, but that means that she should be doing her part.

All this being said, I feel that it is important for each of us to do what we are supposed to do, and while she sleeps late while I wake up early in the morning to go to minyan and to work and to learn Torah and to go back to school and get the degree and to take care of our finances and to constantly cater to her needs and to be a good father and to be a good husband, I get frustrated when she doesn't understand when I am burnt out and low in energy and when I cannot do her part as well.

I know I'm not saying much, but I am just ranting because I am not feeling appreciated. Maybe she isn't feeling appreciated either, but I don't understand how because I've gone far beyond what a husband should do for his wife on so many levels. I'm not fighting with her and our communication is open, but for the moment I am feeling a bit overwhelmed because she is causing a bit of friction between us when I feel that she should be very excited from the job we have landed and from the lifestyle I am about to provide for her. I just want her to be proud of me and appreciative of the work I have done to get us where we are.


Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

good luck and בהצלחה, hopefully everything will settle down once you get settled down

Ahuva said...

Finding an apartment can be really stressful and overwhelming, particularly if she hasn't done it before. You are probably both equally stressed and busy-- I'm sure she will be appreciative once things settle down and she feels a little more secure.

Anonymous said...

Congrats! What kind of job did you get?

Zoe Strickman said...

Thanks. It's a basic attorney position doing contract work, but there will be IP work and licensing work there too. Hopefully I'll also get some prosecution under my belt as well.