Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Don't Talk, Just Listen

This is a blog post for husbands. Listen, or rather read, very carefully.   This is a note to inform you of some do’s/don’ts when it comes to your wife, or partner, in the following weeks and months after she has a baby.

My husband is great, he really is.  He is so supportive and loving. He is an amazing help with our two girls; he even gets up at night to help out!  We have both gone through a lot of personal growth since being together. I think that it is pretty hard not to go through a lot of growth when you enter into a new relationship.  Anyways, since I decided to step out into the big world of admitting I am not as perfect as I am sure everyone thought (right…family, right…) I have been taking steps to talk a lot to Ben.  Anytime I am feeling a bit down or having a rough day I try to walk him through it.  I tell him the thought processes and how they are effecting me that day.  This usually is pretty helpful.  I also spend time doing this with my mom most days now.

Ben and the girls

BUT. And oh God is this a big BUT. Ben has a problem where this is concerned.  And unfortunately he has had to suffer the consequences.  I feel it is only right to fill in the next guy about to make the mistake so he can survive.  Ben is a fixer.  This can be really great but it can also get him into trouble.  The first obvious reason is no one can be fixed ya gotta do it yourself.  The second and bigger problem is that he says things; he says things that are intended to be sweet and thoughtful but are so, so not right for the situation.

We were driving to Edmonton the other day and Ben was asking me how my day had been so far.  I began the process of filling him in on how it had kind of been an up and down day.  It was a day where I was slowly swimming towards the deeper end of the anxiety/depression pool.  One of the bigger things that had gotten to me was my body. This is not unusual.  That morning I knew we were headed to the city so in a rare moment I had done my hair, put on makeup and headed to the closet….oh how I loathe that hole in the wall.  Aubrey sat contently watching the mad woman I became as I tossed shirt after shirt.  NOTHING looked good.  And I swear if I have to wear Yoga pants for another year I am gonna go crazy!

So I was explaining all this to him. He listened with eagerness.  I continued to tell him that I just felt gross and not really wanting to present myself to the general public.  Again he listened eagerly.  This went on for a while.  I talked about exercise and diet and on and on I went. 

Then it was Ben’s turn to talk.  And what does he say. Sigh, I shake my head just thinking back to it again.  He says “Babe I know it seems tough now, but with diet and exercise etc., I know you will make it different….” Insert the sound of crickets along with the strong smell of defeat that was oozing out of me.  WHY…why in the world he thought this was helpful.  I then looked at him and said, “You have just effectively made me feel like you agree with me that I look terrible…etc…” 

Then I saw his defeat.  Obviously not his intention.  I finished off our conversation with a strong  “Ben sometimes it is better to just not talk, listen don’t talk.”

There you have it men.  Please don’t tell your wife who is 5 weeks postpartum that with a little elbow grease she will stop looking and feeling hideous!

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