Monday, November 16, 2009

All We Need is a LEM

Sometimes I feel like a 'voice in the wilderness', a 'lone rider'.

I'm not sure if it's because I'm just unrealistic or my expectations are too high.
I get these ideas, and when I discuss them with my Hubby, I get a lot of negative feedback. Not all the time, just the stuff he's not inclined to put effort forth for.

Take for instance garage sales and camping.

We like vacationing with the kids. It's a great way to get ourselves away from his work, the work on the house and really focus on the family. When he takes his vacation and we stay home, we do some family stuff but our tendency is to either work on the house or watch movies. We need to teach our kids more activity than that. And, last summer he actually ended up going in to work for a day during his vacation! Not acceptable. So, since we are trying to be frugal, I thought why not camping? We have a lot of the equipment all ready, we just need to fill in a few things. And for me, some of my best memories as a kid were of camping. From what his mother tells me, Hubby and his family went camping a lot too. I was therefore, revved into telling him this stupendous idea of mine and completely shocked when I got negative fizzle spilling from his brain. It will cost too much. We don't have enough time. If we do that we can only go for one night to start out, etc etc. What? What happened to Mr. Scout?

And the garage sale? This man would rather toss this stuff in the donation bin of our local second hand store. A good charity there is no denying, but since we're being frugal and could use the money, why wouldn't we try selling it in a garage sale first? There is no crime in this. But he thinks it's too much trouble and that we'll only get about $30 total. Uh, not if you don't hand things away.

Well, I for one don't believe in giving up. At least I'm not going to do that anymore. In the past I have allowed his arguments to cave my optimism in. But, I can plan, I can arrange, I can even do these things by myself. But if I do get the ball rolling, then most likely he'll be happy to roll too.

This happened last summer with the house painting. I needed to get the kitchen and living room done. They were atrocious. He didn't want to do it. He had every argument against it. But, as paint is inexpensive, and we had some on hand as well, I saved what was needed and did the painting myself. In the end, he chipped in on the last day (he was off work by then) and ended up getting his own momentum started to dig in to some reno projects. And he later told me he doesn't feel so apprehensive about doing this stuff when I've dug my heels in and gotten the whole thing off the ground.

But what I want to know is why a man who leads over a hundred people in projects, who has camped practically all his life, who knows how to do practically everything, doesn't want to do these things? Sometimes I question whether he's happy hanging with the family. He loves us, that is undeniable. But does he love being with us? Maybe I'm taking this waaaay too far. Maybe he's tired from work and the effort takes too much from him? This one would be understandable except when I say I will take care of it he gives me a rather disappointing answer : I'd rather do it myself or do it together - this gives me the indication that he does not trust I can do these things myself. I wonder if he truly realizes how stubborn I am.

Marriage is such a maneuvering matter - I never expected it to be.

P.S. if you were wondering about the title and/or tag check out From the Earth to the Moon - absolutely fantastic series about the NASA Apollo program!


jaded said...

You've asked some hard questions, and because I don't know your Hubs, I'm not willing to offer scenarios to explain most of them.....It sounds like maybe his job is stressful and he has difficulty leaving work at the office. Having said that, it may not be an issue as to whether or not he trust you to accomplish these tasks, but one in which he finds it difficult to turn off his inner supervisor after his clocked out at the end of the day.

My Better Half is a perpetual supervisor, but a lazy worker. I usually start things I feel need to be done, and either get them done myself, or benefit from his inner guilt kicking in. Many aspect of marriage require negotiation (financial, priorities, etc.) whether or not grass is cut does not.

Dick said...

I think you are taking your worrying too far. It is just inertia. And camping with kids is a lot different from camping with adults. Like almost everything having to do with raising kids, camping with them revolves around kid activities.

Family things are great but also don't forget to plan a Mom & Dad date at least once a month, without the kids. Even if it is just something as simple as dinner & a movie.

Maggie said...

Jaded, I hadn't considered 'difficulty leaving work at the office'. That's interesting and an excellent point. I believe you are right and that he's tired. I shouldn't be so anxious about these things I think.

Dick, you are right as well. I'm most likely over thinking this. I think what I need most is to learn to deal with negative comments with a grain of salt and just do the whole ball rolling thing with a happy outlook. Then it would most likely be easier for him to see the benefit of whatever it is I suggested.

meno said...

Interesting, very interesting.

I wonder what would happen if you pointed out to him (gently, in a wondering kind of way) that he greets most of your ideas with negativism.

It's SO MUCH easier to be a critic than focus on the good. I think it's kind of a lazy response.

Not to criticize your hub in particular. I find myself fighting against this tendency too.