Things You’re Not Supposed To Say About Life

chained by what we don't say

 

There are so many true things swirling around in life, in our heads, in our hearts – and yet left unsaid.

 

I got to thinking about this recently when I watched a TED Talk by the founders of the parenting website Babble.  They said that parenting had been much harder an experience than they expected – mostly because of false advertisement. They now realize that the really hard stuff, the really nitty gritty aspects of parenting aren’t talked about.  They’re embarrassing and demoralizing and so we tuck those things away and only share the happy bits.

 

We do this for several reasons, I suppose.  We don’t want be a complainer, a downer. Or we think we’re the only ones. We have appearances to keep up. Well, the Babble couple proposes that we come out of our closets of struggling.  Why? So we can build a community of empathy and support. So that we can find intimacy in the commiserating.  In short, to help.

 

There’s something so incredibly cathartic in knowing that you’re not the only one struggling . I experienced the truth in this again recently when I shared that sometimes my life is hard. An outpouring of confessional comments rolled in full of heartache and brokenness. It was sort of beautiful.

 

So, today we’re going to be honest.  Not attacking or destructive – just honest. What wears you down, eats away at you?  Here’s my confession for the day:

 

Sometimes I worry that we’re going to be one of those couples that divorce after our kids leave the nest. That our marriage will dissolve in a fit of equal parts bitterness and apathy.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband.  He’s been my best friend since I was 17.  But . . .

 

We’re real people.  We have real problems.  And up to this point in our lives the mere opportunity cost of splitting has been a big part of keeping us together.  Because let’s be real here – in the heat of heartbreak, sometimes it’s not your vow to God that makes you stay – it’s the c0mplicatedness of leaving. It’s just not worth it, it would shatter too many things.

 

But 10, 15 years from now? If we don’t work through some of our issues, we could easily be that couple. I don’t want to be that couple. Plus, the longer we take to get this grace thing together, the more baggage we’re strapping onto the back of our children to carry into adulthood.  “Here sweetie, here’s a few pounds of burden to haul into your future relationships.  You’re welcome. “

 

And, ya know, compared to most people I actually think we’re doing pretty good. We’ve met a lot of couples over the years and technically we’re stronger than most, I think.  But it’s just so easy for negativity to creep in and tell you you’re the worst, and he’s the worst, and this is the worst. When really, it’s probably closer to great.

 

That’s my taboo truth today.  What’s yours?

 

 -Jessica

Comments

  1. Yeah, you’re right. We leave things unsaid. I try to make humor out of these things on my blog by being transparent, but also seeing the funny in it…if there is any. But I find that mostly I share my greatest taboos with a friend or two…or God. Actually, always God first, then I work up the courage to share with a trusted friend. I find that until I’m comfortable with how God feels about me and my struggles I just can’t share that crap with the blogging world, which includes family and friends. I just wouldn’t be ready to deal with the comments of “encouragement” and patronizing garbage people spew out with pity in their voices. But once I’m confident in how God feels about me and all that stuff, then I feel like I’m able to share. Because then it just doesn’t matter what people say AND I know that many of the “pitiers” are often blind or unwilling to face similar struggles in their own lives.
    Kate Hall recently posted..What Is the Hardest Thing You Have Ever Experienced? (Blog Challenge Day 6)My Profile

  2. There are so many things that fall into this category in my life. I feel the same way with our marriage.

    I hate that I am the rage-aholic that I am, that I was raised by. I fear I am creating a monster that won’t be able to control his own anger, since I have a hard time controlling mine. Sure, I have gotten a lot of healing and freedom from my past through Christ and I am a whole lot better than I use to be. It is so easy to see all the negative that is still in me and the negative in my child.

    Thank you for sharing. Bringing it out into the open is where Christ will be allowed to work through it.

    • Nicole, I’m in the same boat. I didn’t know the anger that I was capable of until God gave me an angry little boy or maybe more likely a boy that I turned into an angry one by modeling that behavior.
      Katie Nelson recently posted..Best BehaviorMy Profile

    • I can so relate to that. Responding in the anger you were responded to as a kid and worrying that your kids will respond in it one day to their kids . . . and so the cycle continues.

  3. I admire your honesty.It is so hard to be transparent for fear of being ostracized. My main taboo truth is just that, despite all that we have done in raising our children in a Christian home, they still have “problems”. AS I shared (on your site), I have two kids with terrible lack of self love, I have one that is a bully, no matter what we try. I have two with… let’s say… potty issues. These are things that you just don’t talk about or seek help with because you just know that no one would “like” you anymore if they knew. I honestly have this uncontrollable fear that my kids will act up in our homeschool group, and then no one will want us to come to it anymore. But then, I see their kids have meltdowns, yell at their parents, make dumb choices, and I realize that even though I don’t talk about it, I might not be alone in it.

    • I have much more empathy for moms with “difficult” children now that I’ve been a mom for awhile. It’s way harder than it looks.

  4. Here’s my thing: Up until recently, I’ve been unemployed. For over a year. It was miserable. I was miserable. And I resented my husband for it. I love him, very much so. But I resented him, all the same. Resentment some times bordering on hate. Resented him because he had a job. Because we moved to this damn town and left every thing I knew (including a job I loved) for his job. Because even when he lost that job, he found another one within 2 months, and I couldn’t find one after 8 months of serious searching. Because I was left alone, every day, in a strange town with no friends or family, to do all the dog chasing, cleaning, laundry, dishes, and picking up (of his) dirty socks. Because he couldn’t manage to do ANYTHING for himself, it seemed. I felt like his house maid. Like his servant. Like is dog sitter. Like his personal chef. And not so much like his partner, wife or lover.

    It wasn’t persistent resentment. Some times I would go a week or two and be happy and fine, but then it would creep back up when I would get over-whelmed or depressed about my own inability to find employment and dealing with financial stress. Or find yet another wet towel on the bed. And then it would explode in me.

    I realize it came from my own issues, nothing he was doing to me. He wasn’t intentionally trying to hurt my feelings by talking non-stop about work. Or trying to irritate me by not putting his pants in the hamper. And I held it in and held it together (at least until I was alone) because who wants to hear that I some times almost hated him for the things he did? Especially when it wasn’t actually him at all, it was me. Who would understand? Its only our 2nd year of marriage, we’re supposed to still be honeymooning, right? Everything is still supposed to be sunshine and rainbows and puppy licks. I’m not supposed to be feeling anything but so happy and loving and grateful with sparkles in my eyes. At least that’s how I feel I should be.

    These first 2 years of marriage have been HARD. With a capital H.A.R.D. But I’ve been working on my issues, and now that I actually have a job, we have come back to our original harmony and balance of sharing daily burdens that we had in the beginning. I feel equal again, and not inferior. And my eye sparkle is coming back. Wet towels don’t bother me so much any more. I can see my husband again, without looking at him through the red haze of anger, resentment and frustration. See the man I’m in love with, and all his awesomeness and not just as someone who leaves dirty socks on the floor.

  5. Yes! I win! Lol. :)

  6. What a refreshing post. I definitely want to support authenticity, so here goes:

    I still struggle with extreme insecurity about the way I look even though I know I’m beautiful to my husband. I often still feel intense insecurity, like adolescent type insecurity. It’s awful, and the one thing my husband hates most is when I put myself down, but it’s a hard habit to break.

    So before I hurry and delete this comment, I’m hitting the post button! Thanks for honesty. It matters :)

  7. i know this comments section is meant for saying things that you would rather not admit, but i have this story that i felt like i had to tell you. and my android will not let me capitalize or insert apostrophes, so bear with me.

    my aunt and uncle had that same fear. so they made it a point to take a walk every day, or as often as they could, just the two of them. to stay in love. to be together. and when she died of cancer last year, their kids were raised. they had been married over twenty six years. their kids were grown. and they were as in love as any teen couple i have ever known. probably more so.

    my parents seperated a couple of years ago. so my aunt and uncle are still in my top three relationship heroes.

    peace to you. and may your marriage last a lifetime.

  8. Thanks for this, Jessica. While I don’t share the exact issue you do, I have been blessed lately by bloggers stepping out from behind the “perfection glass” of the internet and sharing real life struggles. I decided to do the same because of a few comments I’ve received lately that indicated a misconception of my life’s “perfection”.
    Vicki Arnold recently posted..Transparency — AKA I’m Not Perfect EitherMy Profile

  9. I blog about my imperfections and general nuttiness all the time. So I really relate the focus on authenticity.

    I remember when my son was 2 (and 3 and 4 and 5). He threw MAJOR tantrums. He headbutted me on a regular basis back then. He broke my glasses once. It was really, really hard. No one talks about tantrums without making it a joke.

    Sometimes they aren’t a joke.

    And people (especially extended family members) are all too quick to criticize parents for it. Sometimes the fits are due to some emotional/neurological/physical issue that isn’t known about yet. Then when our Tasmanian Devils outgrow the tantrums and hitting and kicking and biting, or a diagnosis is made and a treatment is given, none of those people come back and say, “I’m sorry I was so quick to judge you. So quick to think that that behavior was because you’d chosen not to spank your child like I did when my kids were growing up. It wasn’t your fault.”

    A$$holes.
    Danielle recently posted..Confession: I’m cheap. And clothing-clueless.My Profile

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