It’s only been 3 weeks since my wife and I got married, but it’s been quite the 3 weeks. See, we didn’t do the whole “live together” thing while we were dating. So yeah…we’re learning about each other.
And no, I’m not talking about learning how to get through the typical arguments between two people who live together.
We haven’t had the toilet seat being up vs. down argument (honestly sitting is much more comfortable anyway, so the toilet seat rarely even comes up). We haven’t had any fights about where things go around the house, what we should have for dinner, what show we should be watching on Netflix, or whether the toothpaste should be squeezed from the bottom or the middle.
I’m talking about learning how to live with somebody else’s emotions. I’ve spent almost 28 years learning how to live with my own emotions, and I still have a long way to go in that department.
But now that I’m married I’m not the only one I have to worry about anymore. I now have to learn how to live with her emotions.
For example, last night my wife cried herself to sleep.
We weren’t fighting, she wasn’t hungry, we hadn’t watched Old Yeller, it wasn’t that time of the month…and while those aren’t the only reasons somebody would be crying, there honestly wasn’t anything she or I could identify that would cause her to feel so down.
At first there was a part of me that wanted to make everything better. Wouldn’t it be great to simply identify whatever is causing the problem and fix it? (Ask every guy ever.)
Problem + Solution = Problem solved
But I had a crying wife, not a leaky faucet. And unlike a leaky faucet you don’t fix a crying wife.
So I stopped trying.
I held her for however long it took for us to fall asleep, let her cry on my chest, watched her sit up to blow her nose every few minutes, and finally accepted that I couldn’t make everything better.
And it wasn’t about giving her permission to cry. I know that by choosing the title I did for this post there would be people out there asking “What do you mean you ‘let’ her? Why does she need your permission to do anything?”
Letting somebody do, or experience, something isn’t about permission or control. It’s about not putting yourself somewhere you don’t belong.
By keeping my mouth shut and letting my wife cry I was simply giving her the opportunity to feel whatever she was feeling instead of thinking that I could control her feelings myself.
That’s the reason why I started writing about this at all. Nobody needs to know the intimate details of my life or my marriage. But sometimes there are moments in my life that teach me a lesson, and often I feel those lessons are valuable enough to share with others.
Not because I’m a pro at marriage. We just started this thing a few weeks ago. I’m not going to pretend that everybody needs to listen to me. But I write about my thoughts, and I’m glad I didn’t have to wait more than 3 weeks for this one.
So yeah, feelings are a B!7¢#
They can be frustrating, and sometimes it seems like they just get in the way. But it’s important to let yourself – and the people you care about – feel all the feels.
It won’t always make sense. Most often it won’t. A person can be up one moment and down the next. But on this emotional roller coaster of life it’s not up to us to determine where the highs and lows “should” be.
Trying to figure out what caused the sudden drop might distract you from all the reasons you’re on the roller coaster in the first place.