Thursday, April 17, 2008

I just gave myself a holiday

I've been hard at work all day today and I feel like I've been tired for so long now. So I just gave myself an hour-long break, and it feels so good.

I come home and see that precious child sleep and all I can do is wonder why him. What did I do so right? I spend the long drive back home thinking about seeing V again but when I do come home, I invariably go to my son. Because he shows an enthusiasm for my company that his father never does. Perhaps V feels it, but it never translates into hugs and kisses. I stopped welcoming him with those many, many moons ago, when I realised that he didn't care one way or another. Why didn't he?

Shuki and I were talking about the problems at home, and she said, "I can still see the love there. Whatever problems you have, the love is clear to see." She sees something I don't. Why don't I see it? Inside me, there's a little voice saying that it must be there, but... I would like the old, spontaneous hugs back.

I know, I'm a nag and a terror to live with. But I'm a nag who likes being kissed. Not when I'm busy losing my temper but at other times.

I believe that in order to bring about change it's very important to be be the change. In this case though, I fail to practise what I preach. V and I are falling into the routine of showing our love in other ways, in little considerations, in coming home tired and heading into the kitchen to make him a dish he likes, in whisking The Bhablet off when he's driving us nuts. There's still too much stress in the house. We've had a maid since the beginning of this month, and she's really good with The Bhablet. Plays with him, and he likes her. She does a great part of the housework too, and is mostly good and fairly clean with that. But even so, I seem to be perennially stressed out and so tried all the time. It's only now that she's doing so much that I realise how hard I worked all of March, with no help, managing jobs, household, cooking and baby.

I've taken on some work this week and that's what I'm taking a break from. It's proving hard for me to meet deadlines after two years of lazing around.

The V thing... I know it's not a one-way street. And I don't think we've lost too much. But all I really want to do right now is cuddle up to him in bed. It's hard lines to have to work late, even if he is working hard himself, right behind me.


dipali said...

I guess it takes time to establish the unique 'familyness' of a family- the kind of rituals important to each member and their understanding of the others' needs. My natal family was physically very undemonstrative, I was the child who pretended to be asleep just so that I could be carried to bed. After we got married, I realised that I craved physical, non-sexual affection, besides the passion. It took years, but I think my husband is now as used to and as wanting of the occasional loving touch as I am. He even insists on being seen off at the front door, if not at the lift with a peck on the cheek.
He's certainly changed over the years!
When my nephews were very young and came visiting, I heard them asking their mother for a 'cuggle'. It seemed so sensible to be able to verbalise such a fundamental need instead of whining miserably because no one can actually read your mind, which is what kids often tend to do. Its been part of my family tradition for years now to ask for a cuggle when you need one.

These things take time, but I'm sure you'll get there. Fighting is alright in my book as it is a form of communication, though now I usually don't need to. Indifference
is what scares me.
My present formula is generally fundamental respect and total irreverence. Works for us:)

Poppins said...

God, I do that too, run and hug the Poppin when I come back home and barely glance at the husband to say Hi.

Typically it's women who complain about lack of non-sexual intimacy, but in my case it is the DH. The day I knew it was getting bad was when I pecked him on his cheek before leaving to work, because he was being a particularly good boy, and he looked shocked. Made me feel quite sad.

I've taken to posting reminders to myself to call/say 'I love you' and hug/kiss the husband. I think the first two years of raising a child are quite hard on a couple. Since in your case, it has come on the heels of your marital life, perhaps it's a little more stressful? I don't want to sound presumptuous...

The love is most certainly there Sue, it just needs some TLC.

Banno said...

Sue, It's the first time for me on your blog, so don't want to barge in into such an intimate post. But I think it's hard for all working couples. There's just so much pressure, commitments, deadlines, and it's the easiest thing to put aside one's own needs. To add to that, a little one. But I'm sure you'll be fine. Take care.

Rohini said...

I don't know if this is post-rationalisation but I have come to love and appreciate the other ways of showing affections. A cuddle is fine but give me an opportunity to sleep-in after a long week while Jai takes away for a morning outing any day!

Suki said...

And we're right behind you fighting the same battle - keeping the relationship alive even as we fight to make our togetherness possible. Sure it's hard when I WANT a hug and we live on opposite ends of the city and are working at different places - I have the option of moping and snapping all day, or gritting my teeth and telling myself I do this so that one day when I'm this tired I can simply come home and tumble into his arms.

Needless to say, I usually mope but skip the snapping at him.
What am I a teenager for? :P

I simply love Dipali's "fundamental respect and total irreverence" :D. Add a dose of self-knowledge and faith - it's working for us so far!

GettingThereNow said...

I get what you mean (and so do all other commentors, it seems :P) To me, the show of affection in physical, non-sexual ways is as important as the other considerate ways to make me feel special (like letting em sleep in on a weekend). Sometiems I complain to J that he cuddles me only when he wants sex and he says its is not his fault that he gets aroused every time he touches me (OKAY - too much information!! :P). Well, it does pisses me off sometimes that every time he touches me, we have to have sex, but I like that I am his "girl" even after two babies and 50+ pounds :D

GettingThereNow said...

And yes, I think you have to BE the change here. Then gradually start telling him you'd like it in return.

eve's lungs said...

Sue - Ag's family has been very undemonstrative physically - in fact they look positively embarrassed when they're hugged or kissed,whereas I have to demonstrate my affection or love with a hug or a kiss! You are a beautiful family and you give off a wonderfully knit picture .
Kiss his Bhaebletness for me please with a tight hug !

Anonymous said...

Perhaps love is like Schrodinger's cat. You can't possibly examine it to check if it is alive.

Null Pointer

Maggie said...

It takes a while, Sue - Dipali's said it best.

I'm physically very affectionate, the husband is not. It's just the way he is. I don't keep track of whether I'm getting as many spontaneous hugs and kisses as I'm giving - because it will be unbalanced and that's ok. You shouldn't feel that V doesn't appreciate your welcome home - he probably just doesn't express that appreciation.

I don't hesitate to tell the husband if I feel like I need a hug or a cuddle - and to his credit, he will immediately drop what he's doing and come over. I've noticed that over the 8 years we've known each other, he is changing - to the point where some days he's even been able to tell me he's had a bad day and needs a hug...

Mona said...

i know just what you mean. like cee kay said, it gets annoying when all physical affection leads to sex but almost three years into this marriage, i think z is finally getting it. that sometimes it's nice to be just hugged or pecked or held.
i'll take the credit for this, i was at him like there was no tomorrow, and i definitely see a change. i also like to think that he's more affectionate with hana, than he would have been, if i'd left him to his own devices.

Nisha said...

Oh I do wonder sometimes, ok most of the times, whatever happened to the love that existed before our wedding happened. But it is there, though not as physically / tangibly. I guess we both take each other for granted and resort to argument and fight when all we need is a cuddle. Nurturing relationships can be so difficult sometimes.

karmickids said...

Sue, as long as the love is there, you can work through it.
The husband's family never touches...its like they're all with contagious diseases, so when I came in, I was in mortal fear of hugging anyone and offending them. Now of course, the sis in laws know that Kiran is just as likely to get up and give them a good hug just because. The husband is still uppity, but then thats because we stay in a joint family and such unseemly displays of affection between husband and wife are much frowned on. But if he puts out his hand for me to sleep on in the night I'm fine. The only nonsexual contact we might have through the day is if he has to help me across a crowded road. Thats the level of guys will find your level. Dont worry. Just keep working on the love.

Lavs said...

I liked to be hugged and kissed when hubby comes home. These days I am finding this difficult because of N-no of relatives staying with us. My mom shouts at me if I hug hubby and sleep-it seems my relatives will cast an evil eye on us. Who says pregnant couple do not need privacy??:-0

Sue said...

Dipali -- Yeah, I see it work when I'm around you guys! You know, you've totally introduced 'cuggle' into my vocab.

Sunita -- Yeah. The love's there. I guess I've to let it express itself more. Allow V to show his as well, in his own way.

Banno -- Welcome. And thanks. We get by. Some days are harder than others, but today looks like being a better day. :)

Ro -- Exactly, I used to be fine with it. But the grass is so much better when someone else is smoking it, if you know what I mean.

Suki -- We worked our way through that. Now we're finding that living together still doesn't mean a cuddle when you need it. Working on that one, now.

Cee Kay -- Oh but V said the same thing. Sneaky! I wonder if they have a husband's almanac or something.

Evie -- Done. Call when done with exams, OK?

Null Pointer -- Oh but you can. Just have to ensure you know what you're looking for and at.

Maggie -- To be fair, V used to be affectionate enough. But he'd chose his moments... like trying to jump my bones when I was in the middle of cooking. So he got snapped at and stopped. Am trying to rectify matters. Have learnt a burnt dish is less of a calamity than a cuggleless existence.

Mona -- I wish someone had shown our fathers how to be more physically affectionate with us. Mine used to be until I grew up on him and I'm not sure he's forgiven me for that!

Nisha -- Yes, you certainly got that right!

Kiran -- You know, we're not very demonstrative around family either. So it feels sort of extra special when our hands touch if I'm serving him at a mealtime or something. :D

How filmy.

Lavs -- Ooof... these families, I tell you. Even my mother gets uncomfortable if V an I hug. I asked her once, how did she think her grandons appeared? She retorted that all that 'hugging' had been done behind closed doors and she'd appreciate it staying there. :)