Monday, May 11, 2015

Expect the Unexpected

When you've been on this journey nearly almost three years, you have a pretty good idea what to expect. Steve knows what to expect from me and I know what to expect from him. It's very rare for him to throw me for a loop with something.

But he did it today.

If you've been following here a while, you know laundry isn't my strong suit. I tend to forget it halfway through the process or I put procrastinate on it until it's piled up. What makes this issue even worse is the fact that the plumbing in the laundry room strictly limits the number of loads I can do each day. If I cross that limit, water backs up and floods the room (as well as the garage). So it's not a good idea to get behind because it takes forever to catch back up.

This afternoon, Steve started getting on me about the laundry being piled up again. Since we will probably be moving within the next month (fingers crossed), he's been after me to stay on top of it. I have been working on it here and there, although admittedly not as much as I should have been.

So when he called me on it, saying he didn't see where I had done any at all, I tried to explain that I had done some. He didn't seem to believe me, which made me mad. So I threw one of those danger words "Fine!" and told him he could do it himself. Then I stomped off to another room.

He said "Hey!" as the door closed behind me, but I kept going. Sometimes that's all it takes for me to catch myself and apologize, but this wasn't one of those times. When several minutes went by without him coming after me, I figured I was in the clear.

I was wrong.

About fifteen minutes later, my phone dinged. I looked at it and found a text from Steve telling me to go to the bedroom. No TV. No phone. Not even a book. Just to go to the room and think about why I was there.

I have to admit he surprised me, which is probably why I went without even arguing the point.

I was still upset with him for not hearing me so I spent the first five or ten minutes grumbling to myself about it. I mean yes, he was right to fuss at me, but I have a right to be heard. Then the guilt set in.

I asked Steve once why he rarely enforced the rule on respect. I wanted to know if it was because he didn't see disrespect the same way as I did or if it was because he was so used to it that he no longer noticed. He didn't want to answer at first, but I eventually got it out of him that it was because he was used to it. Ever since then, I've tried very hard to show my respect for him. While I've got a lot better about it since then, I still slip up occasionally and it really bothers me when I do.

I'd been in the room nearly twenty minutes when Steve finally came in. Before he could even say a word, I apologized. He lectured and I listened without a single interruption. I didn't even complain when the lecture veered back over to the laundry again. Then, once he was done lecturing, I explained to him why I got upset and he apologized for not listening.

He did tell me I dodged a bullet because our daughter was home. If she hadn't been, he would have came after me and I probably not be sitting right now, at least not comfortably.

Thinking about it now, I realize that sending me to the bedroom was a good move on Steve's part. While I appreciate leniency at times, it sometimes backfires. If he lets something go several times in a row, I'm more like to push it because I figure there's a good chance I'll get away with it. I'm a gambler, remember? In other cases, I get frustrated, which leads to pushing buttons, another bad idea.

He recognized that with our daughter here, we didn't have the privacy needed for a spanking. Rather than let it go, he looked for a more discreet way to handle things. He knew I was mad so he made sure I stayed in there long enough to get past the mad and start thinking straight again. And it worked.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Decisions, Decisions

As of Friday, we are now under contract on the new house. I was so happy when the real estate agent called that I was literally dancing with joy all over the house, waiting on Steve to get off work so he could share in the celebration. I was still dancing around when he got home, right up to the point that he told me that the mortgage guy had called while he was driving home and there was good news and bad news. The good news is the lender is ready to go forward and can have us at closing in under 30 days. The interest rate is also decent.

The bad news is that our payment is going to be higher than we had anticipated. After putting the number into our budget, I freaked. While we can make the payment and our other bills, we'll be left with very little for gas, groceries and any other expenses that come up (auto maintenance, birthdays, prescription co-pays, etc). We do have some savings that can bridge the gap for a little while, but that's not a permanent fix because eventually that money will run out.

Steve wants to go ahead. He thinks he can work an extra shift here or there and take on some side jobs to make up the difference. Without knowing for sure that we will have that extra money coming in, I'm scared we're getting in over our head.

As we debated back and forth over the weekend, I realized that this wasn't just a decision about a house. It was a decision about trust.

When I wrote him that email that started us on this journey nearly three years ago, I told him that I trusted him. I trusted him to lead our marriage and our family. I trusted him to hear out my concerns, but make the decisions that were right for us and our family, even if I disagreed with him on them.

Until now, my trust has never really been tested. Don't get me wrong. We've discussed various issues and he's made the final decision on them, which wasn't always necessarily what I wanted. But those were smaller issues. This is a huge decision.

Steve left it in my hands by saying he won't go forward unless I agree, which left me with a major decision to make. Will I continue to trust that he will make the right decision even if it's hard for me? Or will I yank back my consent for him to make decisions so I can trust in my fears rather than him?

As I'm sure you can imagine, I didn't get a lot of sleep over the weekend. I deal with insomnia on a regular basis to start with. When I'm stressed or worried over things, it get a lot worse. I just can't make my brain turn off so I can go to sleep. I end up laying in bed for hours before giving up on sleep and getting back up.

About four yesterday morning, an idea flitted across my sleep-deprived brain. I trust Steve with my life. I trust him with my daughter's life. In comparison, the decision of whether to trust his judgement on his house seems small.

So before I left to take my last final of the semester*, I told him I needed to talk to him and he gave me his full attention. I didn't have time to go into all the mental workings that got me to where I'm at, but the gist of what I told him is that I trust him to make the right decision for our family, even if it's something that scares me.

He still wants to go forward with it. To make me more comfortable, he did take the liberty of checking into the possibility of extra shifts with his old supervisor and the supervisor of another department that is chronically short-handed. Both said it would be no problem. In fact, one had him come in to work today. We also talked to the mortgage guy and he's sending us a comparison of the loan with various points so we can decide if we want to pay more up front for a lower payment.

Having never bought a house before, I'm finding it has a bit of a learning curve. But I never expected that one of the decisions I would make would have more to do with our relationship than the actual house.

*The final was for the math class that has had me pulling my hair out all semester. I made an 88 on it, which isn't bad considering I took it on no sleep. I had to work my butt off all semester, but I made an A in the class. An A in all my classes in fact so my 4.0 remains intact. Now I'm taking a well-deserved break from school for the summer so I can focus on moving and getting the new house set up.