Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ask Lola. Dealing with health issues in your marriage.

UPDATE: The big "I can go the rest of my life without that normal?" post has been rescheduled. Why? Because I have written 14 pages in Word and only JUST finished part ONE (of a two part series!!). Can you say YIKES?) I know! Sorry!There were SEVERAL things (that have been eating at me) that I wanted to address before I even answered the original questions - and I just sort of went for it...and 14 pages later, I realized that I still hadn't even answered the question yet. Yeah. I'm clearly passionate about this topic. I would have easily finished today (Saturday) but I was in meetings ALL DAY! So, now it will be posted late Sunday night, so be sure and visit Monday morning when you have an hour (or seven) to kill! ha ha!

Anonymous said...
Dear Lola,

Now you have started an online vent/therapy blog? You truly are amazing. Like the others have said you have a very impressive blog, it is always written well and very entertaining.

So here goes my vent. Let me just start off by saying that I love my husband very much. He is sweet wonderful, smart, intelligent, and very HOT! I am a lucky girl to have him. Having said that I am having trouble. You see, I work full time and we have two kids. I am 100% professional, and 100% mom, I don't care what they say it is extremely hard to balance. I get up in the morning I get them both ready, I take them both to daycare, I go to work, I come home, I make dinner, I do the dishes the house cleaning, the laundry, I take care of the pets. Lets just say I do WAY more than my share. He is still stuck in 1950 when it comes to marital responsibility. For the most part I do it unbegrudgingly, with a smile on my face.

Recently, my husband was diagnosed with a potentially life changing disease. He is having an extremely hard time adjusting to the news. I would say we both are. But it seems that if I let my fear and emotions show it just makes things worse. So I have to square my shoulders and be strong. Take on additional responsibilities that he can't do, and face the world with an unflinching strength and smile. I am so tired of being the strong one. It is so exhausting to be the rock and foundation of this relationship, keeping him upbeat and life as normal as possible. I used to hate my job, but any more it is such a relief to go to work to get out from the pressure at home.

I know you don't have answers for my life's dilemmas, and I apologize for using your blog for a vent. But I appreciate the listening ear.

Btw, I am so glad that you are getting your baby!

Anonymous said...
Sorry couldn't leave it at that. I feel really dumb and selfish for making the above comment.
My shoulder to cry on has crumbled, and I haven't figured out where to place my sorrow yet.
Please don't think that I am being selfish.

(a different) Anonymous said...
To the above person, DON'T FEEL SELFISH. Bearing the weight you have is hard. And as women it is hard to be the rock, the foundation, the glue and everything else life demands on top of an illness, I can't imagine. We all know Laura is not a licensed therapist, but I agree this is a good idea so people can vent and hear some different person's advise and not feel like an idiot asking or venting to our mom's or best friends. Good for you Laura. Thanks for the voice.

March 13, 2010 12:48 PM

Dear Anonymous,

I am so happy that my blog has been able to be a haven where you can share your thoughts and feelings WITHOUT hurting anyone you love or being judged unfairly. Your comment alone made me THRILLED that I thought to do this.

I know you aren't technically asking me to solve a problem, but I just wanted to say that your are my personal hero, and keep on keepin' on! You don't even want to KNOW me after a full day at work! (and no, I don't work outside the home anymore, and that is for a really, really good reason, and that reason is: I can't hack it! I get borderline homicidal!) And yes, when my hubs and I were both working, I needed my husband to share household duties pretty much 50/50. I certainly didn't "keep score" and nag and nit pick at him for only doing 45% while I was doing 55%, but we were lucky enough to fall into a balance where we just sort of did what we could to support each other. (And we also ate out a lot!) And I still felt like I wanted to scream because I hate working for other people!

So you are a saint and totally amazing for doing it all, and I can see how you might need to vent or find a new shoulder to cry on and I am so glad that you found that should here! Bravo to you for understanding that this is really hard for your husband and for being the strong one even though this new adjustment is not any easier for you.

I think it is often harder to be the loved one of someone dealing with an illness than it is to be the one with the actual illness! You feel helpless, and guilty, and also can tend to take a lot of (unintended) abuse (no - not psycho and physical, just emotional, and snappish, and withdrawn) because they have a lot of anger, don't know where to direct it, and end up lashing out at the people they love the most (because some subconscious part of them knows that you will still love them - even through their darkest moments.) So try to take it all within the current context of your life - which is going to include a lot of denial, shock, anger, sort of coming to terms, backsliding and getting angry again, hopelessness, rinse and repeat! He is a blessed man to have such a strong wife.

Please make sure that you take time to nourish yourself WHENEVER possible (you know, like during that whole 8-15 minutes of "free time"you seem to have between a full-time job, full time home-maker/chef/maid/chauffer/wife/emotional punching bag/human being who still has to somehow find time to SLEEP or else she will die!) Read something uplifting. Take a hot bath and breathe. Write to me (anonymously) and say Lola it is still really hard and I just need someone to listen! You know, whatever you can do. And if you need some cupcake love (I just learned how to make a WICKED spice cake cupcake with cream cheese frosting) DO let me know. You can send your address to me at (You may think I am joking, but I assure you, I am not. It's amazing how far a little sisterly sugar love can go sometimes.) If you live in Timbuktu, you may have to settle for a hand-made, one of a kind Lola Original Bracelet (via snail mail) since I can't very well drive to Timbuktu - no matter how much I'd like to.

You. are. amazing. Thanks for honoring my blog by trusting me (and my 3 readers) enough to share your real problems. Keep on keepin on! You are my hero. And I agree with whoever responded to your comment saying that you shouldn't feel selfish AT ALL. (Not even a little.) You're human, and you've got the world on your shoulders, and I think an anonymous vent session is a genius way to "get it out," find a listening ear, and not hurt anyone you love in the process. Now, there ARE women out there who tear their husbands down (like, unendingly) in really inappropriate ways, and I DO think that that is wrong, but this is nowhere NEAR anything like that. We all need to talk things out sometimes, and we all appreciate having someone who will listen and maybe let us know that we're NOT crazy and we're also NOT alone!

So, for the record: (and just for good measure)
You are not crazy.
You are not alone.
You are clearly very needed and loved
MORE than I think you may ever know.
And maybe when the dust has cleared,
and everyone is feeling a bit better,
you two can talk about adjusting to a new
co-parenting/homekeeping lifestyle with
better distribution of home and family
Go you!

With love ~ Lola

Hey readers! Please feel free to comment on any and all "Ask Lola." posts and add anything you'd like. And sure - do it anonymously (or with your real name - if you'd prefer). As always, bum-hole-ish comments will be deleted or blown to smithereens in a subsequent post. Consider yourself warned :)

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