When Your Wife Needs To Go….Let Her Go

Husbands, Spouses, Daddies..this one is for you.

I’ve got a favor to ask, a petition, a battle cry, on behalf of the lady in your life. This is me, sitting with you, looking you in the eye and calmly getting to the point, because hallelujah I know you don’t want details, you want the big picture in one simple point.

So-here it is. If, and more commonly, WHEN, your wife or the one you love needs to go, then you gotta let her go.

Where you ask? It could be anywhere really. Target. The front seat of her car. Down the street. A coffee shop. A weekend getaway with the girls. It doesn’t matter, the location always has the same purpose…to GET OUT OF DODGE.

Now, this next stuff is important.  The above was getting to the point. The following is why the point is needed so hang in there with me. If that lady of yours is herding smallish people all day, or if she works and comes home to herd until the night, then when she looks at you and says “babe, I need a break”- then those are your cue words. You are now cued in to the oncoming of her crazy-she is letting you in-asking for help-this is your chance.

It is in this moment, this balance, that you have to encourage or at the very least agree that a break is needed. This is a vulnerable place. A testy place. If your face reads resentment, if your words fly off handles and walls, then she will retreat inward, or volcano outward, with you in the line of fire.

And this is why. Your wife, the one you loved or love, she changes. The woman that met you at the end of an aisle will change as you walk back down the aisle together. No longer single that woman, now a wife. A new role. A new skin. And so the change comes; homemaker, career chaser and holder, and maybe the one that rocks the insides, mother. All that change.

In all this you have probably thought your wife was loosing it. Emotional. Sensitive. Irrational. Cold. You were right. Sorry for that, because we can be nuts and you have to deal with it. Our crazy can run deep and true. But often it is found in all of the change and all of the new skins. So we try to remember who we were before, and try to wiggle and fit into who we are now, and try and shape who we want to become.

If your woman is a momma, well, all of this gets mixed up. Because momma can move itself to the top, and all of the other ‘hers’ will fall to the side. She will feel that. And so, will probably ask you for a break. Without the kids. Let her go without the kids. For the love, without the KIDS! (I just raised my voice at you, apologies)

Mommas need to know who they are without their children. This is healthy and good, because one day they will be women without their children. One day they will be women who no longer ask permission to be away from their kids, but ask permission to be with their kids. One day their house will shift quietly, the rooms will be empty and they will be holding their momma skin in their hands trying to understand how it fits again. How will they, we, know if we don’t see who we are away from them in the littlish years? How could we transition from someone always needing us to only you wanting us? How can all this stretching and changing not rattle even the most sane of mothers?

With your help, that’s how. See, I told you this was very important. With you letting us go…when we need to go.

This time-out, this place of solidarity, this weekend with her friends, this conference she has asked to go to or this trip home to see her family, it will allow her brain the opportunity to gather all of the ‘hers’, look at them, breathe, and regroup. It is a precious, holy even, time for her.

Careful, however, to use your “let” purely and honestly, not as leverage or a wager. This is not a one for one, this is a one for her. Back to the crazy feelings-she will know, feel, when guilt is tied to your “let”. If she takes your guilt with her, she won’t get down to the work, or the relaxing, that needs to be done.  Plus, she will be fighting the guilt she will take along anyway.

While she is away you will survive! Yes you will! And it may be hard. And you may (should) call your mother for help. Or a friend. And she will have slaved away before leaving to make it as easy as possible for you and yet still…it could be a disaster. Really your goal is to keep everyone alive. You can do this. All of this is ok…because you love her. Or you did at one time. And when she comes back, that is what she will feel. Loved. Unless, of course, you are dramatic about how bad it sucked. At this point, it is also beneficial to only give information that she needs. Having been away, she will surprise you with what she can handle. She will love you more.

So, that’s it. You really do matter. We know you work hard. We know you love the kids. Some days we even know, or remember, that you love us. You are appreciated. Still, when your woman has got to go….then let her go. Want her to go.

And ladies-if you get the opportunity…..no looking back! YOU GOTTA GO!

P.S. Single mommas..parents..I just respect you-mad respect. 

momma

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Hello!!! Thanks for hanging out here for a bit! If you are loving what you are reading, then follow Courtney Misener on FB or on Insta @ cmisener! You are welcome here always!!!

I Don’t Want To Go Home

So…this was different for me.  My husband had some thoughts. So he put them down in writing. And it was so interesting, and kinda sad, but mostly nice to read this. This is his story-about my story. I cried reading it, which is no news there.  I love him.

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“Help me help you.”

This is a phrase my wife is very familiar with. It is common language really, having frequently exited my mouth for the last 3.5 years.

My wife somehow fell over backwards into post partum depression and still struggles with the trigger-happy illness today. I’m not sure, however, if we can still call it postpartum considering our youngest is three.  But nonetheless she still fights some days-with something.

Before I realized it was an illness, I simply believed Courtney could choose to be happy, but instead was unexplainably choosing it’s counterpart, sadness. But I was wrong. It’s an epidemic that took her mind into submission and created choas.

I first saw depression take its form when Courtney was pregnant with our 3rd son Jude. She was still fighting the residual pregnancy hormones from just giving birth to our 2nd son and recovering from that pregnancy. Hormones and a rollercoaster of emotions took over her mind. She wanted to abort Jude. A phrase I would have never imagined hearing from the lips of a mother who was (is) madly in love with her children. Through a lot of listening and little talking, we hurdled the evil and she gave birth to Jude. God changed her heart. But her depression would then take a different form. Something in her drastically changed.

Court-at the beginning of all this. Pregnant with Jude here.

Court and I at the beginning of all this. Pregnant with Jude here.

Coming home from work was like walking into the eye of the storm. Especially when it was her eyes that read anger and resentment. Always anger. Seldom any talking. I used to ask myself WHY? After awhile, I stopped asking.

I understood that she was annoyed that I had the “luxury” of working all day while she was home with the kids, but often there would be no reason for her sudden, very sudden, change in emotions. The thing with my wife is that she is a mover and a shaker-but being home with the kids wasn’t her idea of moving and shaking.

I learned many things during this time. Her depression made simple tasks unbearable to handle, for example, springing things on her like, “Hey, let’s go to breakfast in 10 minutes” or “is it ok if so and so comes over?….in 20 minutes?” In these situations I could feel the anxiety and fear well up in Courtney. She would say “I just need time to think about it first.”

Another symptom she was trying to navigate was extreme insecurity. Her insecurity was debilitating, she always needed time to evaluate her outfit so it fit properly on a body that she swore was getting bigger by the day. Nothing ever fit right. She hated the way she looked in pictures. We only have a few of her with Liam and Jude when they were babies.

Courtney lost interest for certain hobbies, (sex) became a master “Jedi” pessimist and Oh,  the TV volume….that was an unexpected side-effect. She couldn’t be in the room with a loud TV and people trying to talk over it. I actually saw her fangs come out from this one. And tears, always tears.

And then there was the sleeping. All she wanted to do was sleep. I knew it was a way of escape. Some days I let her. Others I forced her to get up.

Many times I felt helpless and the times I felt like I could help, she didn’t want it. The few times my help was welcomed, I ruined it by telling her to “get ahold of yourself” or suggesting she just “pray about it” or “you’ll feel better if you get out of the house”  and even worse, I would make her feel guilty for the negative impact she was putting on the family by placing blame. Fail, fail fail and….fail.

Sometimes though, I still feel alone. But then again, I feel like I am one in a million husbands that get it. But don’t talk about it.

That’s another thing about depression. No one wants to talk about it. Especially not the people living it. Maybe everyone thinks it will just go away. I did.

I think the light bulb has finally turned on for me though. I didn’t read a manual or catch the Post Partum Depression episode on Dr. Phil (they should have a PPD for dummies book out there…) but I think my experience in this might have kicked in.

I won’t bow to the depression that sneaks up on her, but I can make adjustments that will help see her through this trench, for as long as it takes for her to get to the other side.

I’m realizing that I need to try and make decisions with her instead of springing plans on her.I understand that I need to help around the house more, listen, just sit with her (iPhone, Mac, Netflix disengage) pray, listen, put her concerns in front of mine…(ouch), listen, pursue sitters and maintain date nights, pray, listen. Lots of listening.

family court

Guys, if you are in this with me, let your wives (or woman) know that It’s ok to be an incredible mother and wife, but also feel extreme sadness . It really is ok!

Oh! and..it’s almost impossible for me to bring Courtney “up.” What happens is that she just ends up going down. I can’t cure her depression. I do know that in those severe moments of anxiety, all I have to do is hug her. Boom. Reset. Then we can attempt to move forward again. Telling her to snap out of it has never worked. I don’t think it ever will.

She read this to me the other day- “They (women suffering from depression) don’t need someone to tell them to get a grip. They need someone to walk them through the valley so they don’t stay there.” -Micah Maddox

Gentlemen, we’ve got to walk through the valley with our wives. Yup, Not enticing or easy, but come on,

Every night we’re the ones allowed to fall asleep next to them. Bargain.

One of the kids in my youth group is a Rubik’s Cube wizard. I love watching him turn the cube over and over until he solves it. Her depression reminds me of a Rubik’s Cube. We keep turning the cube, hopeful that one day the colors will align.  And then, I guess, we will just move on to the next cube we need to work on.

For better or for worse. In sickness and in health. Cube after cube. Valley after valley. Holding her hand.

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As a follower of Jesus I did a lot of praying, yet sometimes I felt my requests were in vain and let’s be honest, some days I didn’t feel like praying anymore.  If you’re suffering from depression or living with someone who is and don’t know what to pray, maybe this scripture can help. This is more like a mantra-than a prayer. But saying it helps.

Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(P.S.- this is a peek at an almost three year journey.  Courtney is doing so much better.)

Dear Husbands And Fathers, Find The Small Thing.

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Dear Husbands and Fathers, (or anyone loving a mother this Mother’s Day) Mother’s Day is on your doorstep. Flowers are beautiful, and will make the mothers in your lives feel beautiful and loved. Cards are special because they include words, … Continue reading