What would you do?
I'm married to an outstanding man who is great at everything. His career (trial lawyer). His friends (lots of them). His family (close-knit, and he's the star of all the kids.) His hobbies and interests. (too many to name, but he is good at all of them and also knows a lot of fun facts and history about them.) His music (he doesn't perform professionally, but could if he had the time). His FUN (definitely a social person who enjoys dining out, getting together with friends, hosting parties, attending parties.) He also is a wonderful cook and ENJOYS cooking on top of that, so he tends to do the grocery shopping and preparation of most of our meals.
It's exciting to be married to someone who is so talented, well rounded, and interested in such a variety of things!!!! That's one reason I was attracted to him when we began dating. He is truly an exceptional person. Life feels so FULL when you're around him and it can be very energizing.
As you can imagine, it can also be draining. A lot of what we do revolves around his activities. We stay, very, very busy. And for the most part I'm fine with that, because I share a lot of the same interests and we have fun together along the way. Not to mention, I knew going into it, that things would probably be busy and I would have to be okay with him "shining"! But also knew I was a confident person and that I could excel in plenty of my own ways too!! But...lately, at the risk of sounding pity-partyish, it feels like he takes up sooo much space being good at everything that there's hardly anything left for ME to be good at.
I'm wondering if I'm reacting the same way as plenty of other people would, when placed in my shoes. Or, am I just asking too much and getting aggravated at things too easily/being too sensitive?
See the examples below.
A) I'll be watering my flowers in the backyard, and he'll come all the way outside to remind me not to trample them when I'm dragging the hose over. (This happened three different times and I finally asked him to inform me of WHEN I have ever trampled them and WHY I would trample my own flowers?)
B) I'll be cooking something, and he'll ask why I didn't use such and such ingredient instead or pull out a certain bowl from the cabinet, saying that size will work better than the one I was using. (Why can't he just sit on the couch for an hour and zone out on sports like the rest of the male population?)
C) I'll mention that the repairman didn't fix something correctly and if it's his second time out for the repair call, I might complain for a few minutes.. (knowing that means the guy has to come back out to fix it again, meaning I have to play phone tag with him again to set it up, then on the day we schedule the appointment...rush home from work again to meet him, RE-explain the problem for the third time, etc.) and instead of sympathizing with my frustration for 2 seconds, my husband defends the repairman, saying perhaps he didn't understand the instructions and reminding me we're pretty spoiled to be in our thirties and able to afford a repairman instead of doing it ourselves like most people our age. (Both good points, but why can't I just be frustrated for a couple minutes?)
D) I explain my thoughts to him about a complicated situation at work, and how the other manager and I are trying to get to the bottom of it. But when I share with him what my initial conclusions about the situation are, instead of just saying "Well, that's certainly likely...you might be right!" ...he chooses to harp on the fact that the other managers and I need to do more research and get more evidence before jumping to decisions. (I appreciate the free legal advice, and I TOLD you we were going to do more research, but why can't I just share my hunch without starting a debate?)
I've tried talking to my husband about how sometimes he can be "the expert" on everything, and how I would appreciate it if he could tone it down a bit, and give me some space to handle things myself (i.e. the flowers, the cooking, the repairman) or express myself and recieve a little support (the work example) rather than receive criticism or "the opposite point of view" in return. I don't think he realizes how often he is like this, and when I try pointing it out when it occurs, he either denies it and says I'm being unreasonable or admits it and says "Well if I'm right about something, I'm going to let you know."
I guess my mind is just fast-forwarding and I'm getting worried about down the road when we have kids and there are bigger decisions and more serious matters going on in our lives, is my opinion ever going to count? Am I ever going to be able to make a decision about something without him questioning me or saying the other option would have been better? Is he ever going to stand beside me when I happen to know more about something than he does, or is he always going to think HE knows more, no matter what? Are the kids, from their perspective, going to think mommy has no say-so in anything, when they hear daddy correct her all the time? What parts of our lives will I be able to contribute to and be proud of--aside from his participation?
The fact that we share a lot of the same responsibilities and our roles sort of blend together (both take care of household stuff and both work)....that's our generation! But it's not our parents' generation! So our role models growing up were modeling a different type scenario... with our moms having "their place" and our dads having "their place." Marriages aren't as clear cut as they used to be. (And I know, obviously, those kinds of marriages had their own kind of challenges.) But how do marriages like mine work? I feel like I'm flying by the seam of my pants and not doing a very good job of it. With roles blended and marriages consisting of two individually accomplished, fairly opinionated people, how do we know who contributes what and how much is enough? I feel like my generation has grown up so selfish and spoiled and therefore we take each other for granted easier, and don't know how to share!!!!