Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Marriage Problems

Looking back, no wonder our first year of marriage was so great.  Tony was unemployed, but we always had what we needed financially.  Tony not working translated into the two of us being able to spend oodles of time together.  We could drop everything and go on vacation just because.  He could instant message me while I was in class.  My days off were his days off, guaranteed.  We went grocery shopping together.  We checked the mail together.  We took out the trash together.  We SLEPT together [imagine that!!]. 

Fast forward to now.  Tony now has two jobs, and we still have everything we need financially, even without me working.  Tony working two jobs translates into the two of us hardly ever getting to spend time together.  We can't drop everything and go on vacation just because.  We have to request time off.  My days off are rarely his days off because he rarely gets days off, guaranteed.  We don't go grocery shopping together.  We don't check the mail together.  We don't take out the trash together.  We don't even get to be in our outrageously comfy bed at the same time because of a stupid night shift. 

Last week was a rough week.  We were short of temper with each other.  We each expected the other to read our minds and then were upset when they didn't.  Take these two instances for example... 

Instance #1
It's approximately 7:25am.  Tony worked a full 8 hour shift the night before and only got in an hour's worth of sleep before needing to get up again to be at seminary meetings.  I slept and fed Hyrum the night before and I'm still asleep.  I sort of remember a conversation that went something like this: 

Tony:  I wonder if I can get dressed and fix myself breakfast in 5 minutes...
Jeri Lin:  [just barely stirring in bed]  What are you going to have for breakfast?
Tony:  Pancakes.
(This is a smart choice, seeing as there is pancake batter already mixed up and in the fridge.)
Jeri Lin:  Do you have the griddle turned on?
Tony:  Yes.
Jeri Lin:  [totally unconcerned, seeing that the griddle is getting hot and should be ready for pancake making by the time Tony  finishes getting dressed]  Oh good.  You should be fine.  [rolls over and goes back to sleep]

Come to find out, Tony wanted me to read his mind and get out of bed and make those pancakes for him because he really didn't have time to make them and get dressed.  He ended up putting on his tie while driving 70mph down the freeway and made it to his meeting just in time...

Instance #2
I had a rough day on Tuesday.  I didn't accomplish anything that I wanted to get accomplished.  I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the whole wife and mother role, especially since Tony has zero time for helping around the house.  I'm wishing he could read my mind and just take out the trash and recycle for me or something, but it doesn't happen.

Welcome Wednesday morning.  He's sitting at the computer, right next to the recycle that needs to be taken out.  I gather the trash, juggle the recycle, and try to look as miserable as possible as I walk out the door.  **Read my mind, Tony.  I want you to do this for me!**  Alas, I take the trash and recycle out and I'm bitter.

We laugh about both of these instances now.  Luckily, we both are unable to remain mad at the other for very long.  While tying his tie at 70mph, Tony decided that if Joseph couldn't translate the plates when he was mad at Emma, then Tony Brown wouldn't gain any inspiration at a seminary meeting if he was upset at Jeri Lin.  While walking back from the stinky trash receptacle, I decided that he really was a busy guy and it was silly for me to be upset because he didn't help around the house.  I am perfectly capable of taking out the trash and recycle.  It's not that hard and it's probably the most exercise I get all week.  I also came to the conclusion that I only get mad at Tony for not helping out when I don't get much accomplished on my own.  If I do laundry, clean the bathroom, vacuum, and load the dishwasher, I've had a great day and I love my husband.  If it takes all my gumption to take the trash and recycle out and that's all I accomplish, then I hate my husband for not helping more.  It's all or nothing for me or else it's Tony's fault.  Silly.  I know.

Anyhow, it's safe to say that we've both harbored unkind feelings for each other.  We finally were fed up with not liking each other very much, so we sat down and had a chat about expectations and implementing better communication (not expecting the other to be a mind reader).   We both know that things aren't going to get any easier over the next couple of years.  The night shift is over, but Tony will still be working two jobs and I start school in August.  Things are going to be a little bit crazy.  We can't let the craziness make us bitter and upset at each other.

I've decided that one way to make sure I don't harbor bad feelings is to do extra little things to show Tony that I love him.  When I'm serving him or surprising him with little things that show that I love him, I'm much happier.  So, the first thing I did was I bought a Peanut Butter Snickers on a whim while doing the grocery shopping because I knew he wanted to try it.  I made a little note that said,

BUTTER I love you!

I also splurged and bought Tony's favorite Pillsbury Orange Sweet Rolls.  It's sitting in the fridge waiting to be discovered with a note that says,

ORANGE you glad you have
such a SWEET wifey?!

I love my husband, and I want him to know that I love him.  He is so good to me.  He makes me a better person.  I'm so glad that we are eternally Brown!


  1. Almost 11 years into my own marriage, this still happens. Honestly, it's just part of being married. We always get bugged, but we always get over it. We wish we could spend every minute together, but life happens, kids happen, and at the end of most days we lay there looking at each other and say hello and then goodnight. The way we see it, the busy-ness of life just makes us all the more happy we are eternally linked. Also, having had four children, I noticed by the last one that the hardest times in our marriage are during the end of a pregnancy, and for about 9 months after. I'm sure it's not that way for everyone, but was for us. You're a great mom and a great wife with a great husband! I love keeping up with your little family!

  2. I LOVE that you shared this! Really! I feel like so many people just show the best sides of thema nd their marriages,etc..which isnt so bad..but I think if the fact that marriage is hard was more of a common fact among people, I think we'd have more successful marriages...I'm not sure if what I am writing is really what I am thinking but I suppose it will suffice. I just love that you were willing to share..that's all.

  3. I don't think I figured all of that out in the first 5-7 years of marriage. Hooray for you to have it figured out.


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