Feb 15, 2016

Hot Tub Talks

Do you want me to help or do you just need to vent?...I asked, sitting in the hot tub alongside Mark as it snowed on us.

I had brought as much as I could carry in one trip, barefoot in the snow, arms filled with beers and winter hats. The steam poured out as the lid opened, and we settled in for the next hour.

Every time Mark opens his mouth, I always felt like I had to solve the issue.

Calculate a solution.

This typically lead to continued unnecessary bickering, so I always start my answer with this question.

Because I don't work like that, as soon as I start getting something off my chest, I will tell him up front, that I just need to vent...or I actually have a problem I need help solving (read: talk me off the ledge and tell me to calm the f down already.)

I don't know if I will be a good dad. 
I don't know if I'm cut out for it. You KNOW you'll be a good mom, and you have that instinct. 
You want this...I just don't know if I can do it.

I take a sip of beer.
First off, I don't know anything. I know what I'm feeling and I know I will do my best to keep our child out of harm, but that's about the extent of my parenting skills at this point.

So, I'll still be able to go out on the boat right? Like an overnight away or whatever.

Yes, obviously....just as I have the same right.

I can see the terror in his eyes. It's the same look he had before we got married.
He never had this worldly view of marriage or parenting.
He doesn't see that there are different ways to be married and be happy and raise a child.
It's like a horse with blinders...he only sees and hears what those closest to him do and say.
And unfortunately, people love to talk about their woes more than their joys.
It happened when we were about to get married and it's happening now pre-baby.

For a very, very long time, especially with the marriage thing, he honestly thought I was going to get fat and lock him in the basement.
Because that's what marriage is, right?
A doomsday ticket straight to unhappy-ville.
Population - everyone.

And I would get really offended that he thought of ME that way.
Me....who gets up every morning to hit the gym.
Me....who climbs that dumb corporate ladder to bring home a better paycheck than the last year. Me....who scours the internet for days to figure out our pups ailments, deals with the house when he works days at a time, handles all of our bills and the logistics for the future, and still manages to pull myself together, shave my legs, pluck my eyebrows, and look good on his arm.

After being married for five years, I have come to realize he is simply freaked out by major change.
Like, only worse case scenarios and shitty situations.

My gut reaction, when he starts talking about all the shitty parts of a potential change in his life, be it marriage or a baby, is to get pissed and shut him down.
Because what he is saying obviously isn't true, or how it will actually be.

But.....his thoughts and worries are valid.

Just as I can't see past the day to day sometimes in our IVF battle, he, sometimes, sees the bigger picture as a total failure.
One that will inevitably drown us in debt and insomnia and arguments.

Our hot tub talks are always about the future.
They are always about our worries, or our doubts, or what we'd like to accomplish or how we think it'll be.

Inside, there is always some sort of distraction to keep us from really chatting, be it a TV show or the animals or something needs to be unloaded, washed, cleaned, etc....but those hot tubs talks are our therapy.

I don't want him to shut down and not vent his worries to me.
All ladies know it's (mostly) difficult to get our men to open up in the first place, so I most certainly don't want to scare him off.

And honestly, I'm glad he's talking about it.
Even if it is a bunch of worries at this point.
There were many years where we were silently struggling to get pregnant and yet, we never really talked about it as a thing that would actually come to fruition.
It was always just in that moment...living month to month.
Every month started with a glimmer of hope and ended with tears and frustration.

On Valentine's Day, we were getting restless with sitting in the living room, watching Fast and the Furious 7. His idea, not mine.
So we wrapped up the Paul Walker tribute scene and headed outdoors.

These chilly days are limited in activities, and I'm so happy he pushed to have our tub moved from the rental to our forever home.
We may be going even more stir crazy than we already are if not for that thing.

An hour later and a couple inches of snow on our heads and we headed back indoors for chili.
It's just us.
Even if this year gives us nothing more, we still have each other.

Thanks for reading.


  1. First of all - jealous of your hot tub - nothing better than it being cold outside and hot on the inside! :D

    Tony and I did the same thing, except it was in our back, under the gazebo with wine/beer and his cigar and no distractions of t.v. We had our best talks under that gazebo and I'll be forever grateful for the time we shared together.

    I think it was better when I had Hannah - I was only 23 - it was before the internet, I had exactly six doctors appointments and one ultrasound before she was born, and well, she spit out just fine and we figured it out.

    Can't believe she'll be 24 in a few weeks! She's turned into an amazingly independent woman and I couldn't be prouder of her. :D


  2. Loved Biz's comment about the lack of internet, which there is a certain negative to that (look how much you have LEARNED and all the resources out there) it also can freak you the hell out. AH!

    Anyways, love that you two have the hot tub to work things out so to speak. If Mark ever needs a positive spin on it all, obviously, Mike seriously would not change a thing. He's so involved in both of their lives and I'm sure, once it all happens, Mark will want to be too :)

  3. Well, you have me convinced we need a hot tub. My husband used to be really chatty and hilarious and full of life. The stress of grad school has kind of sucked that out of him. He is so so silent. Talking to him is such a battle to get him to say how he feels.