One of the most difficult things that I am trying to learn as a newlywed is how to take care of my husband.
It’s weird, because I always considered myself to be the type of person who was good at taking care of others. I’m always willing to listen, or to (attempt to) offer advice if it’s asked for, or make dinner, or help people remember to relax. But to be charged with the singular care of one person’s emotional well-being and happiness… well, that’s hard!
The thing that is different about all this is that I never considered – never fathomed – the deep extent to which I would be expected to care for and nurture someone else. I mean… I’m not stupid, I know that it’s a lot to think about. But it’s one of those situations that until I was in this deep, I just didn’t know how deep it was.
I’m not complaining, by any means. I’m in awe and amazement at the levels that Ryan depends on me to be his partner in so many ways. I’m kind of scared of it, really. It’s not the kind of relationship that I have ever had before, and he’s the only person with whom I will have this kind of relationship.
Ryan characterizes himself as “high-maintenance,” by which I think he means that he likes to have things done for him sometimes, likes to have involved conversations, and by which I knows he means that he likes to “be babied” – his words, not mine. We were talking last night about how I think I’m more high-maintenance than I let on, even to myself. For so long, I have made it my mission to be laid-back and to encourage others to be more laid-back, too. But as much as I go with the flow, there are certain things that bug me, too… things that make me upset, things that stress me out, things that ruin my day. I’m just more willing to bury my head in the sand and let it go, or try to work through it.
The hardest part of marriage, so far, has been to allow myself the vulnerability that comes with trusting one person above all other people. Of course I trust Ryan with all of me… but I have gotten used to taking care of business myself. But that doesn’t mean it’s the easiest way, or that I want to do it that way forever… it’s nice to have someone to share your burdens with! As I have said before, he doesn’t make me cry… he makes me feel like I can let myself cry. And having that release is one of the most relieving things… it’s an incredible gift to allow yourself to be vulnerable to someone.