Whew! Now the real work begins!

February 16, 2011 in Coping

from Jen at Bits of Truth

Welcome lovelies…

We’re so glad you are with us. See, we KNEW the need was there. We are OVER THE MOON that all our hard work was worth it!!! Please make yourselves at home here!

So….with that said; how was your Valentines Day? End up solo… sitting on the couch watching TV? Maybe go out with a single girlfriend to his restaurant or stay home with your children? I’m sure most of you had some variance between these… and, if you were able to be with your man/woman that day… consider yourself lucky! *my husband surprised me by coming home around 9:30 that evening. I wasn’t expecting him in till at least midnight!*

That’s the thing.. it’s not a ‘typical’ relationship we’re in. We find that out quickly from DAY ONE. The holidays and the weekends. The long hours. We find out QUICK if this is something we can maneuver around. (alright let me clarify, we may find out quick what it’s like, but most of the time it takes a good while to understand if this works for us, wouldn’t you say?)

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that YOU (the 9-5’r whose skirting the outskirts of your other halfs world) are the one in the relationship who needs to know whats happening at all times. I wouldn’t go so far as to say you’re a planner but who knows.. maybe you are. That’s the thing about this type of relationship, these men and women that are connected to us… they are PASSIONATE and LIVE in the moment! Living life ‘on the line’ means dishes come and dishes go and within 3.5-5 minutes.. it’s over. It’s time to move on to what’s next. If that philosophy sounds like Japanese to you, TRUST me you are NOT alone. Many of us significant others are the ‘back of the house’ in our relationships for a reason! We keep them tethered to the ground! *and they need this grounding, whether they realize it or not.*

To the same degree.. we need them to help us know when to LOOSEN our grasp from that tether. To have permission to let our hair down and realize it’s going to be okay!

Sound familiar?

Not as easy at it seems at times, I know. That’s okay, that’s why we’re here!

Let me ask you a question.. I want you to remember the last time that you did something ‘on the fly’. Pick up and go. Maybe you decided to take a road trip to surprise a girlfriend. Maybe you thought ‘I want to go see this movie, I’m just going to go now!’ Maybe (ooh this one I think resonates with all of us) you were at the store, found something you loved and just KNEW you had to buy it. How did that feel? Close your eyes and visualize how it felt to just BE in the moment. How did it change your day, even that moment you were in?

THAT is what your significant other feels most of the time. He or she cannot look with too much foresight because when the dish is gone.. it’s gone! That’s why they’re so wound up whenever they get home… they’re coming home on the wave that just got them thru the past 10-12 hours. What a RUSH!

How does knowing that, shift how you can relate to them? How can you bring that philosphy into your life more, to live in the moment more? Maybe show your other half that you can too, live in the moment perhaps? (You just choose not to live there permanently.)

For the record~ it’s okay if what you feel when you think of that spontaneity is fear. That’s all that you’ve been taught for as long as you can remember. “Don’t touch that, you can’t do that.. you’ll (get hurt,be irresponsible,lose your job,etc..).” It’s okay if you’re feeling that.. I give you permission to push PAST that for the moment and spend the next few minutes diving into the pool of living on the fly….

Makes you want to go out and do something fun, doesn’t it? What’s stopping you?
Whew! Now the real work begins!


    1. Blondie Gal says:

      I had my husband home on V Day night – amazingly enough – but he spent much of night on the phone to his sous trying to resolve a staffing issue 😉

      I am absolutely the planner in our marriage, the one who makes sure the bills are paid, the car is serviced and the dog is walked. I think much of this is due to time restrictions – its easy for me to duck out of the office and pay a bill, I have time to walk the dog, but also the party/adrenaline/no regrets nature of the chef world. I end up very resentful that assumptions are made that I will handle everything. I work a huge week, I have post grad work to do, and I have a lot of reality TV to watch (shut up). It should be up to me to be the planner and the do-er and I don’t think being a chef is an immediate ‘out’ from these things… BGx

      • Hey Blondie~ I’m sure we’ve all been there.. wanting to get the undivided attention of your other half while their on their blackberry handling damage control! Can you say aggravating!

        You, my lovely, are NOT alone in feeling resentment. I believe it’s another common theme of us continually seeking that balance (he lives in the NOW, you live with regard to the future). Tell me, how does that resentment show up in your marriage? What would your marriage look like if both your roles and responsbilities were clearly defined AND implemented? What are a few words/feelings that come up?

        When are you ‘free’ to be care free? When was the last time you felt that way? Tell us how it felt…

        • Blondie Gal says:

          If there was a keyword in my marriage it would be simmering resentment. I didn’t choose to be a chef yet my life is turned upside down by the industry. I actually far out earn him, so he’s not supporting me yet I’m the one doing every little piece of housework – just to make sure we don’t end up coming the attention of Adult Protective Services. Like Annmarie below, I am a complete control freak and can’t bear to let go at the same time.

          Also, how does someone who is a chef leave such a filthy kitchen? My theory is he is so used to having kitchen hands he forgets I’m not one…

          • i know how you feel. My husband is like the Tasmanian devil in the kitchen. It’s pretty crazy. I spend all the time he cooks cleaning up after him. It’s so frustrating sometimes. It’s like he doesn’t even care. Sometimes he tells me that he doesn’t care about things being clean and that’s why he doesn’t help, that it’s my issue because I’m the one that wants it that way.

            It’s about about choosing your fights I suppose. My mother keeps telling me not to get mad and not to yell at him. She says that’s he’s tired and works hard so I should just be nice, but sometimes I just want to scream!

            • I’m sure all of us are laughing Lara with your comment about cleaning up after them! (I mean HOW many pans do you need for spaghetti?) You are NOT alone in your frustrations. (AT ALL) How do you all feel about how you hold yourselves ACCOUNTABLE in your relationship? How much of this frustration has to do with accountability? How can we create accountability in our relationships?

          • Hey there Blondie – I really think this is a common feeling between ALL of us. Really, I do. Imagine yourself NOT feeling this way, what would you want life to look like? (Take one moment and daydream) Share it with us.

            I will share… I feel very similar. I am VERY Type A and have CHOSEN to wear the pants out of default for the alternative. (like you said.. not ending up with something detrimental happening.) Just because I CHOOSE to wear the pants doesn’t mean I wouldn’t LOVE an opportunity to hand them over to my husband (even if it’s just for a few hours). My life would feel more comforted that there are areas of my life where I don’t have to constantly be juggling all the balls. That, in turn would ALLOW me to feel relaxed and with time, the TRUST I have with my husband would grow. There are common themes here, and underneath them.. VALUES that we aren’t aware of, or, if we are aware of them – we haven’t exercised them. How can I create a time in our lives, where I feel comfortable handing ‘the pants’ over to my husband, that will in turn.. allow me to LET GO more? Feels good, yes?

      • Annmarie says:

        Blondie I am in your exact spot. I am totally the planner in the relationship for 2 reasons. The biggest reason being the crazy schedule/time restraints on my husband and the second being that I’m a bit of a control freak haha (i.e. if I don’t get it done it’ll never get done). So while I can’t 100% blame this on my husband-I completely understand where you are coming from. I think a lot of times he feels like he may not have to take care of something because I’ll do it for him. I’ve talked to him about this and explained to him that I will help with as much as I can (I work at home and while I’m tied to a phone most of the time-I can get a lot of household stuff done.), but he still needs to help when he can. I realized what I needed to do is give him a list (he actually suggested this) of things he needs to get done that don’t have asap deadlines-or things that he can get done on his days off. While yes most of the burden is still on me to get a lot done-it’s not 100% on me by myself, and we are able to share some duties at home. It’s not always perfect but right now it works for us. I’m just wondering what happens when we bring a baby into the mix one day…we shall see!

        • Annmarie – What does that say about us as significant others if most of us are feeling the same way? Sounds like that’s what drew us to them, they don’t value being active in having everything planned so (bam!) they saught out someone who could handle the task! How would you rate your planning skills? 1-10 (10 being AWESOME) My guess is you feel good at what you do, being that planner. At this point it’s about creating (and I really do mean CREATING) healthy boundaries. Sounds like you’re already doing that – A LIST! How does that make you feel when you give him that list? How has that worked for you two? Great idea!

    2. I totally understand being the planner and the doer. My husband is ADD and works 60+ hours a week! If i don’t do something, it really won’t ever get done. My husband takes meds for his ADD, but since he works late, he usually doesn’t take it until right before service, which means his time at home in the morning (which would normally be designated for getting things done) is complete chaos. I have the typical 9-5 (ok well 8-4) job which leaves me time to get things accomplished. But sometimes you just want a little help! Getting a man who is exhausted from work to clean the litter box at midnight is not easy, and getting him to do it before work the next day is even harder!

      I always ask my husband what he thinks life would be like if we had the same schedule. I guess we might not ever know, or at least not for a while to come.

    3. Annmarie says:

      Kerilyn..I’ve always been a pretty good planner, and I guess that’s probably because I like structure. I think what’s good about the relationship I have with my husband is that he’s a bit less structured, more spontaneous and less anxious than I am. He helps me be less freaked out about not having everything planned out and I help him be a bit more organized. We tend to really balance each other out in that sense. He actually was the one to suggest the list-he admitted that yes he is very forgetful and often he’s pretty darn tired when I’m rambling on about the things that need to get done..(such a hard task to try to catch him at a “good” time with his schedule lol). He told me that a list actually helps him remember what he needs to take care of instead of trying to commit things to memory. It might sound like a “honey-do” list..but it actually seems to help.

      • Annmarie – And what you said “he’s less structured, more spontaneous and less anxious as I am” is EXACTLY what we all have in common. (I love it!) Most of us are with that same type of man. Living like he’s on the line all the time. While that’s fun and exciting at times – the times when focus and consistant energy come to play is where WE bring our strengths to the table. It’s a constant see saw where we are, in one moment swinging up and then swinging down. Constantly working toward balance. (Don’tcha wish it was always right in the middle? okay, maybe just me, at least for a period of time anyway…) *did I just say that out loud? ha!

        Keep on with your list.. it’s a great idea!!

    4. Heather says:

      See, I think I’m the one in my marriage that is more spontanious. I’m the liberal woman who decided to homeschool the kids so that we have more flexiblility in life, (not to mention the public schools here aren’t all that great)and my husband is the conservative man who gets up, has coffee, goes to work, comes home, watches a movie, and goes to bed, then does it all over again. He is the predictable one. Me? Not so much. I think things work for us, because we each have our jobs to do, and we respect each other’s weak spots and try to balance those out with our own strengths. After 15 years of marriage, we don’t even really think about how it works. I’m just happy it does.

      • It is.. all about balance, isn’t it? Sounds like you are a well oiled machine! What advice can you give to others who are just starting out? (If you could go back to the early days…)

    5. Heather says:

      Ah, the earlier days. They weren’t all this easy. I could write a book with all of our adventures, but that wouldn’t all fit here, would it? I will start by saying that in the beginning it was all a lot of fun. Dating a chef was great. We went to all the nicest restaurants in town. Growing up, we didn’t eat out. This was all new to me. I felt very pampered. I worked around his schedule. I had to be flexible, which has never been a problem for me, but it is required when you are in a relationship with someone who has so little control over when they will have to work. I didn’t just give over my life to this relationship, though. I remained flexible for him, but he also had to know that I wasn’t going to be there every time that he wasn’t working. I had a life, too, one that didn’t necesarrily involve him, just like his work life didn’t involve me. We stuck it out, because we both acknowledged that our lives were better with the other in them than without. We wanted to be together and were willing to figure out a way to make it happen. We didn’t sit down and plan our lives together. We just addressed things as they came up while we were dating. It wasn’t long and I moved in. Advice? I don’t know that I’m qualified to give out advice on relationships, but I guess I’d just say to try to be flexible, but never give up who you are. You have to be a complete person, yourself, before you can offer much in a relationship.

    6. Blondie Gal says:

      I really like your comment Heather – it’s exactly that I’d say to a younger girl going into a relationship with a chef.

      Funnily enough, one of my closest friend who I knew years before my husband, married a chef around the time I met my husband. Her husband is a super qualified chef, and has cooked under ‘celebrity chefs’, and she is exposed to a crazy world as result. She was always my cornerstone for advice and guidance, and I remember her telling me that marriages that lasted were the ones where the wife came into the marriage independent and with her own life, hobbies and interests.

      • Here Here Blondie!!! I totally agree with your friend! Coming to the table with a strong sense of independence and drive toward meeting our own goals is KEY in this type of relationship! Those that KNOW they need someone around when they get off work is NOT going to find happiness being connected to anyone in this industry!

Whew! Now the real work begins!

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