As any medical significant other knows, keeping your other half involved in “every day” things (activities, chores, celebrations, family dinner, etc) can often be a challenge. We know this because more often than not they miss out on the “every day” life things when working 80+ hours a week, and if they are not working they are sleeping, studying, working on research, etc.
But, like any one else in a committed relationship – we want to share experiences with our other half. It is emotionally challenging when you feel like they miss out on things that they would like to be a part of – especially big milestones.
As you probably already know, we recently bought a house (you can read more about it in “Buying vs. Renting in Residency” if you missed it). Other than my husband seeing the house to give his ‘ok’ to put an offer in, that whole process has fallen on me to handle. Not because he didn’t want to be a part of it, but because he had no time to be. We are closing on May 8th and his schedule is miraculously allowing him to be there for it (as of now at least.) However, he will then be on-call the weekend when the cleaning and the painting will be done before we move all our stuff into the house the weekend after that. Also, the week/weekend of the actual move (May 17th) he will be at a mandatory training in California getting back late on Saturday night for the movers to come at 8am on Sunday. So, needless to say, he is missing out on helping me with the move and the initial steps of making our home “ours.”
He of course is not the least bit upset about missing out on the cleaning.. shocker! But, I think he is a little bummed that he is not going to get to help paint. Thankfully I have family close who will be helping with the painting so I won’t be doing that alone!
Since he was going to be missing out on the actual painting I wanted to make sure he was included in at least a part of the process. Last weekend – his last weekend off before our anniversary vacation (May 23-31) – we made a trip to Home Depot. He was like a kid in a candy store! We picked out our paint colors and got all the painting supplies so that I would be prepared and have it all for the weekend after the closing. He even thought of a few things that wouldn’t have even crossed my mind if I had gone by myself. This shopping trip was a small way to include him that I hope made him feel more involved. I I was very grateful that he was able to run the errand with me. Me in Home Depot by myself might have been pretty entertaining 🙂
Truth be told, I get emotional when he is not around for certain things. My way of coping is to plan the best I can and then just move forward with my to-do’s… basically just “handling everything” telling myself that it is okay and that I can do it on my own! But, in doing that I often feel as though everything is on my shoulders (which is stressful) and that I am forced to move forward with things without my husband being able to really weigh in or participate. In most cases he is okay with it because he know things need to get done and I can’t wait around for him.
My parents always ask when I tell them about something I did or planned “Well did A get a say in the matter? Did you run it by him?” Usually my response is “Well, I talked to him about it, so he knows, but then I just had to do it otherwise it wouldn’t get done.”
This is a constant challenge. I do my best to keep him involved as much as possible that way he doesn’t feel as if he is “missing out” on our life experiences together while he spends so much of it in the hospital.