Secondhand Emotions

I’m going to [try] to write about an interesting concept today; secondhand emotions. Emotions that are not yours but still affect yours. It’s not a startling concept by any means, I’m sure we all know that a loved ones feelings tend to affect us in a very serious way, am I right? This isn’t breaking news. But…despite that, I still find this whole concept extremely fascinating, and I have been studying the results of my moods on my poor, unsuspecting husband.

I have truthfully been an anxious, tense ball of nerves recently. Stuff keeps piling up that I’m not exactly kosher with. You see, when I get an idea of how things are supposed to be in my head, and then they aren’t that way, I get super aggravated. It has to go the way I planned it, or I get…bitchy. I haven’t been able to take a joke lately, so when Matt attempts to joke around with me – the way we always have together – I get my knickers in a knot and snap at him.

Matt has also been out of his antidepressants, which hasn’t helped either of us because he hasn’t been himself. He’s gone through withdrawals {since antidepressants are addictive} and has had trouble getting the motivation to do the things he has to do. He still gets out of bed every day and goes to school, but he needs to nap when he gets home because it takes so much energy to do so.

And I haven’t exactly been understanding of it all, or at least, in the sense of him running out of the pills in the first place. But hey, he’s a grown man and I guess he has to make this mistake for himself in order to realize oh heeey, next time I’ll call my doctor before I run out of my anitdepressants.

Anyways, so we’ve both been tightly wound lately. And because we’ve both been tightly wound, we’re even more tightly wound, if that makes sense. Our partners tend to intensify our emotions. If he’s mad, I’m mad. If he’s sad, I’m sad. If he’s happy, I’m happy. And because I’m all those things he is when he is them, he’s extra happy and I’m extra happy. Or mad. Or sad.

Does anyone else get this? Is there anyone else sitting there nodding along in agreement, or am I talking to myself while everyone else wonders wtf I had for breakfast?

So, yeah. Then there’s this morning – which solidified my beliefs that you truly can make someone’s day by just being pleasant {duh, sorry folks…sometimes I take a while to realize common sense.}

Matt was calling Unemployment for the 50 billionth time over the past two months. Today was the day we were supposed to get the answer. Matt had been told for weeks now that they saw no reason why he shouldn’t get it; he worked the required hours, he qualified. Then he was told yesterday he would know by 8am tomorrow, but that they still had a right to say no. Even if he did qualify, they could just say no because they felt like it. The guy told him there was a 15% chance that he wouldn’t get it, and an 85% chance that he would.

So we were nervous, all night. Especially because I bottomed out and screwed up my car even more so. It’s going to cost a pretty penny to fix. Obviously, we don’t need him to get Unemployment, but it sure would have made things a lot easier on all of us for the time that he’s in school. So our fingers were crossed and we hoped that we’d fall into the 85% of yes.

Well, that wasn’t the case. Matt found out that he didn’t qualify because ‘leaving your job to go to college isn’t a legit reason’. I went into the bedroom to find Matt basically hiding under the blankets freaking out. He was so pissed off and devastated, and started to freak out about it, convinced we were doomed. My mood was slightly disappointed, yes….how couldn’t I be? But otherwise…okay. I was okay. So I told him to calm down, that we would figure it out. There is a solution to every problem, you just have to find it.

Five minutes later, Matt came out of the bedroom fully dressed with a huge smile on his face. He told me he was going to approach some welding companies and see if they’d like to hire him part-time to do ‘grunt work’ {basically; bitch work}. Then he told me that he would also call his old boss and see if he needed someone part-time weekends.

I told him it was a great idea, and I also told him that depending on what job he got {and the hours}, I would change mine to suit his needs. I’m also going to continue to look for full-time day employment. I made him a tea to go and kissed him goodbye.

Despite this latest, not so great twist to our plans…I’m optimistic. I know that things won’t always be this tight, that we’ll make some more mistakes but..at the end of the day we’ll be fine, because we’ll have each other and our beautiful son and tons of love. Also; I think this is a huge step for us, for me. Usually, I freak the fuck out. I call my sister hyperventilating about how we’re never going to get ahead, and she talks me down; she tells me it’s all going to be okay, we’ll make it okay because we have to. We don’t have any other option; we can’t just thrown in the towel and give up, or shove our heads in the sand when things don’t go the way we planned.

At least this time, I didn’t bother her 😉

So, I’m going to try to control my reactions a little better. No more freaking out over stuff I can’t change {like the decision of the EI people}. No more taking it out on Matt {as in, being a bitch to him} because I’m stressed. Because that behaviour just makes him unhappy, and I hate making him unhappy so it makes me even more unhappy. When I approach things with a calm head, he’s happy. He’s able to think of solutions. I think he started freaking out because he though that I would be pissed and freaking out {which is usually my reaction}. So, I’ve got to work on that.

Random question; what sort of things do you and your significant other do for ‘dates’ when fancy restaurants aren’t really an option? I mean, other than watching movies and eating popcorn together at home 😉 I need some more ideas, I want to surprise Matt with a change of our evening routine and do something a little more romantic and spontaneous! Suggestions are most definitely welcome 🙂

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14 Comments

Filed under challenges, changes, family, figuring it out, growing up, just thoughts, lessons, reflecting, self improvement, telling stories, the random, updates, writing

14 responses to “Secondhand Emotions

  1. Sam

    I know exactly what you mean by this. Right now my hubs is unemployed and with the stress of the bills i freak out and when I freak out, he does so right along with me. If i am in a bad mood, my hubs in turn is in a bad mood. But when I try to be optimistic, he is also optimistic. Its hard to try to get ahead, i’m there with you. I have a good job and make decent money, its just enough to pay the bills and we have nothing left over for “extras”. Which sucks. I try to make the evenings special by making his favorite dinner or renting the movie i know he wants to see just to try to do something special. Hope that it all works out. Ironically this post spoke to me because just this morning, I was freaking out about how far it is from payday and that we aren’t going to be able to make it until then and then he got up in a bad mood. But hopefully that will all change after hubs meeting on Friday with a NEW JOB! I hope it all gets better for you and don’t worry, you’re not the only one who does this!

  2. I know it’s not exactly a viable option right now, but picnics are a fun change of pace. Not exactly upping the romance, but it’s sweet, light-hearted love stuff.

    I also immediately think of candles (not scented, just normal candle-stick ones for soft light) if you can wait til after N goes to bed for dinner or Ben just a special dessert.

    Hard to think of things to do when $$ is an obstacle to work around. Le me know if anybody else suggests anything that sounds good, eh?

  3. you and matt work very hard to support your little family- you have so much to be proud of. you’ve got a great head on your shoulders, honey. i’m lovin’ the optimism! you guys will figure it out- money matters are always hard and stressful, but you’ve got each other, and you’ll be able to get ahead eventually.

    as for dates? andy and i would always do half price movie night at the theatres, or we’d go to bars with our friends and dance all night on the weekend (might be less do-able with the babes, but still a fun night out, if you can). also, we always bonded over cooking together… if you can’t afford an expensive restaurant, recreate it at home- candles, etc… sometimes we’d get into our pjs, order food, and watch movies in bed together. or drive through the hills around fall when all the leaves are changing colours. this might be tmi, but we totally had sex dates.. also every friday was feast club friday… we’d have a themed potluck every friday… so everyone contributed to making something. and then it would always inevitably turn into a kitchen dance party til 3am.

    m was always really good at surprising me with dates actually! one night he brought me to a park for a picnic in the middle of the night and we just laid in the grass on a blanket drinking beer, kissing, and taking silly pictures together. our thing was bubble baths.. we’d light a million candles, listen to dallas green, just soak in the tub. another thing we used to do a lot was drag our mattress out to the living room, take every blanket in the house, and eat sardines and drink $6 champaign in our undies in the living room bed while watching movies (at first we did that because we were broke! then it became “our thing”). m and i didn’t have two pennies to rub together so our dates were mostly spent at home, just being together (when he was around). but we always had a fun little twist to whatever we did- even if it was just watching movies, or whatever.

    sorry for the novel!

  4. Cri

    elle’s suggestions are epic and a good idea ! Ima gonna try some of em to 🙂
    and i totally do the same things. i’m working really hard to not be that way though!
    at least we are still young and realizing these things to work on. a lot of people don’t!

  5. Dawg and I were both grumpy at the same time Saturday morning. I wanted to kick him through the window to the ground below without actually hurting him.

    And then two hours later we were pleasant as pie.

    Happens.

    Rarely for us, but it happens.

    Living life teaches you how much you make plans and want to control every situation but the situation is going to do what it wants anyway. Good idea to start being more laid back about stuff that doesn’t go quite your way.

  6. jessica

    All I can say is this: I hear you and I needed to hear you. 😀

  7. Annon

    wow! I’m really proud of you guys for handling this so well! Way to take steps in the right direction and look at the positive!

    Also, I totally hear you about the whole feeding off each others happiness/anger/sadness. Today marks the first episode of PMS I have had off the pill after being on it for 2 years. Today is also the day that my love came home with a ‘man cold’. Let me tell you, this hormone adjustment is kicking my ass, and well he has a man cold, my god! We nearly killed each other tonight. In fact he’s been in bed for the past 2 hours, and normally I would have joined him, but I’m escaping to the internet instead.

    2 things that kinda suck, but when we suffer them at the same time and let ourselves be cranky, it make it so much worse.

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