Last week was a crappy week in the Allard house. Stress at work, morning sickness and pregnancy insomnia, finding fleas on the dog, getting in a big fight, etc. and so-on.
Have you been there? Nobody died, nothing truly tragic happened, but things were still pretty rough.
Here’s how we recovered:
1) We were honest about how we felt.
2) We looked for ways to actively love each other. For Aaron this meant bringing breakfast up to me when I felt too bad to get out bed on Sunday morning. For me, it was taking breaks from my bed-bound Friends marathon to make sure I got us caught up on all our laundry and being extra flexible about his gym time. Loving actions create and reinforce loving feelings, so while it may be tempting when emotionally-bruised from a conflict to withhold affection or generosity, going the extra mile for your partner will do a lot more to bring you back together.
3) We hugged it out. When you’re mad or hurt or frazzled, it’s tempting to shut down or turn away. Don’t! Instead, reach out and hug somebody. Hugging is really good for you. It lowers your blood pressure, and increases oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.
4) We found the upsides. Upside of fleas: All of our bedding, carpets, and throw pillows are freshly laundered, steam cleaned or vacuumed. Upside of our big ugly fight: we better understand some of the work we have to do to keep our marriage strong. Upside of multiple, overlapping stressors: We had the opportunity to look at things overall and see some changes we might like to make.
Here’s to hoping this week is better. But if not, at least we know how to get through it together!