day 15: marriage on the move

This post is day 15. New to the series? Start here. Thanks to all of you who have shared these posts and commented. I really appreciate it. Do say hello if you’ve been reading or are new. It would be lovely to meet you. If you want hundreds of other great 31 Days topics, you can find them here.

The list of things to get done is long before a move, the tasks are tremendous and time consuming.

I know this because my Husband tells me so.

We were flying from Geneva to Australia with our six-month-old on Christmas Day in 2011. Imagine Husband’s surprise when he walked into the kitchen an hour before we had to be at the airport and found me rolling out dough on the kitchen counter tops. I don’t have words for the expression on his face, What are you doing? he asked in disbelief.

MAKINGBISCUITS, I replied, and I’m sure my face said, WHATDOESITLOOKLIKE? Because it was our first Christmas with a baby! We had to have a good breakfast together! We have to make memories! To his everlasting credit, we sat down and had a mostly unhurried brunch together, and he was very kind about it all even though the biscuits were flat.

Someone has to be the one in charge of fun, memory-making activities when it’s moving time, and that is my territory. My Husband is the bearer of news that usually sounds like, We have to pack. Our bags are too heavy. Your [insert crazy gift or purchase idea here] will not fit. But what that means as we get close to the moving date is that I am increasingly focused on what fun things we can do together – and deeply disappointed when these things don’t happen –and he is increasingly stressed out about the things that have to get done. Like emptying the refrigerator.

We are not there yet, but somehow in this move, we had moments when we managed to meet in the middle. Emphasis on the word MOMENTS. He relaxed on some things that had to be finished, and chose a quick drive to the café on the water so we could have ice creams together. I cleaned our outdoor toys and got them ready to be packed. But this only happened because we had those honest, awkward conversations.

It’s really hard for me when you can’t see that there is so much work to be done. I need your help.

I feel sad when we can’t do some of these things together. I wish you were more present.

The communication of expectations and desires is perhaps the most underrated and dull part of marriage, but it has made ours so much better.  I made my list of things to do before leaving Sweden (see last Monday’s post on bucket lists). It was full of important details like, Hang something in our garden and Have a pizza party.

Husband’s list, in contrast, had things like Visa. Sell car. Pack.

But he took note. He checked with me periodically about how my list was going, and he did what he could to make sure white lanterns were hung up in our garden for our going away party. I did what I could to make sure he had time alone to work through his tasks, to help him out when I could and to ask others for help to ease both of our loads.

Now it’s your turn: If you are married and going through a transition right now, I am guessing you and your spouse have some differences in how you want to work through your move. How can you meet in the middle? What needs do you have that you can communicate honestly and sensitively to your spouse? What needs does your spouse have and how can you take the time to listen and attend to them?


Share This Blog Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

4 thoughts on “day 15: marriage on the move”

  1. Oh this is so good, friend! as we are in the middle of our own very difficult transition, I can see how it easily could take a toll on a marriage. we’ve had to carve out some time alone time, have a very honest conversation or two, show greater sensitivity to honor and bless the other.

    transitions? marriage? not for the faint of heart …

    • Indeed, Linda, not for the faint of heart at all. I’m sure you’ve seen quite a few transitions in your life, not just this one, and I pray that the wisdom gathered over the years is holding you and your hubby close together. Blessings to you.

  2. Devi, this is gold. thanks for sharing! I am much more the visa, sell car, pack person, so it is really good to see the other side. thanks for putting words to the conversation. it really helps.

    • You are so welcome. I think I’m into the fun part because of all the childhood moving around, I tend to block out the stress that comes with the practical side of things. Love you, my friend!!


Leave a Comment