Welcome to our new series about being married.
One of my friends asked recently, how married life was, and I said, "better." She was said something like, "huh?" To which I began to explain.
"For awhile there, we fought a lot. I think mostly because I'm unemployed, and I really can't leave, and I felt trapped, my reaction to feeling trapped was to fight and test the limits of our marriage. So I picked a lot of stupid fights, just to fight."*
Ever since I realized what I was doing, I've calmed down. I started doing what I needed to do to nurture myself in our marriage, including leaving the house to volunteer, which finally turned into a job, because I couldn't be a housewife. I'm really, really bad at it. If you are in a situation that is having an adverse affect on your marriage, fix the situation to the best of your abilities. If you hate your job, and you can't quit it, find something that you LIKE to do, and do that some of the time. It's okay if it doesn't involve spending a lot of time with your spouse, as long as it makes you a better partner. If you are feeling out of shape or overweight (hello, newlywed 10), it's okay to prioritize going to the gym or eating healthy. Again, if you are happy, you will be a better partner.
It's also easy to get resentful if you are in a homemaker/domestic partner type of situation. I would spend a day trying to get things done around the house, and then my husband would come home and focus on everything I didn't get done instead of what I did. It was like getting some kind of awful daily performance review, by the person I loved the most. From my husband's POV though, I was at home all day, making messes and not cleaning them up. Which is, uh, true.
Since I've started leaving the house daily, and am trying to make my career happen, instead of waiting for something to happen, things have been better. We don't fight so much. So yeah, if you're fighting just to fight, figure out why, and then figure out how to fix it. Without blaming your spouse, because if you're doing what I was doing, the problem is you.
*The other sad truth is that fighting makes you feel something, and the job search made me feel numb and sad, so I fought just to feel something. Unemployment is the pits, my friends.