About a month ago, my husband and I got into an argument because of butter.
Yes, like the butter you put on toast.
It was shaping up to be a busy day – I had an appointment at the elementary school in the morning, was going to work my 9-5, a vet appointment after work, dinner, bath & bedtime with the kids, then side hustle work. And, as a family we were still struggling to adjust to my husband’s shift change at his job.
When I returned from the school that morning, hubs was making breakfast. He was multitasking bacon and eggs and asked if I could assist with the toast. Not an unreasonable request, right?
I was keyed up & emotional about registering our first baby for school in the fall. Stressed because I felt like I was running behind to get my day started for work. I was immediately irked.
I thought to myself: “Doesn’t he know I’m stressed and have to get to work and don’t have time for this shit?” (Spoiler alert: No, he didn’t)
So I slapped some bread in the toaster and went looking for the butter in the fridge. There was no Country Crock. Of course.
We did however, have stick butter. You know, the kind that doesn’t spread for shit if it’s been in the fridge? Yeah. That.
So here we are on a Monday morning. Chaos in the kitchen, I’m running late for work, the gremlins are running around and destroying the house. My brain decides to start in on me about how I’m such a shit employee, I’m a bad mother because my kids are being loud and it’s bugging me, I should probably start some laundry so I can fold it when the kids go to bed, oh and don’t forget the dog has to see the Vet later tonight!
I’m furiously shoving cold ass butter around this helpless piece of bread, hoping the heat from the toast will help it melt the butter juuuust enough to spread it around. The toast was falling apart in my hands and the butter was going no where.
Instead of taking a deep breath and walking away, I slammed the toast down and loudly said: “I don’t even want to be f*!@ng with butter right now!”
My husband stopped what he was doing, took everything away from me and hollered “Are you serious right now? Then go, just go!”
So, I grabbed my work stuff and stomped off to my office. I was annoyed at myself, embarrassed for exploding, and frustrated with how the day was starting.
I got set up in my office and started working through emails when my husband graciously brought my breakfast to me. Yes, even after I screamed like a banshee at him about butter, he still was kind enough to bring me my breakfast. He went back to enjoy breakfast with the kids in the kitchen so I could continue to work.
So was I really upset because of the un-spreadable butter?
After we both had had time to calm down a bit, he came into my office so we could talk.
As you can imagine, butter was not what I was peeved about. At the time, I wasn’t 100% sure what had my panties in a bunch until we sat down and talked it out together.
I wasn’t feeling supported. I felt like I was carrying ALL of the weight and being pulled in 1,000 different directions. My job needed me. My kids needed me. My side hustle needed me. He needed me. Even our dogs needed me. I was spent. My tank was empty.
And for just one morning, I wanted someone else to cook me breakfast and feed the kids so I could eat my food while it was still hot.
The problem was, he didn’t know that. Because he can’t read my mind and I hadn’t told him.
Communication is key for getting your needs met
Prior to getting married, we both read this book: https://www.5lovelanguages.com/
What we discovered, and what most people do, is that our primary love languages aren’t the same as each other’s. But even after reading the book and discovering what each other’s primary love languages are, there is still a level of personal responsibility to ensuring our own tanks are full. It’s not fair to expect our partners to just know.
Just because he now knows what my love languages are, doesn’t mean that he knows when my tank is low. It is up to me to communicate when my tank is low. Our partners are not mind readers. Acts of Service isn’t a primary love language for him, so it’s not the first thing that he thinks to do when he wants to show me he loves me.
Even though we’ve been together for a decade, sometimes we still forget how we each need to be loved and what each other needs.
Don’t stop learning about each other. Don’t stop speaking each other’s love languages. Don’t stop communicating. Don’t be silent.
Here’s a pic from a Korn & Breaking Benjamin concert we went to (he was speaking my love language)