We’ve had a really bumpy re-entry from ten days of two to a few days of three and now back to two again. My husband is traveling quite a bit this fall and while he’s always traveled for work, this particular round of trips has been long. The first was long enough for Cole and I to fall into a routine of our own, that felt rather interrupted when he returned for a few days between the next week long trip that has him on another plane heading to San Francisco.

There have been a lot of petty fights that seem to escalate into loud hurtful bouts, as well as some territory marking with regard to the old and new routines. I’ll be honest, I don’t think well when I’m angry which leaves me frustrated and angry. It’s a terrible combination. I can be very mean (a family trait I’m not proud of) and often say things I don’t intend to.

The sad thing is that in our small house, and our small family life, there’s no escape from Cole and he bears witness to much of the ugliness. I worry about how it affects him. He doesn’t have the experience of fighting to understand that often, no matter how heated it gets, once both sides breathe, it’s over. Wounds are licked and life moves on. He sees this, but I don’t know how much of the anger lingers in his mind. I know it must be unsettling for him but I don’t know how much he retains or holds on to.

We promise to make an effort to both be kinder to one another and to recognize that there is some inherent thrust in the transition back from long trips for all of us. We try to uphold the promise and do better each time but then we teeter and falter, because we’re human. But does Cole understand all of the nuances of our relationship as a couple? Does he now recognize the patterns of our arguments and the settling back to our life as three?

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