Life Outside My Cube

My life, a work in progress.

Struggles with relationships

I blundered this morning. So what’s new.  I manage to achieve this state with disappointing regularity.

My wife was in the midst of one of her headache spells, which often last several days. After getting up and showered, I went back to sit on the bed, where she was reclining, still dealing with the headache. Not much you can say to alleviate things; if you’d had a headache, there’s not much that would cheer you, and you’re not really interested in long detailed conversation. However, I’d been at work yesterday, and at a friend’s house in the evening with Jack and Jill, so I hadn’t seen her in a while.

After a bit, and a backrub, I said I was going downstairs to get some breakfast and coffee, and I’d be right back. She asked if I’d bring some dry cereal, which I agreed to do. So I went to the kitchen, heated something up, and was browsing the net while eating, and she comes downstairs on her own. It was immediately obvious that she was steaming, and when I got up to help her, she said she didn’t need my help, with “that” look on her face. I said I was sorry, not catching on right away to what I’d done wrong, and immediately she said something like, “You’re not sorry! You’d think that after being away all day yesterday, and away all night, that you’d be interested in spending some time with me!”  with tears in her voice. What could I say? She got her stuff and went back upstairs.

So I put my stuff away, got a coffee refill, and went upstairs to join her. I clarified that I hadn’t meant I’d bring the breakfast upstairs, and that I was sorry that got misunderstood. No answer. Sitting in silence. Ok, perhaps she’s just too upset to talk about it. I got up and started some ironing that needed to be done. Still nothing. She eventually got up, and was messing about getting her bathrobe on, and I asked what she needed. “I’ll get it,” she said. “I can get it for you. What is it,” I asked. “You’re doing something else,” was the reply. Well, yes, but not something that couldn’t be interrupted, of course. So what does that mean? I still don’t know. I kept ironing, she left, and was messing about downstairs. She finally came up to take a shower, but no words for me. Now I’m the one downstairs, relating all this, trying like crazy not to dwell on what I *feel*, but to just take things as they come.

Should I just grit my teeth and force myself in? Is it just her headache speaking? Did I totally fail as a husband? Is this just one in a string of blunders that make her question my ability to love her? Does she just consider me a stupid man and incapable of being considerate?

Perhaps so. I can be so selfish sometimes. I hate that about myself.

Wish I could start the day over. But I can’t, and so now I’m feeling like crud. But the 3 of us must go to her folks for Christmas this afternoon, and be all happy. So it’s time to put on the fake smile, pretend like everything’s fine.

Right.

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2 responses to “Struggles with relationships

  1. Jan January 4, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Dear Steve,

    I am so sorry for this exchange on Christmas day. I am not going to make any excuses for my behavior that day. I am sorry that I was being so selfish. That ‘s really the bottom line. Sometimes it appears to me that you are so independent and I am so dependent on you. That makes me question our unity sometimes. I don’t doubt your ability to love me. I’m sorry I made you feel like crud. I seem to be able to do that “with annoying regularity.” I apologize. Please forgive me. I love you immensely. Love, Jan

  2. Jan January 4, 2010 at 11:47 am

    PS Please force yourself in sometimes.

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