Was I mean? Did I say the wrong thing? Was I too harsh? Should I have said something different? Should I have said something more? I don’t know.
Yesterday morning he sent me an email (because I was still asleep), asking me if I would give him a hair cut that evening and then have time to talk with him.
So last night, I gave him a hair cut and then asked him what he wanted to talk about. He said, anything I wanted to. I told him I didn’t really have anything to talk about.
[I’ve said it all before and it hasn’t made a hill of beans worth of difference!]
I clean up the kitchen. I go running. I take my shower.
He’s in bed, leaning against the head board. He’s not reading or pretending to be asleep, things he often does when he gets into bed to ignore me, when he thinks he’s “making himself available” to me. (That’s from another conversation.)
I get into bed and turn off the light. He says, what I really wanted to talk about was this. He then asks me what about him irritates me the most.
I tell him that he doesn’t take responsibility for things that he is supposed to take responsibility for.
He asks, Like what?
Being a husband, a provider, a father.
He asks how that makes me feel.
Like I am married to a little boy.
What would make me a better husband?
Well, I told you that I wanted us to go to marriage counseling.
(more silence, then…)
What is something that I could do tomorrow to be a better husband?
(Now the silence is mine. What do I say? Really. What do I say? One thing he could do tomorrow. Leave? Call to make an appointment for a counseling session? I don’t know. Admit he’s passive aggressive? I don’t know what to say.)
Finally he asks if I am still thinking.
I tell him, yes. I tell him I don’t know what to say. I tell him that I know he is asking me these things because of that book [How We Love], which was admirable, but that I had told him these things a million times before. O.K., so not a million times, but that I have told it to him all many times before and nothing has changed. I tell him that what I say doesn’t even matter to him.
He says it does matter to him. He asks what he can do to show that it does matter.
I ask him, well, how would someone show you that what you said to them mattered them?
He answers, act on it.
Then he asks, what could he do to be a better provider.
I ask him, if he called Dave Ramsey and explained our financial situation, what would Dave Ramsey say?
My husband says, what do you think?
I said, what do you think?
If you are getting bored with this, I am, too. Essentially the money part of the conversation came down to he doesn’t make enough money. It is also very apparent to me that we think differently about money (this is nothing new!): he said he wants to pay off the equipment loan and have a larger emergency fund. Me, I’m thinking, hmm, no retirement money, no money to fix the house, no money to send our daughters to college, no budget, no plan, etc….
Then he asks, how does it make you feel to talk about these things?
I told him, angry, frustrated.
Then I asked him how it made him feel. He said, insecure, sad, lonely.
I asked him if his parents ever made him feel insecure. He said, no.
Then he said, thank you for talking with me. And he rolled over to go to sleep.
But then I started feeling like I had to “fix” it. I wanted to tell him, I didn’t mean to hurt you. Don’t feel bad. I’m sorry.
But I didn’t. I kept reminding myself that I am not responsible for his feelings. He has to deal with them. He has to sort them out. If he feels insecure, he needs to figure out if indeed there is validity to that and if so, what he needs to do differently. Just like I have the responsibility to deal with my emotions.
He was mad this morning. Slamming doors. Stomping around. Huffing. Not talking to me.
All of this makes me insane. It makes me second guess myself.
It makes me want to just go away! I don’t want it to be this complicated!