Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Crappy Way Last Night Ended

Like anyone else, TJ and I don't have a perfect relationship. But it occurred to me recently that this blog probably gives the impression that we do. I guess I'm not comfortable airing our dirty laundry here. And there's really not much dirty laundry to air, especially since April (which was when he started working from home). We have a sweet setup these days, and we don't take it for granted.

But anyway, TJ was reading the blog a couple of weeks ago and he said he thinks I'm way too nice to him on here. So I was wondering if I should write about this thing that happened last night after I got home from the parenting class. I wasn't sure if he was in a talkative mood--he was working on a project for a friend--but he asked me to come into his office and tell him about the class, so I did. I had all these notes and was excited to tell him everything, just like he did last week when he got home from the other class. He didn't seem that receptive or interested, but I forged ahead for a bit. I was animated and in that sense vulnerable.

Then I got to this one point and was trying to explain it the best way I could and think back to the class for the right wording. I finished the example and he didn't say much of anything. At all. So I said, "Well, you clearly aren't in the mood to hear about this right now, so why don't I tell you about it later." I guess I was expecting him to respond with something like, "Do you mind? I really need to keep working on this." Or, "No! Tell me more!" But what he said was, "I could've done without the last quarter of what you just said. I get it, okay. I don't need so many details." His tone was so unkind. I felt like I'd been sucker punched. I felt demeaned. I felt hurt. I said, "Okay," and got up and left. I was going to just go upstairs and not say anything, but I realized that wouldn't be healthy, so I went back and said, "Just so you know, you really hurt my feelings." He was defensive and surprised. Surprised! What he'd said was obviously rude, and yet I was now having to justify my response and try to explain why I felt so hurt. It was awful. In the end he apologized and we hugged and he said he didn't want to speak to me that way and was sorry he'd done it. Then he went back to his office to work on the project and I didn't see him the rest of the night. I proceeded to get a little weepy and then did my own stuff and went to bed. Today, before he was leaving to go out for the evening (there's a conference in town that a bunch of his old DC co-workers are here for), he came up to me and gave me a huge hug and apologized again. It was very heartfelt, and I needed that.

So there you have it, a not-so-great story. I'll have to tell at least one more sometime where I'm the villain, and then I'll leave it at that, because I really don't like writing about this kind of thing on here.

Incidentally, the dynamic of our exchange last night (the very subject, in fact--my tendency to include every detail, his impatience with that) is something that comes up from time to time with us, and we obviously need to work on it.

Oh, and I only ended up telling him about half of what we covered in the class last night. I guess if he wants to hear the rest, he can ask. And that's not a test.


Amber said...

Sounds like a normal husband/wife type of argument. At least I hope it's normal since we have those all the time! I think it's nice to hear that things aren't perfect all the time and I think it's brave to share it. I'm not judging.
And I am fascinated with the details of the class, so feel free to tell them all to me!

Heather said...

Thank you soooooo much, Amber. It wasn't *that* big of a deal, really, but I felt like describing an event where he and I weren't at our best. Relationships sure are complicated. Anyway, it's nice to hear that other couples have exchanges like this. :)