Yesterday was rough, lots of ups and downs and confusion. A lot of the confusion stemmed from a role reversal-the hubbo feeling like crap instead of me!
He came home from work spent and frustrated but things weren't terrible right off. We had some spaghetti, able to laugh off a terrible moment when he spilled a good portion of his plate on our couch and two pillows, we watched some TV, did laundry, and relaxed with the baby.
Later he was still feeling crappy, admitting that he wanted to her bad stuff like pizza and ice cream (exactly what we've been trying to get away from) but we resisted the easy trip to the store for the bad goodies. In a little while he decided on a different type of food therapy, going out to eat, but a crowd at the restaurant set that idea on its head. We ended up going to Trader Joe's and coming home.
I got frustrated, being hungry and having expected some hot food, backing out of the dining out option didn't go over well. So by evening time we both were chewing glass.
After some arguing and tension the hubbo ended up making waffles with strawberries (as I had offered to do earlier in the evening funnily enough) and we regained some sanity. The sanity was short lived though, and a simple act of moving his hand when I climbed into bed caused his mood to bottom out.
It was awful. He felt rejected and unloved and all his frustration at work created a sucking black hole of negativity. Being tired and a stranger to playing the sane one during an emotional storm, I could see that he was being a negative Nancy, his mind piling on bad things like a runaway snowball, but I couldn't figure out what to do. I was paralyzed.
Unfortunately, being paralyzed made it worse since all he wanted was a "there, there" and a hug and kiss. Thankfully, we've worked hard on our communication skills and he was able to say that's what he needed! It took some grinding gears and certainly felt awkward for me (I'm not a super affectionate type-notes and loving thoughts sure but expressing affection directly is tough) but we made it work. Somehow we ended up cuddled in bed and feeling somewhat better, after a long afternoon of simmering badness!
Overall the experience was uncomfortable, frustrating, and exhausting but at the same time it was a wonderful thing to see how resilient our relationship is and how we can work things out even when things get sad and ugly. Feeling bad sucks, but not pointless!
At the lowest point of our day I remember he said something generalizing my lack of affection-not offering hugs, kisses, or expressing gratitude, affection, desire etc. Oh boy, it felt terrible. Mostly because I felt it true and saw it as a real issue in our relationship. I'm not sure if it's my terrible self-esteem or what, but I almost always feels like he has a secret resentment or disappointment in me, and hearing him say those things seemed to validate my haunting suspicions. It was the first time I thought, "Oh God, maybe we're not going to work out." I remember looking at our desktop background on the computer and thinking, all these gorgeous pictures of a perfect family will just be bitter memories, pictures with "some guy" instead of my love.
While we worked through that moment, chalking it up to a lashing out, a kernel of truth wrapped up in a lot of raw emotion, it's still something we need to work on. I need to work on... I don't want to be a cold wife. Don't want that example to be set for our children. As affectionate and sweet as I may be in my head or on paper, I can be stoic and distant in real life. I have my moments, but they are rare.... I think it's because being expressive (physically or verbally) requires that one be comfortable with oneself, and that isn't a typical day for me!