(Please excuse the mess that has become this blog. I somehow screwed up the template for this blog and lost everything that I'd put together and I'm trying to figure out how to put it together. The fine folks at Blogger do not seem interested at all in helping me out...)
(UPDATE: I fixed it! I fixed it! Okay, everyone settle down...)
So I almost screwed up today.
One of the things that my wife has continually told me since all of this has unfolded is that she needs time to herself - time to get her head straight, time to remember who she is and time to just chill out. She works an inordinate number of hours at the Big Important Job and then she comes home to me and The Child and there ends up being very little time for herself.
That's been a hard thing for me to get my head around because all I want is time with her. And any time that she wants to spend without me feels like a rejection. I know that isn't really the case, but that's what it feels like and it's something that I haven't dealt well with. I've been trying and the progress has been...slow. Which sucks for both of us because it's become a source of tension - she dreads asking me for an hour to herself and I dread that hour.
It's gotten better. Our counselor was able to point some things out to me that made a lot of sense and last week, it felt much easier. It wasn't a physical drag to give her some space. And the counselor also pointed out to me yesterday that anything that I'm able to do in that regard is helping rebuild the trust and the bond.
So I thought I had it covered.
But my wife called me this morning and asked if I minded if she took off part of the day tomorrow to spend some time by herself.
It caught me off-guard and all of my initial reactions were wrong. I completely regressed. I was suspicious. (Friday happens to be a day that The Assface tends to leave the office early.) I was hurt. (I'd been asking for her to cut back on her hours, to spend more time at home.) I was a little angry. (Why doesn't she wanna spend time with me? And I expressed all of those things in a matter of minutes.
She immediately started backpedaling, telling me never mind, it wasn't a big deal. But she was upset and couldn't hide it and irritated with me because I wasn't putting it all in context.
And I wasn't.
I forgot that we had a really good day yesterday.
I forgot that she said something incredibly nice and meaningful to me this morning.
I forgot that she grabbed my butt this morning on the way out the door. (Sounds insignificant? Trust me - it was HUGE. The act, I mean, not my butt. It sent me sky high.)
I forgot that Friday afternoons are by far the easiest time for her to clear her desk and get out of the office for a few hours.
I forgot that I've started to trust her again and that she's given me no reason to not trust her.
I immediately started telling her that I was sorry, that I was being an idiot, that if that's what she needed, then that's what I wanted her to do. She was still irritated with me and had to get ready for a call and we cut our conversation short.
Fortunately, we had already planned to have lunch. So I got my shit together, didn't let it fester and when I saw her for lunch, explained exactly why I lost it for about five minutes. Explained why I knew I was wrong and explained why I really, really wanted her to take the time for herself. I think she was skeptical at first - I think she was also worried that I would work myself up into a frenzy tomorrow while she was out and she sure as hell didn't wanna come home to that - but I think she finally saw that I was genuinely serious. We both agreed that I'd been a bit of jackass - my word, not hers - and then we were able to laugh about it while we had lunch.
So I think she's gonna take the afternoon off and spend a couple of hours by herself at a place outdoors tomorrow - nice weather here and there is little that improves her mood more than sunshine. And I want her to and I'm okay with it. Really.
Put up or shut up, right?