My wife crashed and burned over the weekend.
The week finally caught up to her. After dealing with the stress and suspicion of the email from last weekend, she was on edge every morning walking into work. It took a toll. And then taking Friday afternoon off to be by herself and do some thinking, I think her emotions just finally got the better of her. When she came home Friday night, she was quiet and a little withdrawn and I'm not sure how but I knew it wasn't about me. I didn't press the issue.
Saturday morning, she was the same way and it was frustrating for her. I recognized it, though, because she was feeling the same way I'd felt right after getting the email. Frustrated, angry, sad, lost, guilty, hopeless, a kind of ugly fog settling in to make everything seem less bright. I wasn't sure if I was making it better or worse by tiptoeing around her in the house, so I offered to leave and get out for awhile. It wasn't a woe is me kind of thing - I just didn't want her to have to worry about me if she needed time to be by herself.
But she told me not to leave. She said she just needed to cry. And she wanted me to hold her.
So we laid on the bed for an hour or so and I held her and she cried. Sobbed, really. I didn't ask any questions, didn't talk, just laid there with her. I've known her nearly twenty years and I can't ever recall her crying that way. It was hard to watch - my instinct as a male was to want to help, to fix, to make it better - but I knew she just needed to cry and she didn't need me to interrupt that. At one point, she said she'd been strong all week and she just didn't feel like being the strong one anymore. She needed me to be the strong one. And for what felt like the first time in a really long, long time, I was able to be the strong one.
I got her through the weekend. I made her laugh. I hugged her. I told her it was going to be alright. We went out to see a movie. We spent some time outside. We didn't talk much, but we spent a lot of time physically close to one another. She needed someone to hang onto and I was happy to be that someone.
She was better yesterday morning and better today before she left for work. I feel better because she feels better. I feel stronger because she feels stronger.
It wasn't the weekend I'd been hoping for, but the optimist sitting on my shoulder is whispering in my ear that down the road, we may point to this past weekend as a really solid step forward.