Taking a Break?
Michael arrived home around noon yesterday. I’d been looking forward to seeing him, but I was also feeling a bit of nervous anticipation. I’d emailed him my post from the day before, but he hadn’t responded, which is unusual. So, I didn’t know if he’d read it or not, and if he had read it, I didn’t know how he felt about what I’d written. Regardless, I knew that we needed to talk about things; we needed to sort things out. And I wasn’t really sure how I felt. I had a lot of mixed feelings.
From the time he walked through the door, Michael was loving, but also firm. We didn’t talk about things right away. Our son had a couple of friends over and I had to leave for a doctor’s appointment. To update you on my foot, it seems it’s probably a soft tissue injury, though I did have x-rays taken just to be sure. I also had some blood drawn to check on a few things that may be the cause of my tiredness lately. And I am still running a low grade fever, but everything looks okay, so he thinks it may be a virus (isn’t that the answer for everything these days?).
Shortly after I got home from my appointment I went upstairs and plopped down on our bed. I figured Michael would come find me and I hoped that we’d get to talk. It wasn’t long before he came into the room, closed the door and lay down next to me. We spooned for a few minutes and then I asked him if we could talk. He said yes and had me roll onto my back and he remained lying on his side. The discussion that ensued wasn’t really a discussion though. It was quite one sided. Well, I guess I had said that I wanted to know how he felt, what he really wanted. I wasn’t sure how I felt about what he was saying. There was somewhere deep inside where I was hurting, where I’d been hurting for awhile and that was coming to the surface and I started to act out. At first I tried to pluck a few hairs that turned out to be firmly attached to his arm. Then I tried to push him away from me. Soon we were engaged in a bit of a wrestling match. I got in a few good maneuvers, but I really stood no chance against him and soon I was pinned to the bed. I continued to struggle, but I got nowhere. I settled down and we talked a bit more. And this time I made sure that my voice was heard in the discussion.
I told him that I didn’t want to do this anymore (this being DD). I said that living this way made me too vulnerable and that I was hurt too easily (emotionally speaking). I said that I didn’t believe him when he said he wanted to live this way, that I didn’t think he wanted to be bothered with it. I told him exactly what I was thinking and how I was feeling. And I said that if he didn’t want to call it quits for DD, that we could just take a break and see how things go. He lay there next to me quietly, listening. When I was done he told me that he understood why I felt the way I did, and apologized for his part in things. And then he went on to explain why he thinks that it’s important that we continue with DD. He addressed my concerns and talked about making some changes.
To be honest, I was impressed. I’d pushed against him both physically and emotionally. He knew that I had very real concerns and that I was hurting inside. And yet, he found it within himself to stay strong. In the past he wouldn't have reacted that way. He probably would’ve gotten upset and defensive and he would’ve either engaged in battle, escalating things, or he would’ve withdrawn, conceding defeat and playing the part of the martyr. But that’s just not how he operates anymore. It’s obvious that he’s grown a lot in this area since we headed down this path.
But, I still wasn’t sure about what he was saying. I tried to tell him that I wasn’t listening, but he simply replied that he knew I was, even if I didn’t want to admit it. I still didn’t really want to let him in. As it turned out, the walls I’d erected were taller and thicker than even I’d realized. He just kept talking to me for awhile, calm, cool and collected, loving, but firm. He’d rub my back, lean over to give me a kiss, pull me close for a hug. He was right; I was listening, both to what he was actually saying and to what he was saying by how he was acting. As we got up to head downstairs (something about four kids in the house wanting dinner) he told me that he understood that I needed some time to process things, but that we were not taking a break. I didn’t say anything then, but shortly after we came downstairs I went to him and simply said “Okay.” It didn’t take him long to realize what I was saying and he asked “Okay?” I nodded my head and he pulled me close and held me tight.
So, while I really thought that I was going to be writing a post to tell you that we were taking a break, as it turns out, that’s not the case. And I’m okay with that. I’m trying to just let things be, see how things go, not anticipate or have expectations…chill, as Michael would say. And I guess we’ll just see where this journey leads us next.