For those of you keeping track, I was on vacation last week. My post "Burnt Offerings" explained how I was burned out at work and needed a break. It also, quite ironically, praised my wife for being such a support. "Ironically," you may ponder? "What is so ironic about that?"
The irony is that the title of this entry isn't pointing to my vacation ending (it sucked); it is pointing to the supportive wife part.
On Tuesday of last week (my first full day of vacation), the little woman decides it is time for me to verbally attack my family. I don't want to get into the details too much because it is personal and beside the point, but let's just say that I was in no mood to pile on with the attacks. Being upset, and being convinced that she doesn't "get" (or for that matter have any interest in getting) the whole picture of the family member in question, I calmly withdrew and ended the conversation by going to get her a pizza (it isn't on my diet), because it would get me out of the house, enable me to calm down on the inside, and show her that I still want to please her.
Before I left, however, she was concerned that our good rapport had taken a major blow and pleaded, "Don't be weird." I told her that I was fine and that I would be back with her pizza in a bit. She knew that I was still smarting over the conversation. I know the family member in question has some problems, but I don't think harping about it to me is going to add any benefit to the conversation.
When I returned with her pizza (and my wings), she promptly grabbed the pizza and took it off to our office/den to eat alone (not a common practice in this household). We didn't speak the rest of the night. The next day, she left a message on my phone "encouraging" me to get the taxes finished. I had planned to do that anyway on that particular day, but almost decided to wait another day for spite. However, I realized how childish that was, and decided to do them. When she arrived home that evening, she didn't say a word to me. In fact, I approached her and asked her why she was mad at ME, but she ignored me and walked on by me. So all I heard from her that second full day of my vacation was nasty toned message about doing the taxes, and a louder than normal series of door and cabinet activity.
The following evening we finally made peace, but my vacation was shot at that point. There are still some rawness there for me - especially some things she said and threatened me with during the long discussion that finally ended with reasonable amount of successful negotiation.
I would like to thank everyone that participated in my little study a few days ago. If you don't know what I am talking about, read this post right now. It is nice to know that so many rational people read this blog. However, I tend to wonder how many of you would really choose answer "A" if you found yourself in Tony's situation. It is easy to be rational when you are sitting on the outside of a situation with no emotions factoring in. I am not defending Tony; but I have a feeling that he isn't the only one in the world. I suspect there are those "in this room" that would pull a Tony given the circumstance. Of course, I hope that I am wrong and therefore will give all of you the benefit of the doubt - including myself.
Still don't know what I am talking about? The tags at the bottom of "Where am I?" post should have tipped you off. My "Tony and Barry" story was merely an analogy for my fight with my wife. She attacked my family and upset me. She didn't want me to be "weird" about it, but was never apologetic about making me feel that way (remember, I didn't attack her back, but instead put out a peace offering by getting her pizza). Instead, she got angry with me for being upset about her attacks. I don't see any rational thought there, do you? An apology would have gone such a long way.
So, I am Barry (pleased to meet you), and my wife is "Tony" and I am still burnt out at work and now at home.
Ummm I am not rational...
Now if I knew the "real" story my answer may have been different, or at least where I would want that conversation to go.
I think you did wonderful considering, keeping your cool. Sorry to hear your vaca was shot...I have to say you are a strong man.
Darn - I was hoping someone had really put a ball through your window. Not that that's a good thing, but it's a little easier to deal with than the ups and downs of your wife's emotional weather. I have a feeling you might have a halo and robes of light awaiting you at the end of this journey.
She attacked your family with a bat while swiping at bees? Now that's just sad. ^_~
Actually if you're talking about verbal attacks then I'm kind of reserving judgment. While she really might have attacked them for no reason and then denied it, it's a lot easier to say something that someone else perceives as an attack without realising at all that the person would be offended, than it is to break a window and not realise it. The window is either broken or not. You either swung the bat or you didn't. Words and the intent behind them are not so easy to classify.
However, if she did do that, an apology was in order and should have been easy to give.
Jodi: None of us are rational all the time. ;) I don't FEEL strong too often, either. :) Thanks for your encouragement!
Sayre: You are so supportive! Thanks for the kind words, but I don't think the robes and halos would fit. I don't vent here to complain about my wife and I feel guilty "telling on her". A lot of the reasons I make these kind of posts is because I really do want to understand her point of view. Knowing that 90% of the people that read my blog are female, I figure there is going to be some other irrational . . .er . . . people here that would understand her point of view. ;) Seriously, if I were more understanding of the way she thinks, we would get along better. I have responsibility here.
Chosha: No analogies are perfect. I don't want to come off here as wanting to defend myself, but I think the analogy was better than it appeared to you. She knew the window was broken in seconds. This topic was not a new one and she knows it is a touchy issue (this wasn't the first conversation of its kind between us) because I believe she doesn't understand all the facts about my family member, and she believes that I am naive about it. We both have admitted in the past that we were just going to disagree. Of course, you had no way of knowing the background there. At any rate, you are right in general about what you say about words and intent and I thank you for reminding me of it.
Well now that I know the genesis of this...my answer still stands. I try to avoid conflict at all times. Heck I RUN from it.
Anne: I guess extreme nonconfrontational attitudes could be rational. :) BTW - do you have a blog? Your profile is a dead end when I click on your name.
Oops. That's weird.
My place is at:
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