Thursday, August 22, 2013

When You Hurt the Ones You Love

The words tumble out before I can think through what I am saying. Half thoughts that try to explain the hurt that I feel inside. The emptiness that I can't seem to shake.

That look snaps across his face. The one that says I've crossed a line. That he's just a little angry but he won't say as much. The look that shows how my insensitivity has caused him just a bit of pain, but he won't share that either.

Instead he snaps back a comment, to which I reply in turn, and then stares at me, silent. It's become almost a game we play. He feels he has nothing to say, so he doesn't. I say what I need to and wait for a response, and get nothing.

The summer has been busy for him. He took a 6 day class back in the spring and has spent most of his free time studying for a big test that he took this week. When he hasn't been studying, he's been working. When he hasn't been doing either of those things, he's been watching TV. If I get to spend any time with him, it's been during the "Do you want to watch ...?" times. His idea of watching TV is to have the TV on, and be working on his laptop.

In the midst of all of this, I struggle. I struggle with feeling less than important. I struggle with the lack of quality time spent together. I struggle to not sound like a needy wife who has to be the center of her husband's world, because that isn't how I feel at all. Mostly, I just feel lonely.

It is possible to live in a house with other people, and feel incredibly alone.

So in my weak attempt to explain why I slept on the couch last night, I said some things that were a little unkind. Like how I was glad that he was going to be gone again this year for another 6 day class and busy studying all the time so I didn't have to deal with how he never wanted to spend time with me. The truth is, I'm torn in two over it. I'm proud of him for doing it, and know that it will advance his career if he ever decides to pursue a new job. I also hate the very idea of it, knowing how much time it is going to consume.

Those words I said were bred out of selfishness, I realized later today. That is not something I am proud of, and if I were to go back and analyze most of our conflicts, I would probably discover a pattern.

 I was focused on me, and my own situation and not thinking about him. Not about how he would feel, or how all of this studying has been a lot of work and maybe stressful and he's needed that downtime to just zone out. I was too hung up on feeling neglected and letting it effect my mood, to think about the big picture, which involved him as well.

So as a result, my selfishness hurt him and it's too late to take it back. I often think that we treat strangers better than we treat the people that we love, which is a sad reflection on life and the way things are.
How can I expect him to want to spend time with me, if I can't even treat him with respect and love?

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