It isn't often that my husband says something that wounds me. He tries so hard to make me happy that even when things don't go his way, he rarely says anything. It's one of the things that makes him the wonderful man that he is; it's also one of the reasons why when he does say something, it hurts.
Let me set the scene for you. We'd been hanging out on the couch, watching t.v. in our typical Sunday fashion when I decided that the light was just right to go upstairs and read in bed. Bear wasn't happy with that (he likes to spend as much of our time off together as possible), but I ran up the stairs anyway, book in hand. This new book was terrific and I couldn't put it down.
After about half an hour, Bear came up the stairs and asked if we could go for a walk. I was right in the middle of my book, and replied, "I thought you said you wanted to go later in the afternoon?"
"Yes, hon, I did. It IS afternoon! I just want to go DO something. I'm so tired of doing nothing and staying home all the time. I realize you're tired and that you want to rest. You deserve your rest. But I just want to get out once in a while."
"So go do something, then. You don't need me to go!" I was mildly offended that he was complaining about spending time with me at home. I get ONE day off a week (if I'm lucky) and here was my husband, being all ungrateful.
"No, Hon. I want to do things with you," he said. "We need to join an outing club or some organization - something."
"You know, I really can't put anything more on my plate right now." The thought of having yet another demand on my time nearly exhausted me.
"That didn't stop you from joining knit group, did it?" he said. Ouch.
"You're right. I did. And how often do I get to go? I haven't been in a month! I never get to go because I'm either working or too tired. I'm sorry that spending time at home with me isn't good for you, but I'm TIRED. I work TWO JOBS and I don' t want to go anywhere on my ONE day off!" By now I was mad. Really mad. How dare he?
At that point Bear, sensing that I wasn't interested in continuing the conversation, apologized for interrupting me, and left.
I laid there in my indignation for a while, trying to read. But my mind kept going back to our conversation. As I calmed down, I tried to look at it through his perspective. Was he right? Did we really never do anything together? I thought back over the last several trips we made: groceries, errands in town, groceries + dinner with his sister, doctor's appointment, groceries... the list continued. We really never did go out and *do* anything - at least not anything fun. Shit. Now I felt bad. I mean, the truth is that I really am tired. All the time. And when I am home, I don't want to go anywhere. I want to stay in and relax. A trip to Bangor takes hours and tires me out, depleting the batteries I'm trying to recharge. I don't see any way around this. But even though I'm tired, Bear shouldn't be treated as though he is, too. I should be willing to meet him halfway, and do at least one thing of his choosing. He stays in this house we both hate so he can be with me. He does it largely without complaint and without resentment. The least I can do is attempt something that makes him happy.
So here it is - Bear, as of this week you are in charge of planning something fun for us to do each week. It is totally up to you - you name the time and place and I will be there ready to go. No complaints, no procrastination ... just enthusiasm and love. I love you and want you to be happy - as happy as you've made me. I love you Bear - let's go do something together.