What If There’s a BIG Blowup? What Do You Do Then?
All of us get mad at our mates. Even therapists get mad at their partners. I did last week and it was a big one. You might even call it a tantrum. Yes, I had a tantrum. I was pretty sure my reasons were valid for having this blowup. I was very convinced that my mate was hurting me intentionally with a particular situation so I had all the right in the world to get mad.
Well this is what I think I was thinking when I was winding up. I had just learned that my husband was going to be working all weekend. I had been thinking about a nice relaxing Sunday with him, knowing that he always works Saturdays. But NO, he informs me Friday afternoon that he has to work Sunday.
I see that relaxing day with him I had been looking forward to evaporate and I get scared, I think. I feel alone, small and like no one cares, or something like that. But what ever I am feeling the next words out of my mouth are, "I'm really mad about this!" Then I ask him to come into the kitchen where I'm mixing a protein drink. I tell him I want to talk about this because I'm really mad. He wants to leave but I ask him to stay and then I start to rant. "It's not fair. I'm not going to see you all weekend." He reminds me that he has to work an occasional Sunday.
I know this but I feel like I've been blindsided without any warning so I continue in a high pitched angry, accusatory voice. "I don't care. I am just mad that I won't be with you." This conversation goes nowhere and he retreats to the den. I calm down a little until I realize that he is also gone this evening for work, so he's gone Friday night, Saturday and Sunday during the day. When I remember this I get going all over again. "And I just remembered you are working tonight," I scream.
Now I am really mad. I even go into the den to make my point more dramatically.
I head back to the kitchen where I am fuming as I continue to mix my drink. It comes in one of those shakers that you drink out of so I start to shake it and in a blink of an eye it spurts out and I am covered all over with a thick brown goo, all over my nice "professional therapy" clothes. Then I shriek like there is no tomorrow. I am complaining about the mess in a high-pitched yell. Then I get mad because my husband didn't come in to see what was wrong.
I storm upstairs to change my clothes saying to him, "Why didn't you come in to see what happened? I spilled the drink all over myself." I throw off my drink-covered clothes and leave them in a pile on the floor. I change into something else and I head downstairs. I glance into the kitchen and there is my husband cleaning up the mess. I am still mad, at this point even though I'm not sure at what and I announce to him, "Just throw the drink away. I don't want it anymore." And with that I exit the house and head to work.
I calm down because I have to get back into work mode. I have a break and I head home to get something to eat. I know my husband has gone to work. I open the den door and there, on top of the table is a beautiful bouquet of flowers, with a note that reads, "I want to be with you always." The you is underlined. I feel loved and ashamed in the same moment. I feel like a silly little girl who just didn't get her way so she made a big old fuss. I call him and say, "Thank you so much for the flowers. I am so sorry I was a child who had a tantrum." He says, "Yeah you really had a big tantrum, especially when you spilled the drink." He asks if he can call me back because he's busy and I say I will be busy too, not necessary. Then I ask him this, "Are we good?" He says, "Yeah, we're good."
I tell this story to a colleague and she says you should get him something too. After leaving work I stop at the store and get him a card and a little trinket, making sure he sees them first thing when he comes home tonight from work.
The next morning I check to see if there is any residue. Nope, just us. Do I feel good about what I did? No, I feel silly. Did it kill us and make us hate each other? No, just the opposite. He found out how important he is to me, I found out how important I am to him. We just had to wade through some muck for this beautiful wisdom.
I haven't raged in years. I can't say it felt good. It just was. No one is perfect. We are all just human. I hope I don't rage again for many, many years. But even if I do, I know there is always something I can do about it. I can repair. So can you.
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