Friday, October 1, 2010

How to tell your wife you didn't miss her in 1 hour or less

Recently I've been reading "The 5 Love Languages" as a way to better understand myself and my husband.  I've discovered that I'm a quality time kind of person.  Looking back on all the squabbles, quarrels, and fights of the last few years I see that quality time is what I've been screaming for all along.  I like quality time.  Quantity means nothing to me if your heart's not in it.  

*SIGH*  Last weekend I went out of town for a Wounded Warrior Wives retreat.  In the time that we've been together, never before have I gone out of town without my husband.  He's always the one leaving for work, and I'm the one who's left home holding down the fort.  This time it was my turn to pack, but my purpose was an escape from the stress, a chance to recharge my batteries, a chance to meet some well-known strangers (I'll write about that in another blog) and to learn something constructive about what's going on with my husband and his injuries.  

After sharing a wonderful weekend with some amazingly beautiful, strong, and powerful women, I felt like I could handle going home, and apply the lessons I learned at my retreat.  Little did I realize that I would be tested immediately upon walking out of the airport doors.

Due to the crappy weather that was moving across the south, my flight home was delayed for a bit.  I was in constant communication with my husband by giving him updates to my estimated arrival time, and I was sure to tell him how long my flight was so that he could be there on time.  I landed 45 minutes late. 

After landing and retrieving our bags, I walked outside with my new friend who also attended the retreat.  We searched for our husbands and their vehicles.  She spotted her husband almost immediately, so we walked in the direction of the small group of vehicles waiting in the pick up area.  My husband's truck is hard to miss, but missing it I was.  

My friend wanted to stay, but I didn't really see the point even though she said she would feel bad if she left me waiting.  Only great friends volunteer to help carry your emotional burden, but honestly there wasn't a thing she could do to cure the ache my heart felt when my husband wasn't on time for my late flight.   I am very grateful for her offering to stay. 

After standing outside for about 5 minutes, I sent a text message to my husband.  "Where are you?" I asked.  "Be there in 5 mins" was the response I got, but 20 minutes later he still wasn't there.  Remembering that we live 30 minutes from the airport (and that he was free from work that day) made me upset that he wasn't there yet.  I could feel the sadness, and anger brewing inside of me.

When he finally showed up, I didn't even want to greet him because the first thing out of his mouth was "Sorry, but there was traffic."  This wasn't an acceptable excuse for me because 1) I can smell BS a mile away, and 2) he checked the airline's website to see my new arrival time, and the arrival was DEAD ON!  

Traffic can be really bad at 4 P.M. here, but I'd love to know how it is that all that "traffic" magically disappeared.  When we were driving home not less than 5 minutes after he finally got to the airport we saw MAYBE 25 cars.  Oh wait, I know!  The traffic knew that I was coming home and it cleared the way for me because I'm just that special.  YEAH RIGHT!

So now I'm home, and I'm stewing about his late arrival, but I'm trying to apply my lessons learned from my weekend retreat.  I am reminding myself that what's done is done, and it's over, and I can't change what happened, so there's no need to blow up about it even though I wanted to beat him with my heavy suitcase.  

The kids were incredibly excited to see me.  They made "welcome home" signs for me, and after showing them off, I got attacked with hugs and kisses.  After they were done with their homecoming presentation, all I could think was 'Well at least someone missed me.' 

We were home less than 10 minutes, and I went upstairs to my bedroom with my suitcase.  My husband helped with bags and followed me up.  I started taking off my shoes, and as I'm getting comfortable, and telling him about my awesome weekend, he sits down at the computer and logs into Facebook so he can go on his Farmville - AS I'M TALKING!  :-|

As much as I want to throw one of my cowboy boots at him I realize there is no point.  I'm tired of begging, and it doesn't do any good, so I just shut my mouth.  I took my hula hoop lesson to heart and applied it well.  I have no control over what's outside of my hula hoop, (even if it is a cowboy boot that accidentally flew out of my hoop :-P) so getting worked up, and blowing up, won't do any good.
The next morning I got on our computer and saw that the day prior he was on it until 3:50 P.M. when he knew that my flight would arrive at 4:15.  Even if he was pulling out of the driveway at 3:50 (which he wasn't) he still wouldn't have made it on time.  

Now don't go away thinking that I didn't say anything about this.  If you know me, you know that I can't keep my mouth shut forever.  I waited a full day until I was completely calm to tell him that he hurt my feelings.  Instead of expecting a response (that I never get anyway) I said "That's all I wanted to say.  I have to start dinner now" and I walked away. 

I think I may have shocked him because normally I ask for some sort of communication from him, but I never get it, so I didn't waste time waiting for something that's not going to happen.   Later that evening as we were cleaning up from dinner I got a heart-felt hug, and a big "I love you".  He held me for longer than usual.  In a way, I think, that was his way of apologizing.  

I wish he could bring himself to say "I'm sorry," but he'll say it when he's ready.  Expecting him to do it immediately is an unrealistic expectation because he doesn't realize that my love language is quality time.  I didn't realize that until I read about it on my flight to the retreat.  When I'm done reading this book, it's his turn.  Maybe then he'll realize why I sound like such a demanding bee-yotch when he's not producing the quality that I desire.     


  1. Wow.... I've never considered just telling him how I feel without waiting for some sort of response back..... I probably could have gotten a few lessons out of the retreat, too :)

    Good for you for asserting yourself and being honest about your feelings.... and kudos for not chunking the boot at him :) lol

  2. Good on ya. I don't want too sound pessimistic out of the gate but here's hoping that he'll read the book. Seriously. Mike and I read it together and they must have put my chapter at the end on purpose. Mine's touch and the book was just too boring to finish by tbe time we got there. Sarcasm galore in my voice here. Love the blog by the way...very cathartic, no?