I had an interesting experience recently. It all started with a shared post on Facebook from my brother’s girlfriend. She posted a picture of a man and a woman sitting on opposite ends of a couch. The story that went with the picture shared what they each had written in their journals that night. She was agonizing over what was wrong with the man because he seemed distant. Her journal was filled with thoughts such as; is he angry with me, have I lost him, his thoughts must be with someone else. The man had written in his that his motorcycle wasn’t working and he didn’t know what was wrong.
Sam saw this post before me and shared with me that he wanted to respond to it. He said in one way he hated to admit it, but that practically 100% of the time when I asked him if something was wrong and even though his response would be nothing, there was always something. He shared this with me on a Wednesday evening.
On Thursday, Sam came home and I could feel that something was up. I don’t know how to describe it exactly, except to say that from my perspective his entire energetic is different. This is how I know. I can feel it coming off of him in waves.
I asked him if he was okay. He said that he was, but I knew something was going on. Now, from what he had shared with me on Wednesday, I could no longer deny that there was something. I also knew that I needed to let him work through whatever it was without pestering him.
Here’s what happened. My thoughts began a downward spiral. It began with, “Oh my God, what’s wrong? Did I do something to upset him? Why is he acting like this? What happened today? I know he’s upset with me! Oh no, it feels as though he’s through and he just doesn’t want to say anything. He’s going to tell me we’re over!”
Sam and I have been together for almost 15 years now, and we have certainly had our ups and downs, but we’ve made it through it all. There was truly no reason for my thoughts to dive so low. I trust in our relationship and our love for each other, which is a good thing because otherwise my own inner turmoil could have caused a lot more problems.
Instead of letting him know what I was witnessing within myself, I parented myself through it. Here’s a bit of what I shared with my fears and insecurities. “Audrey, everything is okay. Yes, something is going on with Sam, but that doesn’t mean you have to take it personally. Don’t let his behavior change you. Be yourself, and let him be.”
Luckily, I listened to me. Instead of letting my inner thoughts send me into a panic, I calmed myself down, and decided to be as loving as I could regardless of my thoughts and the external situation. I reached for his hand and asked him to share with me about his day. We enjoy the end of our day with one another by sharing our experience of the day including the wonderful conversations we had with people. It gives us a chance to celebrate one another, the day, and it brings us closer together. We both acknowledge how important this is for our relationship and our happiness.
After listening to him share about his day, his thoughts, and epiphanies, he shared with me that he had missed me. On Thursday, I was only in the office in the morning. In the afternoon I was working on writing my next chapter for my book. Sam said, I want so much to share my whole day with you, and I just missed you today.
Wow! I’m so glad I didn’t allow my insecurities to turn this situation into an argument between us. Instead, I found the gap, chose to work my process and give him the space and time to work his, and in the end, it brought us closer together. Not to mention, the very things my insecurities were taunting me with were in fact the exact opposite of how he was feeling!