It is so rare that Jeremy and I get into an actual fight. I can’t even really think of three times in our six years of marriage that we have had a blow-out. That’s not to say we don’t occasionally drive each other nuts. We totally do.
So when last night turned a little ugly, it threw us both.
We have this rice cooker. It’s relatively new. Jeremy’s mom gave it to us, knowing our propensity for eating rice, like, three nights a week. I hadn’t used it before last night.
After a full day of battling a growing headcold and a wild toddler, I was in no mood to cook. (Ok, I’m never in the mood to cook. Whatever.) Jeremy has been sick for over a week, and had unloaded a trailer full of lumber into the back yard. (Coming soon: a big honkin’ playground, courtesy of my Momma!) Also, The Baby hasn’t been sleeping in
ever weeks. Suffice it to say, we were both sick and tired.
Eventually I filled up the rice cooker and set it.
And eventually it started spurting water everywhere.
And then it began.
This is the conversation we had:
He: “How much water did you put in this thing?”
Me: “Six cups. Three cups of rice. You said not to put in more than four cups of rice.”
He: “I said not to use more than four cups of water.”
Me: “You got me. I put too much water in there on purpose, just to piss you off.”
He: “Of course you did. Why don’t you just go to bed. You’re not doing me any good.”
Me: “I don’t care that I’m not doing you any good!”
He: “Well, you’re not doing anything for the kids either. mumblemumble.”
Me: “That’s right. I’m not good at doing anything. At all. Ever. mumblemumble.”
And that was pretty much it. Then he fixed the girls dinner and I went about hanging up clothes in my closet. We didn’t speak for nearly an hour.
He: “Do you want me to fix you more rice?”
I went to the bathroom, locked the door, and took a long shower. He ate with the girls and started their bath.
For as much as we pride ourselves as a couple who can truly communicate with each other, occasionally- and expectedly- there are breakdowns.
Keeping in mind that I am only presuming to know what was in my sweet husband’s head at the time, here is the conversation we weren’t having.
He: “You screwed it up again. I’m kind of tired of you messing things up in the kitchen.”
Me: “I put in exactly what you told me when you explained it last time.”
He: “That’s not at all what I said.”
Me: “I’m sorry. I might have misunderstood you. I didn’t mean to screw it up.”
He: “I know you didn’t. I’m tired and I feel like crap. So do you. Just go, I’ll take care of it.”
Me: “I hate feeling like I don’t ever do anything right! I feel like I’m failing as wife and mom sometimes.”
He: “I get really irritated after a long day at work and I come home to chaos. Plus, I really do feel like crap right now.”
Me: “I know. And I feel awful when the house is wrecked and you have to come home to it. But I am barely treading water here.”
And then we parted ways, both of us stewing in our hurt/anger.
He: “I’m sorry I yelled at you. Can we be ok now?”
Me: “I’m sorry too. I just need a few minutes to myself.”
We will be fine, we always are. We don’t throw things at each other, or hit each other or cut so deeply with our words that the wounds can’t be repaired. We pray for each other, we respect each other, we support each other.
It’s hard sometimes when the person you love most knows exactly how knock you down.
But then, it’s the same person who reaches out to pick you back up.