Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Day 5: Love is not rude

Today's challenge found me asking Steve the three things that cause him to be irritated or uncomfortable around me. I was really nervous to ask him this because, let's face it, it's hard to hear any criticism about ourselves.

I emailed him, told him I was working on a project. He told me he would email me when he got back into his office. A couple hours later he called to say he had emailed the list and said that it was hard to come up with three things and he hoped I wasn't mad at him for what he wrote.

I had not expected this response from him. I thought he would have a hard time whittling down his list.

Here is what he wrote:

Here's my response...this doesn't mean I love you any less!

1. You sometimes think that your priorities are my when you get into your house cleaning mode.

2. There are times when I call you to tell you I'm going to be late and you get this completely disappointed voice which makes me feel like crap.

3. I don't think you realize that golf is my release and I like spending time with just a few of my buddies. It would be great if you just told me to get out and play sometimes.

That's my 3.... LOVE YOU

I am not going to debate or argue any of these points. Reading this list made me realize that Steve loves me unconditionally--he accepts my faults and there are many--I know. And as I look at the list, those are examples of my selfishness--one of the key components of rude behavior. Number 1 - I want him to be on the same page as me. Number 2 - I am disappointed because it means I have to deal with the children and the house alone for that much longer. Number 3 - Why should he get to have fun and relax--what about me? So on the surface his answers seem benign, but when I delved deeper, his answers struck a painful chord. A real eye-opener.

Steve said he would be afraid to ask me the same question.

He also told me he knew what my project was. He asked, "What day are you on?"

I am somewhat relieved as I had been feeling like I was sneaking around or lying to him. Every time he would come into my office while I was writing, I would quickly turn off the computer as if I were hiding some secret correspondence with a lover when in all actuality it was my secret correspondence to him.

So now we are on this journey together--as it should be.

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