In an effort to avoid a life of hypocrisy, I’m going to put a personal story out there on the table that sheds more of a transparent light on me than I am comfortable with. But, those are the stories that we typically connect over, right? The ones when you admit that you and your partner are not, in fact, as happy every moment of every day as your Instagram feed makes it seem. Yes, Ben and I are very, very happy…but, we do have moments. Like last night…into this morning, in fact.
I think many stay at home parents feel like me by 6pm each night: they’re starving for adult interaction as an opportunity to share thoughts, topics from Podcasts they’ve listened to, or stories from their day. If you’re like me and not a big phone person, those opportunities don’t really appear until your partner gets home at the end of their work day.
In Ben’s defense, he’s been dealing with and talking with people all day long and is likely starving for some time to NOT share anything more than a spot on the couch during Monday Night football. So, not only am I talking his ear off and wanting reactions and opinions to my non-stop chatter, but I’m battling the kids for time with him because they, too, want 100% of his attention.
This morning, Ben sat down next to me and asked what was wrong. I decided to share something with him that made me feel super vulnerable: the way he shuts off when he comes home makes me feel like he’s uninterested in me. As the words came out of my mouth, I felt so almost pathetic that I wanted to cry.
But, I loved his immediate response: “Ugh, that would make me feel awful, too. I’m sorry.”
He “sat in the dark” with me for just a hot second, and I realized how powerful that whole concept really is. I was immediately able to strip the armor off and take off the gloves that I was ready to use if his reaction was more along the lines of reasons and excuses as to why he was acting like that.
And, just like that, I felt like our relationship became even stronger and sweeter than it was before the whole event surfaced. Yet another win for being vulnerable on one end, and able to sit in the dark with someone on the other.