My husband gave me the perfect opportunity to practice what I preach. I’m taking a two day seminar in NYC which he drove me to yesterday. He’s a nice guy that way. He loves to do things for me. This morning he had other plans for the day, but had still planned on dropping me off again this morning and getting back on time to pick me up at 5:30. No problem, I said. I can drive myself in. He of course jumped on this because what a pain in the neck to have to cut his day short, right?
Here’s where the therapist had to walk the talk. I asked him to just write down the directions for me. That’s all I asked. Write down the directions. He got all cranky about that and frankly, I didn’t like his tone while he wrote them down and read them out loud to me. I could have called him out on this. I could have gotten reactive. But I stopped myself and thought, I wonder what’s going on for him that he’s acting this way?
Since this man is the love of my life, I’d say I know him pretty well. I realized very quickly that he was angry because he felt bad that he wasn’t driving me in again. He worries about me when I drive into the city. I might get lost, or hurt or something. He was angry because he wanted to be protective…. because he loves me. And also because he feels like its his job, 24/7. Again, that’s just the kind of guy he is.
So instead of challenging him per my impulse, I went over and gave him a big hug. I told him what I’d realized and asked if I was right. Boy was I! He laughed a LOT, delighted that I know him so well (we all love to be known, don’t we?). So a potential fight ended up in laughter and a hug.
The only thing is, I hope I don’t get lost.