Parenting

Open Heart Surgery

As I prepared dinner one night, I was feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and practically beat up by my day. When my husband walked in the door I greeted him with a relieving smile and a turned cheek. No kiss on the lips—I was just too tired for that. As he planted a peck he smiled and said, “Guess what? I got courtside tickets for Marky and me to go see the Magic game!”

He was excited. And why wouldn’t he be? These tickets were free from a friend. Our teenage son plays basketball and time alone with him is rare. They would have a blast together…without me. I could feel it coming – I couldn’t stop it. My response poured from a deep pool of self pity.

I did not emit understanding and joy for him. Instead, I burst into tears, methodically stirring them into a boiling pot of noodles.  And then I boiled over—if he was going to leave me behind with all of the drudgery then he deserved to understand what my day had been like. I chose to close the door of my heart. I chose annoyance over joy. I chose myself over him. When given the choice that day, I chose every response except love.

Months later, I can’t tell you why my day was so horrible or what caused me to take it out on him—which tells me that my whole heart was consumed by stuff that didn’t matter, that shouldn’t have taken residence there. What I do remember is my anger, and sadly, the look on his face when he told me about the game. It hurts to know that he probably remembers the look on my face as well. I’m sure it wasn’t attractive.

Eventually I did choose love and apologized. He chose to keep his heart open, too…when he forgave me. Although it wasn’t easy for either of us to do, I’m learning that love requires me to choose him every day, even when I’m right, or hurt, or just don’t feel like it.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • I can relate. I wish I, too, could have taken back my initial response too. Thank you for being open and sharing your experience with us. I’m so thankful for forgiveness!

  • We’ve all had those kinds of days and reactions. The point is not the specific work, it’s that we often don’t feel like what we do matters so much (even though we *know* that it does). It’s good that you got back in balance, and it’s fantastic that your husband knew to wait for you to come back to yourself. Now, it’s also important not to beat yourself up for being human and feeling tender. We fall, we get up.

    Thank you for sharing your journey to inspire so many.
    <3