In the last few days, I recognized that I have not been on top of my feelings as I should be. I wouldn’t say I suffered a mild depression – no, not in the real sense of it. But I could say I wasn’t particularly excited about anything.
In other words, my mood was down and I knew it. Unfortunately, when your mood goes south, you are not the only one that suffers. The people around you feel hurt too. They may be hurt in some ways that may or may not be so obvious to you.
That was what happened between my wife and I in the period in focus. Somehow she got infested with the unjoyful feeling I had allowed to fester in my appearance for a few days. This created a temporary communication gap between us.
Better still, I reckoned that our communication was nothing near its usual best. And I take full responsibility for it knowing that I could have handled the situation much better than I did.
Why did I say so?
“My Love, what’s the matter with you?” my wife had asked after she had noticed I was not my usual happy self.
“I will be fine. Don’t worry. I am just tired.” I had replied in three short sentences. I was not prepared to engage in any further question and answer session with her as I was truly physically tired.
The rest of the following day passed by sluggishly without much excitement between us either.
In my mind, I had thought that my moody countenance would disappear over the night but it didn’t. The cause of my apparent unhappy mood was deeper than that: I was focusing too much on some discontenting situations around me than I had been focusing on God.
I had consciously or unconsciously removed my eyes from focusing on God unto focusing on the not-so-perfect situations I was passing through at the time. That caused me the dark feelings of dissatisfaction that was evident in my external appearance, as my wife noticed.
I knew that entertaining any negative feelings for longer than necessary meant that I was heading in the wrong direction. And obviously, I did not want to end up in the wrong destination.
Then came the moment of awakening…
I came home from work the following night only to find my wife feeling a little withdrawn. She had awoken from sleep to answer the door.
Instead of the usual, “You are welcome my Love, how was your day?” all I got was what sounded to me like a forced ‘welcome.’ And I could sense that she struggled to say it before going back to sleep almost immediately.
As far as I could see, all the signs were there that something was not feeling so all right with her. But I observed too that the atmosphere wasn’t suitable for any meaningful discussions between us; I felt that she would rather enjoy the much-needed sleep than sit up that late to talk with me over whatever was on her mind.
The sleepy feeling was mutual, so we both went to bed. Throughout the night, I felt cool and calm, without any turmoil on my inside. I slept very well as usual. But I wish I could say the same thing about her!
The following day being a Saturday meant there was no rushing off to work for me in the early hours of the morning. I needed the time and space offered by the weekend to refocus and reorder my priorities. And I was ready to make the most of it; decluttering my mind was top on the agenda.
I reckoned too that it was time to talk with my wife. Whatever was ‘bothering’ her will have to be urgently resolved. As a loving husband I strive to be, I could never stand seeing her feel unhappy for longer than that morning.
It’s Time to Talk….
“My Love, I noticed that you were not feeling happy last night,” I started a conversation with her. “What’s the problem?”
“Yes, you are right, I have not been happy – till now,” she agreed.
“Is it about our fifth wedding anniversary celebration I rescheduled? I thought we discussed that already and I promised to ……?” I could hardly finish that sentence before she gently interjected.
“No, it is not about our anniversary. It is about you.”
“About me?” I asked, sounding half-surprised.
I wouldn’t claim I didn’t see it coming. After all, I myself have not been in the best of moods in the previous few days.
Worse still, I could perceive that the feeling of discontentment that had gradually crept upon me had begun to spread beyond my nose onto my better half. And that was not cool!
“Okay, let us talk about it,” I said, leaning and spreading out my arms towards her direction in a very generous embrace.
“In the last few days, you have not been smiling much,” She stated. “Our communication has not been flowing very well either. Whatever has been bothering you, you have not cared enough to share it with me.”
I nodded my head in utter agreement. I obviously did not have any valid objection against that.
“When I asked you about it two days ago” she continued, “you said you would tell me after dinner. But as soon as you ate dinner you went to bed without telling me anything. Did I do anything wrong?”
To say that I was touched by her words is an understatement. I was moved with untold compassion towards her. I felt bad that I had unwittingly allowed the negative emotions I was feeling to affect her too. As a result, tendering an apology wasn’t anything difficult for me to do.
“I am so sorry my Love. You didn’t do anything wrong. And you are not the cause of my moodiness” I assured her. “Some things didn’t turn out the way I expected and I was kind of doing some personal evaluations on some of the issues that were making me feel somewhat disheartened.”
I went on to let her in on some of the ‘personal struggles’ I had been having in the last few days. She already knew about some of the issues involved except that she was not aware they were on the front burner then.
“You should have told me you were going through all these stuff at this time….” She said sympathetically.
“Yes, I know. But I didn’t want to add to your stress,” I explained.
“You are not stressing me. It helps to let me be in the know of whatever you are passing through.”
I got the message. And we reflected on the lessons together. We shared another warm embrace in a moment of silence with full assurance that all would be well.
I could see that she felt better after talking with me. The discussion helped us both as I felt some relief too. We held hands and sealed our conversation with a word of prayer, committing our burdens to God.
Have you ever been in a situation where your spouse felt hurt by your moments of unhappiness? There is love in sharing!
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