Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Tale of Woe, Part: Present Day

Friday night, after a long week of pure grumpiness on Lance's part which resulted in a week of avoidance on my part, we finally had a conversation.

Yes, a wine-fueled conversation, but hey, whatever it takes, right?

We talked, and argued, and talked, and I think we even laughed once. I won't say we solved all of our problems--I'm not even sure we solved any of our problems--but it was nice to say the things we'd each been thinking out loud finally.

Discovery:

Truth: Lance is extremely stressed out about his work. The sales are not coming easily anymore, and this is a change he has not handled well.
Truth: I am extremely UN-empathetic to his plight. In my mind, having to work a little harder than you are used to is no reason to pout and throw a tantrum.

Truth: Lance does a really good job, at Cisco, as a salesman; and at home, as a father.
Truth: I don't give him nearly enough credit for that.

Fact: Lance needs deserves strokes from me. When he is feeling down, he doesn't need me to roll my eyes and tell him to suck it up, he needs me to pat his back and tell him he's doing a good job.
Fact:It is almost impossible for me to do that for him. I am just barely holding on to my decision to forgive him, and to not hold any of last year against him. Asking me to go above and beyond that is not fair.


That was Friday. Saturday and Sunday were good days, spent mostly in the company of friends, at the beach, at the neighbors house, lots of summery drinks and barbecues and laughter and friends. Lance and I do great with other people around. It's when it's just the two of us that things get dicey.

Monday night, I am making dinner*, the kids are playing. Lance walks in from work.
Me: Hey babe. How are you?
Lance: grumble mumble mutter Hey
Me: Looking up, watching him open up his computer and glare at his email.
Me: Another great day at the office?
Lance: What? mutter grumble
Me: making dinner
Me:Big sigh. Bad day?
Lance: Yes. Okay? Mondays are just not that great for me these days, okay?
Me: making dinner, not making eye contact

Eventually, the kids come in to eat; Lance and I decide to feed them first instead of sitting down to a family meal. We disagree over the crispiness of the bacon. He makes snide comments about Vivian's leotard (we had suspended her classes this summer since we were traveling so much but she started up again yesterday. Lance thinks it's a waste of money.) I sigh a lot and say to the kids, "Let's hurry up and drink all our milk guys, Daddy's in a bad mood and I don't want to make him madder!"

After dinner, baths & bedtime I escape upstairs while he turns on Sportscenter downstairs.

*
dinner being leftover pasta and BLT's, which is all I can rustle from the pantry. We have no money for groceries until the next payday, which is not until Friday.

So yeah. What would you call that: two steps forward, one step back?
Or is that backwards?


I know I need to do better.

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