Thursday, December 07, 2006

He Just Doesn't Get It*

[Blurt Alert: It's pretty much all TMI here today.]
After twenty years of marriage, you would think Hubby and I would know one another pretty well. And it's true that he can tell you lots of things about me--that I hate canned peas (they are vile and I hope they die**), love Diet Dr. Pepper, read an insane number of books, magazines, etc on a wide variety of subjects, have a fantasy of opening a writer's retreat out in the back woods somewhere and raking in big bucks to hang out with people I'd gladly hang out with for free (and that my alternative fantasty is to drive an ice cream truck--not to make my living that way, but to be independently wealthy and drive an ice cream truck for a hobby).

He can accurately predict that four out of ten times when he tells me, "I'm going to go jump in the shower," I will say, "Be careful not to slip and fall." Neither of us can tell you why this remains funny to me, but it's probably related more to his consistently giving me that opening than to the fact that I am in dire need of psychiatric attention. (Have no doubt, I am in dire need, just not about this particular thing.)

So, yes, he knows some stuff about me.

How, then, can he fail to notice that by the end of many days, I feel rubbed raw--emotionally, physically--so that any touch, any contact feels like bare hands on scraped skin? Ever stick your finger in the middle of a fresh brush burn when you were a kid, just to see how it felt? Yeah, it's like that.

And why, oh why, does he insist on taking it personally when my response isn't entirely positive?

In addition to all the stesses of the day that make hiding under the bed sound way more appealing than rolling around on top of it, Hubby and I have always been on different schedules. He's naturally programmed to stay up late--really late, like 2 a.m. is average bedtime for him--in fact when Daughter-Only was in first grade and they were learning about nighttime animals versus daytime animals, she came home and said, "Mommy, Daddy is nocturnal, isn't he?"

Though I have struggled with bouts of insomnia, my ideal bedtime is in the 11 o'clock range. So by the time Hubby comes to bed, I'm usually (ideally) not at all conscious so these moves he's hoping to impress me with are way less impressive. The rare nights I happen to be conscious when he comes in, I am usually bitterly resentful about being awake in the middle of the night and, therefore, not interested in anything that might keep me awake in the middle of the night even longer. None of this seems reasonable to him.

Not only does the "I'm asleep" argument not move him (or stop him moving?), but my being in the throes of a life-threatening (or so it seemed) cold also didn't sway him. One night a few weeks ago, he came to bed and there I was hacking away, obviously tubercular and typhoidal or at the very least cranky and uncomfortable and it didn't even slow him down. I think I croaked, "Are you kidding me?" before he rolled over in a huff that night.

I guess I should take it as a compliment***, and I try, I really do, but I also feel misunderstood at a fundamental level. Like somehow, even twenty years in, he really doesn't know me or see me at all.

*Pun acknowledged though not entirely intended.
**YS--I'd spare the asparagus if someone could just take out the peas.
***That's a lot easier on the nights like the one last week when we'd been bickering most of the day and he came to bed at 1:30 or so and began his "vigorous cuddling" routine and I said, "What the hell planet do you live on?" And he said, "I live on the Damn You Smell Good Planet." It was kinda cute. Woulda been way cuter at a decent hour, but hey you take what you can get, right?


  1. Wow, I might be married to your husband. Sorry though, I didn't know.
    *off to file for divorce on grounds of poligamy*
    btw, when he left your bed last week? he crawled in mine and tried the exact. same. move. Again sorry, didn't know, but we should get the kids together now that their related.

  2. Hey, I don't mind sharing especially if it means I'm going to have a coupla nights a week of peace. :)