Marriage is hard.
And when one partner’s mood unravels into a tangled mess of emotions, the other one comes undone too.
Admittedly, I’m usually the one who is unraveling and it’s generally for no reason in particular.
But after a four day weekend, it was my other half who was in a difficult-to-deal-with mood. Maybe it was the cold weather, or too much time cooped up inside with the kids, or the thought of returning to work. I can’t say for sure what provoked it.
But I do know that the mood inside was much chillier than the frigid temperatures outside.
Initially, I was irritated. By his attitude. By his lack of involvement. By him. Resentment was piling up higher than the stacks of dirty dishes. As I closed him on him, he distanced himself.
The chill in the air was making me more uncomfortable by the second.
But after time to reflect, it was clear that the deterioration of his attitude, the toxicity of his mood had nothing to do with me. It wasn’t a deliberate attack – no, it was a signal that he needed a break.
Just like a few weeks ago when my ugly attitude resulted in him forcing me out of the house for an entire morning. For not just his own good, but mine too.
So, I took the kiddo who wasn’t sleeping and we left. I gave him space. I gave him quiet. I gave him room to brood and to breathe.
I extended him grace, just like he has done for me a million times over. Even, and especially, when I didn’t deserve it.
Because while he is my favorite human, he is only human. And just like this tired wife and mother, a tired husband and father needs a break too.
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