A few weeks ago while on a double-date I disrespected my husband. It was subtle, I am not sure I even knew it was happening. I definitely didn’t intend for it to happen, it just came out and there was no taking it back.
While the guys were talking I overheard parts of a story my husband was telling. In my head I thought “this sounds like a good story, I better listen now or else he will forget to tell me about it later plus he doesn’t like to repeat himself.”
I couldn't resist and chimed into the conversation asking “What happened?” To which he responded, “Hey - you interrupted.” I felt embarrassed he called me out. Then he said something probably like “I wasn’t talking to you”. Problem was he was at the end of the story. At this moment I realized my little interruption side-tracked everybody's conversations. My husband and I bickered while the other couple watched. I really wanted to take back my impetuous interruption so we could all forget this happened and he could continue talking with the other guy. I was flustered and panicked. To get us both back on track I said, “Whatever, Let’s just move on.” BAM! Right then and there the triple whammy happened. Not only did I interrupt his story and side-track everyone’s conversation, I topped it off by dismissing him with a “whatever”, to which he responded, “you don’t whatever me.” By now I am falling apart inside. I know what I did, how it sounded, and I couldn't take it back.
I quickly said I was sorry I interrupted, hoping we could move on. We both resumed our conversations. But I was highly aware of my husband’s cold shoulder. Though we were inches apart the tension could be cut with a knife. Who knows if our friends could see the invisible wall growing between us. I knew I hurt my husband with my disrespect, but it was justified because I felt hurt when he chastised me for interrupting.
Dear reader, do you see how easily disrespect and feelings of unlove can creep into a marriage, oh so subtly? When you don’t guard yourself with awareness of your tendencies these things can happen. They will build walls of separation and slowly degrade the relationship by snuffing out communication.
Which they did for us that night. Later in the evening I was talking to my friend and then my husband interrupted us. Normally I would not care because that doesn’t bother me but I was feeling sensitive from earlier. I couldn't stop from pointing out how HE was now interrupting ME. Well if that didn’t stoke the fire? His shoulder got even colder. He was visibly hurt and he stopped talking to me. We walked he was not anxious to grab my hand like we usually do. I reached out to hold his hand. He reluctantly took mine. The physical touch was just what we needed to melt the ice and open communication. I could finally say “I am sorry I disrespected you.” To which my friend overheard and said “What, what did I miss?”. We both shrugged.
There you have it…. How to disrespect and come humbly back and apologize. All in a night’s work.
When I examine my heart, I realize the problem was that I felt disconnected from my husband since he had been gone on a business trip all week. We hadn't had a chance to catch up with each other before our double-date. I was a bit jealous when I was not the first person to hear his stories from his trip. My reaction was less than gracious. In the future I will plan for a transition time once he returns from trips.
To read how this story started go to my Instagram : @julielandreth and read about Date night No. 729