Truth be told, my wonderful husband can be a bit of a rockhead when it comes to my emotions. It's not entirely his fault given I rarely show them. I'm normally a very even-keeled individual whose emotions range from happy to happier (to stark raving mad when I'm driving through traffic). I'm not prone to falling into crying fits or getting depressed or staying miserable. It's just not who I am. I really have been blessed with an inner peace and joy that anchors me no matter what's going on in life. It's why I'm so good at masking my emotions in times of grief. So long as I focus on that tiny spot of joy, I can be okay.
So again, I don't fault my husband for his less-than-stellar handling of me in the aftermath of the miscarriage. In addition to the situation being foreign to him, my own emotional response was foreign to him. As a result, instead of confronting them or trying to handle them, he shut himself off from the situation and just ignored it in the hopes that it would rectify itself.
As I stated in previous blog entries, I'm trying really, really hard to break him out of that habit. A man (or woman for that matter) cannot simply ignore a huge issue in the hopes that it magically goes away - ESPECIALLY in a marriage.
So I cornered him in the car. He had no method of escape and was forced to handle the conversation for a limited amount of time (which I know was helpful because he'd've panicked otherwise). I explained what I felt and what I believed he felt. I explained I understood his reasons for ignoring the situation... for dismissing my insistence that I was pregnant... for walking away from me when I was visibly upset. I also explained that I didn't hold it against him as I understood that's his MO when handling foreign situations.
That being said, I told him he could no longer just ignore things in that manner because doing so was hurtful to me and to our relationship.
He tried to defend his actions. He tried to say he wasn't dismissive or insensitive. He just "didn't believe what I believed."
This, mind you, is in reference to the fact that even had I been pregnant, John wouldn't have concerned himself with that child being a real life. Babies, to him, aren't "really real" until they show up on a sonogram... at the very least on a home-pregnancy test.
I responded, "John, you don't have to believe a child existed in order to help me through my emotions. You don't have to believe she's in Heaven in order to help me come to terms with what I know to be true."
I mean, does he have to lose a parent, himself, in order to comfort a friend who just lost his? Of course not. In that analogy, he realized his mistake.
He was so worried that I was trying to change his mind about children that he blinded himself to my very real, very intense emotional struggle. I was forced to "go it alone" when I should've been able to rely on him to help.
That really, really bothered him and he was silent for some time before grabbing my hand and apologizing.
But I wasn't waiting for an apology. I'd forgiven him before he'd even responded to me in such a manner. I understand my husband and what he needs from me. It's why I didn't press the issue and only gave him what I thought he could handle.
Even in my grief, I sought out the response from me that he'd need. As his wife, I expect him to try to respond in like fashion. Even though he might be struggling to handle things on a personal level, his job is to seek out a response that I'd need. After all, that is what marriage is about... each putting the other first so that both people's needs are looked after and taken care of in a loving manner.
I'm very pleased with the flow of the conversation. I felt heard and validated, and I think he felt understood and loved. I also believe that should an emotionally taxing situation arise again, we'll both be better equipped to handle one another.
In the end, that's all I can ask for, because this sort of loving reciprocity is the foundation for family life, and that's what marriage is all about!