I am both humbled and slightly embarrassed to state the following, however, I believe that someone out there needs to hear this.
To my Husband:
“It is 9:00 PM. I am sitting on our couch, beside our son, while you lay upstairs in bed, where you have been since about 6:15 PM, immediately following your arrival home. It appears that this flu (or the like) has hit you now too.
Last night, it hit me. I left work, picked up our grocery order, came home, unloaded the groceries, put everything away neatly arranged in their assigned places, took care of our dog, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, brought the trash can back up to the house, then crashed onto our couch. The aching muscles took over, followed by the low grade fever.
I texted you a few times, like normal, while anticipating your arrival home. Even though we work together and our desks are side by side, I still look forward to seeing you walk through our front door when you get home. I was not feeling well; worse by the minute. I wanted you to take care of me, though I never told you that. You handed me a pill in hopes of me getting better. We sat on the couch watching a show, while you scrolled through Facebook. You stumbled upon a concerning article which required your attention, understandably. I ALSO wanted your attention, though I still had not told you so. I laid my heavy head on your shoulder. You almost instantly pushed it off. My first thought was that you did so because you did not want me resting on you at the time. In reality, you were just stressing to me that you did not care about the show on television, but were focused on the concerning article that could have affected the future of our family. It required your attention, understandably, yet so did I.
A few months earlier in our marriage, I would have immediately gotten upset. Instead, I chose to just excuse myself upstairs to our bed, hoping that the solitude would both calm my mind and heal my body. Shortly after, I heard you walking up the stairs. You asked me if I was mad at you. Although I said no, it still managed to turn into an argument between us. The fuel of the argument was just fire to my flu-ridden body. We both said things we should not have. I went to sleep, shaking and sweating. My heart was pounding. I started crying. I went to bed both emotionally and physically drained, with no comfort from you. Needless to say, I was angry… but so were you.
In the middle of an argument, it is so easy to only see your own side of the story. I do this a lot because I am always stuck in my mind. Most days I can not even handle my own emotions, much less yours.
So tonight, you came home with the same flu-ridden symptoms that I was experiencing last night, wanting me to comfort you, though you never asked. The immediate reaction in my mind was “how dare you!” “Why should I comfort you when you denied me of that same comfort last night?” I was angry. We argued again.
It is 10:00 PM. I am sitting on our couch, while you lay upstairs in bed, where you have been since about 6:15 PM. I cooked dinner, fed dinner to our son and prepped his breakfast for tomorrow, checked his homework, cleaned the kitchen, prepped the coffee pot for tomorrow, fed our dog, and put our son to bed.
When I finished all of that, I went upstairs and sat with you for a minute. I gave you medicine and water. I laid with you and rubbed your shoulder – the same shoulder I could not lay my head on last night.
How is it that I am able to do all of this today, while still having a low-grade fever, and having to work all day, as well as doing the work of my sister (who also has the flu)? Why would I want to do this for you while I am still slightly angry?
Though you may have seemed to have given me the cold shoulder last night, I know that the minute you are well you will be using those same shoulders to carry the weight of our family.
In the meantime, the least I can do is keep them warm.”