Ding! Ding! Ding! I finally get it. Only took 30 years. John assigns high value to stress.
That would explain why he works until 3:30 a.m. on Valentine’s Day making the hand-made cards he knows I treasure in spite of that driving me nuts, why he doesn’t say the simple thing that will soothe my troubles & what he does say only compounds the very things that roil my spirits & rip open my heart.
If John assigns high value to stress & none to ease, all of those things that have made NO sense become clear.
Am intimately familiar with people who give value to stress, who devalue – distrust – things done well without nail-biting effort. Such folk make life hideously hard on themselves while wrenching others’ peace apart, especially the hapless souls who do things effectively, efficiently AND without over taxing their energies.
It feels like the possibility of doing things with greater ease doesn’t register with John, in spite of my best efforts to give him a clue. Instead, he waits to the last moment, puts in a massive effort that saps out the joy for me, left by myself in bed feeling invisibled, vulnerable & unvalued. Did my best to get him moving before 12/24/18 & he still made Christmas tags into the wee small hours of 12/25. Ditto today’s Valentine’s Day card(s). It would explain why he always takes great pride in making the bed AND occasionally being skimpy, pulling the sheet & blanket up just enough to allow material to barely brush my shoulders.
It would explain why John NEVER just says, “Oops – sorry that I did/didn’t…” & seems genuinely taken aback that I’d expect it. Why he ALWAYS springs to his own defense, which makes no sense when it is obvious the paired sheet & blanket come to the curve of my shoulders, even when I scrinch down the bed to maximize, the bed clothes tucked in too firmly to just pull them up in my tossing turning half sleep.
It would explain why my Keet ALWAYS counters my frustrated, heartbroken response with “I didn’t mean to make you sad,” when he should know after thirty years that phrase will drive me further around the bend because how could he NOT know after so long – decades – of the same issues & the same reactions, the same tear-stained, howling responses.
If, as I now finally suspect, John puts value on stress & zilch on well-planned, well-timed ease, all would explained. And, for me, what can be explained – not shrugged off & excused. but understood – can be born.