Not long ago, Devin and I were sitting on the couch watching television when he suddenly turned to me and said, “Are you okay?”
He turned the TV off. “You’ve been quiet and I’ve noticed our affection level has dropped down quite a bit.”
I was tempted to brush his observations aside. Just blow them off with a, “Nah, I’m good. Just tired.”
Why not? It’s easier to shrug things off than really look at them on a deeper level. Further reflection meant dealing with emotions and feelings I was trying to ignore, and for Devin to make note of it meant that it had been going on for more than just a day or two so whatever was going on with me, must really be some good ol' gunky stuff.
I took a deep mental breath and made the plunge. It wasn’t hard to find the resentment that had been lying just below the surface. It had been there for a few weeks, festering and growing.
As I shared the incident with him, I could feel how angry I was about it and couldn’t help but wonder why I didn’t go to him about it when it all went down in the first place. It’d been years since he’d been unable to let me use my voice.
The more I talked to him, the more I realized it was the timing of it all. We had a lot going on in our home: a big party, my health had taken a hit, his work had gotten crazy busy…and that was when it dawned on me.
I didn’t share my feelings with him because I was protecting him from my emotions and how they would make him feel. But what about me? Didn’t my wellbeing count too? Yeah, it did. And you know who had to remind me? Devin.
After listening to me talk through what was going on in my head for about thirty minutes, echoing back what I said to make sure he understood it all, he used the FANOS card. Just like that. KABAM!
(ETA: It's not literally a card. FANOS is conversation tool created by Debbie Lasser. You can click the link for more info.)
Devin said all calm like, “Can we agree that the next time something is bothering you, that we do FANOS within twenty-four hours so that it doesn’t build-up like this?”
My reply? “Tell me you didn’t just throw down the FANOS card!” while I was laughing and realizing just how lucky I truly am to have a husband who cares enough to listen to his rambling wife while she goes on and on during an emotional tirade.
He said, “I did. Now let’s shake on it.”
We shook hands to seal the deal and haven't let go since.
Do you ever hold stuff in for too long or do you let people know when things are bothering you?