Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Love means having to say you're sorry...alot

The other day Matthew approached me and said casually, "A couple of moms came up to me tonight and thanked me for coaching the soccer team."
Eyes narrowing over a sink of dirty dishes, I looked up and demanded, "What're you telling me that for?"

I really have to get a handle on this jealousy thing. It's been raging for a robust 12 years. Just the slightest hint of another woman can send my radar bleep-bleeping all over the bleeping place!

My husband and I have gotten in many freeze-outs over my overactive imagination. You know, where you freeze each other out by communicating only on a live-or-die basis, looking at each other only if you can look cock-eyed with triple-pronged daggers, and rubbing nothing but jabby elbows and feet that could use some serious lotion in bed. The only time we ever get in a freeze-out is when I breathe fire first. It portends an apology; I'm going to have to say I’m sorry for something silly - again - and it wounds my pride. I’m always the one who apologizes, and it’s so very predictable and tedious and conflict-resolving….

For instance, there was that time, quite early on, when I found out through pictures - hard evidence, my friends! - that my husband took me on a honeymoon hike to the same exact spot he had enjoyed with an old girlfriend. I stewed and fumed for a good two weeks over that one.

Or the time when I started the mother of all marital brawls outside the Alamo on a ghost tour, because I demanded to know if his gold cross necklace, a baptismal gift from before we met that I had stolen for my own adornment, came from another woman. And just why had she given it to him in the first place? Did they like each other? He deserted me outside the old fort. I tried to spy the 666 they claim is seared on the wall. Maybe I couldn't see it because the green-eyed monster was blocking my view.

Then the time I got mad at him for watching a show about the tango while I was gone on a Mom's night out, and the film was partly filmed in Brazil - Brazil! And don't we all know the out-of-control, mind-blowing and dangerous sexiness that goes on in Brazil every day?!?

And there was that ugly misunderstanding about the cleaning lady. I like to blame that on hormones but this jealousy thing really isn't based on science...
I always have to apologize, because I’m always the one who starts it – all of it, any of it and for any reason. I have a serious defect called Need to Talk about Every Little Thing That Gets Her Goat, Even Outlandish, Hugely Improbable Wild Imaginings. Love means never having to say you’re sorry – unless you’re the feisty, jealous one in the relationship.

Not so long ago we fought about a commercial with young, skinny women in bikinis rubbing their svelte bums as they dash from a car.
"What the heck is this?" I demanded.
My husband unmuted it and turned it up because he thought my question was one of curiosity. What I really meant was If you don't change this right now I'll know that you're secretly cavorting with supermodels - blondes no less! - at business luncheons.
I need to go to jealousy management. But, stink, that would probably mean I'd have to go through some nine-step program which would include learning to really apologize for all these petty arguments I start....even the ones I haven't apologized for yet. Or learning tiresome techniques to prevent them in the first place.
I'd have to practice my soulful eyes and trembling mouth and clasped hands and sincerely articulated, “I’m sorry,” instead of sticking out my tongue, adding a garbled, “Fine! Sorry then!”, or pulling picked-over skeletons of old disputes out in a nice power-point presentation to shore up my defense.
I wish it were give and take. I wish he would throw me a bone every now and then. I can’t remember – honest to goodness cannot recall – the last time he said sorry...but, then, I can't think of a time when he started a fight about the mailman coming around too often or our priest making small talk with me. A good friend suggested I train our Yorkie to say "Rar-ree" for him.

But love, I suppose, means never having to say you’re sorry to a hot-tempered, jealous woman who doesn’t know how to hold her tongue. And ain’t he the lucky one?

But maybe someday, spontaneously, he’ll look back at me with gut-wrenching sincerity and pronounce softly, “I’m sorry, too, sweetheart…” and then with slight perturbation, add, ”…for something...sometime....uh, I suppose.”
And with a self-satisfied smirk, I’ll gently reply, “Baby, love means never having to say you’re sorry….”

Unless you’re me.


  1. Great post! I don't suffer from being jealous, but I do suffer from being crazy and 99% if not all fights have been started or at the very least made worse by me and I say I'm sorry A LOT! :) Glad to know I'm not alone. Hubby does say sorry when he is - it just doesn't happen that he needs to be all that often!!

    1. Jamie, thank the stars that you are not plagued by jealousy! Passionate natures are overrated.

      And you can bet I start nearly every single fight - oh brother! Yes, but it is good to know I'm not alone. ;)

  2. I am very jealous as well, which I believe is something we both get from Papa. Personally, I don't apologize, unless I accuse him of something he hasn't done. And I would have to agree about the tango show. My man isn't allowed to look at other women, period. Just as I turn away when a man takes off his shirt in a movie, I expect my man to look away when there's a half-naked woman on the screen, or on the street. Besides, it sounds like he was stirring the pot a bit with his comment :-P

    1. You bet ya we get it from Papa! Though Papa's probably only extends to people who are actually present as opposed to people in shampoo commercials.

      I only watch men take off their shirts if they're 70 or older. Safer that way. And I never go to the ballet - obscene! But, Vinca, I'm the one who knows how to stir the pot - just like one of Macbeth's witches.


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