June 26, 2011

I want to punch my husband in the face.

I won’t.

But I want to.

It all started with talk of the preseason. I asked him if he had heard when we would be leaving and he said he wasn’t sure. He was teasing me about not buying things for our apartment until we knew we’d be there all season (a mistake I made last season) and we were just kind of bantering back and forth. Then, for the sole purpose of irritating me, he asked, “What if they book us on separate flights?" He continued, "I mean, a lot of wives come after preseason. What if you weren't allowed to be there until after it’s over?” 

I could feel my blood start to boil. We had this same conversation last season (because I told him I refused to stay home during the preseason like I did when he signed in Italy) and we were on the same page. (I had only stayed back in 2009 because I was working and I have never actually heard of a team that didn't 'allow' wives during the preseason.) So why would he even go there? If I lost it, he was going to hide behind the ‘I was just joking’ guise. But he wasn’t really joking – he was trying to get under my skin, he was testing me to see what I would say. 

I refused to dignify his idiotic and ill-advised comments with a reaction. But I envisioned punching him square in the face. And then it got worse.

I didn’t find his comments to be funny for several reasons but it was the word ‘allowed’ that really got to me. Hockey dictates so much of what we do … so much of what I do … that the thought of someone telling me that I am not allowed to accompany my husband halfway around the world is enough to send me over the edge.

I kindly reminded him of the many times he has been a complete and total moron when I haven’t been around. And of all the times he has said, “Hun, you really keep me focused and on track. I am so thankful you’re here.” He nodded his head. And then he said (and I’m not kidding you, these were his exact words): “You're right, but for the first month or two that we are there, you just need to understand that it’s going to be all about me.”

Is he serious? 

When is it not about him?

I thought I was seeing red earlier but this was something entirely different. I know him like the back of my hand; I know that he didn't mean for it to come across that way but ... it did, and the damage was done. In an instant, everything I have given up to support him and his dream flashed through my mind. Law school. My career. All the times I have sat alone in an empty new apartment without a phone, the internet, or television, waiting for him to come home from practice or a road trip. All the times I have had to say goodbye to family and friends as we board a plane to wherever. All the times I have put a smile on my face and told him, "it will be okay" when I really just wanted to fall apart.

Almost as quickly as he said the words, he realized he had just put his foot in his mouth in a major way. He back pedaled and explained that last fall, he was frustrated that I asked him to take me to IKEA (or other things that required effort on his part) on days when he had been at the rink from 8 am to 4 pm. He felt like I didn't understand the pressure he was under; how mentally and physically exhausted he was. What he needed from me was understanding and he didn't feel that he was getting it.

It came out the wrong way, and I still don't believe that his needs are any more important than mine, but I get it. Or I can at least try to get it ... during the preseason. I know that he knows what I have given up in order to be with him, to support him. I know that he knows that he falls apart when I'm not around. And I know that not a day goes by that he isn't thankful to have me by his side, even when we irritate each other. 

During the preseason last fall, I wrote that it is rare that my basic needs aren't met. I think it's safe to say the same is true for my husband. Every now and again, we lose touch with what the other might need. And every now and again, we say things to each other that we shouldn't. If you ask me, it just comes with the territory of being in a serious relationship; being married. Ebbs and flows and all that stuff.

I still believe that no matter how prepared you think you are to, more or less, be invisible, or take a back seat, it's never as easy as you think it'll beBut if understanding is really his only need during the preseason, I can try harder to give him that. This life is a balancing act. Supporting him on this crazy roller coaster has been the most challenging, but also rewarding, thing I have ever done. There are times when I want to punch him in the face and there are times when I look at him and have butterflies.

Right now, I am still partial to throwing a punch ... but when I wake up tomorrow, I think we'll be back to butterflies.

15 comments:

  1. Groupon had a deal up here in Massachusetts for iheartkickboxing.com -- 3 classes, BOXING GLOVES, and a personal training session for $19.99. I think it's worth the plane ticket over here ;) ;)

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  2. One day I am going to learn that after previewing a comment I should NOT close the window. I have done that so many times!

    I am always saying I want to punch somebody in the face. People tell me "I wanted to punch somebody in the face and it made me think of you!" I am so honored.

    I do believe the word "allow" would have sent me over the edge. I think I would have grabbed the nearest object and whacked him over the head.

    You should tell him "You are going to lose another Tempurpedic pillow without me and I am NOT going to get you a replacement!"

    This whole conversation is just overwhelming. You are a tough cookie.

    Here's to hoping you don't end up revealing your identity in a mug shot.

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  3. man some men just love to marinate their foot in teriyaki and just chow down!

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  4. Oh dear, sounds like pre-season nerves/stress is kicking in for the both of you!! Hope you manage to get plans and dates sorted soon- I know how organised you like to be!!

    Hope all is well- nice to see you back in the blogging world :-)

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  5. Haha KY, awesome comment! haha. Feel ya girl, sometimes those hockey boys just don't realize how freakin' good they have it with us. Me, on the other, love the little bit of time apart we have at the beginning of the season. Keeps us on our toes and keeps us from killing each other, haha.

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  6. Wow, sounds like my man! I feel like I'm married to the marine corps!! I understand! I love how honest you are about it! I hope its getting better, I'm sure it will! And i love the baby pictures! Adorable!!

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  7. OK, he is not an athlete. Yet moving across the pond forever (never say ever!) still feels raw and I miss Europe dearly. Now he decided that he needs to proof himself one more time (is there a midlife crisis AFTER the midlife crisis????) and is going to Afghanistan in September. He is 54 yet as long as testosterone keeps him alive and kicking...
    well, that will turn me into a relocated German who then even feels misplaced in a country she never considered she wanted to live in the first place!

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  8. Hiya,
    I'm Ellie from A Little of This and a Little of That blog and a new follower of yours. Interesting blog. Can't wait to read more. Please drop by my blog (http://alittleoftheother.com) and follow back.
    Have an awesome week.

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  9. I don't think men understand how much pressure we are under each day as mothers. It's funny because when men feel weight on their shoulders they find it so much more difficult to function. Where as most of us women put on a happy face and get what needs to be done, done, without complaint.

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  10. It's not just the hockey life. We had the same discussion being military. I think I did punch him at one point. As I was falling apart yeasterday I got pull it together with your big girl panties.

    You have a lot more restraint than I do. Did you ask him where his helmet is? Sounds like he may need it for protection if he keeps putting his feet in his mouth.

    Hang in there!!!

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  11. New blog follower! Come follow back and enter my great giveaways! http://www.peacelovepoop.com


    (ps I played hockey all growing up!)

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  12. I can completely sympathize with you!! I would say it is pre-season jitters and stress (for the both of you)!! We are going through a bit of that here and we are even going back to the same place!!

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  13. Kym, I'M IN! You paying for my ticket to MA with your new credit card? Woo hoo!

    Sally, I am glad this didn't come across as crazy and that you understand that I would never actually punch him in the face. Maybe I'll whack him with a Tempurpedic pillow, those things are HARD! Yep, tough cookie over here - the girl who whines and moans about evvvverything on this blog!

    Eschelle, SO TRUE!

    Missy, You got it! Pre-season nerves/stress is right!

    Lindsey, I think half the reason being apart sucks so much is that I'm holding down the fort and caring for Linden. It can be stressful and overwhelming to be alone with him for more than a week or two - especially if we're both sick or something. WHOLE new appreciation for single parents! Lemme tell ya!

    Alex Jae, Married to the Marine Corps! Exactly! So glad you left a comment. It's nice to know you're not always alone, ya know?

    Paula, Wow. Afghanistan. I have a friend who is a Navy Seal, he just got back from Afghanistan and while he'll tell you he was on a successful mission, he lost the lower part of his leg. Kudos to you for supporting him. Where will you be?

    Ellie, Thanks for stopping by!

    Danielle-Marie, My long lost friend! You always hit the nail on the head.

    Sarah, No, it definitely isn't hockey life. It's everyone. That's what I love about this blog. There's such a variety in the readership. Everyone seems to relate to each other and it's such a beautiful thing that people from all over the world and every path can find some common ground ... even if it's over wanting to punch their husband in the face!

    Peace, Love and Poop, Thanks for stopping by!

    Katherine, I love you girl! When do you guys head back over? We've made your thai dish a handful of times!

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  14. haha seriously it is my go to dish!! Has the kiddo tried it yet? And we don't have our tickets yet, we are waiting to do a last minute thing, as the prices always drop for airtransat, BUT we are shooting for somewhere around the 10th. What about you guys?

    ReplyDelete
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