I have to admit that lately Curt and I have been passing in the hall, negotiating the busyness that is his travel schedule, some new responsibilities at his job, three kids' playing sports, our oldest girl rocketing towards her high school graduation and making college decisions (sigh!), my novel deadline, and the reality of owing money on our taxes this year (say it ain't so!). It had gotten too easy to throw out updates as we ran by each other, to focus on all the things screaming for our attention and not on each other.
Somewhere in all of that, this weird anger had slipped in. I wasn't angry at him, per se. And I couldn't put my finger on where it was coming from or how to get rid of it. So I stayed busy, kept my nose to the grindstone. And hoped it would go away.
Sunday afternoon we had a window of opportunity to sneak off just the two of us after a busy weekend spent with our kids. We'd had a wonderful, valuable time focusing on them-- but there was still that nagging feeling that we needed to focus on us if we were going to get back on track. So we went out to one of our favorite restaurants, got a glass of wine, ate and... talked. A few sentences into the conversation, Curt asked me, "So you gonna tell me why you're mad at me?"
And it was in fumbling around for the answer to his question that I found the answer that had been eluding me. We talked and talked and talked. About our lives and our individual stresses. We talked about money and the kids and our daughter who's graduating and what it means to let her go off into the big big world. We talked about... everything we hadn't talked about in any depth for weeks. I saw his life from a vantage point I had not had, and he saw mine. But we had to take the time to look.
At the end of the night I looked at Curt and said, "This is why we do this." Somehow in all that talking, the anger dissipated. We became an "us" again instead of just a "you" and "me." I'm a big believer in going out for dates with your spouse. I love doing double dates with couple friends. I love going to see movies together. But I'm a big, big fan of sitting across the table from your spouse and taking the time to answer the hard questions, stare down whatever your issues are, together. I'm so glad we found that little window of time to escape from the pressure cooker that has been our lives lately and let off some much needed steam. I highly recommend it.