Last night was different in all the best ways

The night started rough. Not horrible, not even bad, but rocky. It went well and stayed stable until, you know, drink number 3ish took effect.

Then things started to get vulnerable, things started to get real, and I’m so glad they did. For once, really, it’s been happening more often than not, but tonight things went well.

It started small. Talking about an episode of a show that made me emotional and why it did. (Spoiler alert….it related back to our kids.) ((Double spoiler, the show was Heartland. Take your judgments out the door 😂. )

The conversation seemed open…he seemed engaged. So I brought up my birth son…and the fact that he will be on the news early this week and how I am so so so SO incredibly not okay with this. And terrified of what emotions it will elicit for me.

We are frequently…okay, nearly always not on the same page when it comes to emotion and especially vulnerability. But we got through that conversation and it was awkward and clumsy, but not bad.

Another drink (for me) and slightly more vulnerable conversations later, we’re now talking about our kids.

How I am trying SO incredibly…painfully hard…to be the best mom for our two very different children.

I ended up getting emotional and just upset about how I feel like I’m failing one of them. I’m trying so hard to do my best…to be the best mom I can be for him… and I often feel like I’m failing.

So we worked through that a bit. Wet cheeks (damn allergies!!!) and some vulnerability later, he understood me just a bit more. And we heard each other.

Here is where the magic of the night took place:

He thought he was about to say something very upsetting to me. So, before he said it, he literally (gently) grabbed my face, looked at me and told me he loved me.

Umm…okay? Sure…what’s up, bud?

He told me how he was very upset with something the other night, with something that I did that he HATES when other people do.

I was incredibly confused. He voiced what he was upset about, but I didn’t feel like I did that at all. What he said upset him is something I would be upset about too!

So I asked him to just give me a bit more detail about what he meant, about the context and the situation. He did, and I was able to recount the conversation and the events that were going on.

When I did that, he remembered it the same way that I reiterated it. He then realized that it was NOT the same way he heard it the other night, that it was NOT something upsetting or offensive at all.

He realized that last night, on a night of very open and vulnerable conversation where we are just truly here for each other, the very same words that came out of my mouth then vs. the previous night had a much different meaning.

That realization for him led to even more, better conversations. How when he is upset, he is going to hear whatever he’s going to hear regardless of if that’s what was actually said or not.

On a night like last night, where things went as well as they did when they just surely did not have to…I am grateful.

We are a couple who’s absolute biggest issues are communication. And tonight, he was awesome.

He voiced something that upset him. We worked through it and he realized that that was not AT ALL what I said or meant.

He voiced a concern. That in itself is HUGE for him! And it went so well.

I’m so proud of him…and us. Tonight was a stupid, small, but oh so significant win.

All of these nights put together are the ones that will help build back up our trust with one another.

Last night might seem small to a lot of people. But for me, for us…it felt huge. It feels important.

4 thoughts on “Last night was different in all the best ways”

  1. Ashley L. Peterson – Canada – I'm the author of four books: Psych Meds Made Simple, Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis, Managing the Depression Puzzle, and A Brief History of Stigma. These are informed by my professional experience as a former pharmacist and mental health nurse, as well as my lived experience of major depressive disorder. My goal with Mental Health @ Home is to challenge mental illness stigma and provide a safe space for open dialogue to empower others to share their voices.

    That’s so awesome that the two of you were able to really talk!

    1. Alana – Just another person trying to find my footing in this world ❤️

      Yes! It’s definitely nice to actually see real life progress on something we’re both working hard on

  2. oneday@atime

    So proud of you both! I am also one who struggles with communication and I have been trying super hard in my relationship that I have now to be better with it. It’s hard to change something you’ve struggled with for years though

    1. Alana – Just another person trying to find my footing in this world ❤️

      Thank you! Yes it’s definitely hard to change something like that in a relationship, especially when it’s been going on for a while and it almost becomes a habit. We’ve been working at this for a few years now and I feel like we’re just begging to get somewhere. It’s worth it though…the work is definitely worth the payoff in this case.

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