With respect to Socrates, my unexamined life is not worth living. The front room is the face we show everyone but we hide our true self in the back room.
Apparently, I have more thoughts on the subject.
I mentioned sympathy and empathy in previous posts, but in my professional capacity. The idea of selflessly asking what someone else may be going through and exploring how they feel about is easier when my heart is not compromised to do anything for this person in sickness or in health.
I’m too close to her to practice good judgment. And she is fantastically forgiving.
My selfish self has grown to dislike apologies. I see them as self-serving trying only to make the apologist feel better. The apology being the maximum effort given for the transgression with the expectation their gesture will be enough to make everything go back to normal. Especially when an apology is often not an apology but a feeble reconstruction of actual events.
“I didn’t mean what I said. It was taken out of context.”
“For those I offended I apologize.”
There is a place for genuine apology but too often it comes with a request for forgiveness. The apology with the conditional rider attached. I find this even more galling. Whatever I did, please just say it’s okay. And the apologee can add their own rider. Forgive but never forget.
Men apologize more when they get married. Even in the short time of our union I have recognized this. Not that I apologize more, but I see more opportunities than before. My selfish self wishes to find practical reasons for doing so or will not apologize. I’m not gonna just apologize to keep the peace or to stave off a possible obstacle to future intimacy. I want to explore how it happened and figure out if it is about blame and apologies or we can grow together with controlled communication without the silliness of picking a side, who’s right and who’s wrong.
What happens when they cry? posed Day Jr. in Life With Father. And Day Sr. responded, with a careless dismissive wave of his hand, Well, tell them… Pahhhh!
Though it doesn’t come to tears, the logic in the struggle to figure things out unravels quickly faced with an unhappy bride. My angel girl is troubled and if I am in some way involved it needs to be addressed not pondered. Addressing may only require acknowledgment of her disturbance. It may require more.
Communication is the cornerstone to our relationship. When we’re annoyed, we give each other the space to figure out what is annoying us. If I am annoyed at her, I am not usually just annoyed at her, it is something deeper, and when she gives me the space to deconstruct it, I feel better and she feels better. With patience our relationship is able to grow.
That last paragraph sounded good. On paper it is good and effective. Except for the forever time (usually minutes) that passes when she is unhappy, and I sit away at a distance, a helpless guilt-ridden jerk.
The silent time passing in those moments is one of the hardest. My selfish self looks around the room like the awkward third wheel while I faithfully share my soul with my bride. We’re in this together.