It must have been three days ago when I found out that Edric is not following me on Instagram. This was a ridiculous thing to be hurt about but I had this theory that Edric is not as interested in my life as I am in his. The Instagram was a minor point to my argument which was based upon two other observations. First, Edric rarely reads my blog. Second, I take initiative to ask him about his day whenever he gets home and he doesn’t reciprocate the same.
In the grand scheme of our marriage relationship these aren’t big, life-altering issues. But one day Edric noticed that I chose to open up to my mom about a concern that I didn’t bring to his attention first. So he asked, “Why didn’t you tell me about it?”
My frank response was, “I felt like you weren’t available and I didn’t want to trouble you with it. Plus, mom is such a good listener. I felt very encouraged after our phone conversation.”
Edric loves my mom dearly. However, he felt slighted by my preference for her listening ear in this particular instance. Well, it wasn’t a huge deal so we moved on. But I archived that conversation as exhibit A. Hmm…Why don’t I always think to tell Edric about my feelings or perspectives on people and circumstances? I wonder if it’s because I feel he is busy and not interested anyway? This was my next judgmental thought.
The following day, Edric complained about his Instagram getting hacked. There were two strangers he was mysteriously following. I quipped with a “What about me? Are you following me?”
“Why would I be following you?”
“Because I am your wife?”
“But I am not following anyone.”
“So why do you use Instagram? It’s a social media app.” I am sorry to admit that I said this with annoyance.
He claimed that Instagram was useful for posting cool photos because of the filters. That was it.
As for my blog, Edric explained that he didn’t think it was necessary to read all my entries because the content revolved around our family. But I was like, “What about my reflections and insights? Don’t you want to know what these are?”
Honestly, this dimwitted conversation wasn’t worth our time or saliva, but sometimes in marriage you end up talking about all kinds of unproductive things and regret it later. I was to blame because this was my attempt to prove that he wasn’t that intentional about knowing the details of my life. Everything became connected (as they tend to do in the brain of a woman) — my perceived inability to open up to him about my feelings and perspectives, his unwillingness to follow my Instagram, his lack of interest in my blog posts, and finally, the fact that he rarely asks me how I am doing.
So I added, “I just think that between the two of us, I am the one who makes the greater effort to know you. You hardly ask me questions about my day. It’s always me asking you how you are.”
Edric retorted while feeling less pleasant towards me, “You are right when you say I don’t ask you as much as you ask me. But I demonstrate concern for you differently. I work hard to take care of you and we have date nights to talk heart to heart. I don’t really ask you about your day because you usually ask me when I get home, and I really like that. That’s how it’s always been.”
“Did you not say that husbands should get a PhD on their wives? Don’t you preach that when we give talks on marriage? (Oh, I can be so annoying sometimes!)
Edric looked at me like Whoa lady, you are throwing hail from every direction. What’s going on?! He stomached my statements nonetheless and I began to feel embarrassingly needy.
“Look, if you have something you want me to know about, just tell me. I shouldn’t have to read a post of yours to find out what’s going on with you.” (Yes, that was actually a good point.)
We went into a lengthy discussion that ended up with Edric saying that he would make a greater attempt to read my entries if it mattered that much. As for me, I apologized for my judgmental and painful accusation — that he wasn’t determined to get to know me the same way I attempted to get to know him.
Nevertheless, something was missing. Our meeting was business-like, with him sitting across the room on a chair summarizing the arguments and itemizing positive action steps to fix the issue.
When we were done, Edric was like, “Okay, are we good?” I nodded in the outside but felt wanting on the inside.
Edric took this as a definite yes. (We should never expect our husbands to be mind readers, by the way.) He excused himself to take a shower while I remained on the bed distracting myself with my cellphone, thinking that our exchange didn’t turn out the way I hoped it would.
However, ten minutes later he came to my side, put his arm around me and said, “I love you. You know that, right? And contrary to what you think, I know you very well. What you really need is this…” (Oh wait! Hooray! He is a mind reader after all!)
He gave me a hug and a kiss to make sure I was really okay. Then he added with a grin, “I know you like ‘pure’ affection.” Meaning…affection for affection’s sake and not to butter me up for sexual intimacy. (He most definitely is a mind reader!)
Monday night, Edric, asked me detailed questions about my day, too! “I am trying to get to know my wife,” he inserted with a charming smile. I also discovered that I am now the one and only person he follows on Instagram. Bwahahaha! That wasn’t really the issue to begin with but it was sweet of him to make the extra effort to communicate to me that my feelings do matter to him…even when they are about something as non-essential as social media.
When I think about our entire exchange over the weekend, it was a bunch of gibberish from my end to get the attention of my husband. Yes, it was very pathetic. The root of it all was my recent feelings of emotional neglect. We didn’t have much time to connect with one another over Holy Week since we were busy serving in ministry and dealing with pragmatic concerns.
It’s great that we had an objective discussion to resolve our problem (even if it was silly-small), but the magic was in the three-part combo of a reassuring I love you, one extravagant hug, and a tender (unselfish) kiss. Sometimes that’s all a wife needs to silence her ridiculous ranting and quell the turbulence in her heart. And it takes a husband who knows his woman well to get this. Hey, hey, so this means Edric DOES KNOW ME, and I have absolutely nothing to complain about! And, hey, he may even read this entry. Therefore I repent in dust and ashes for my exaggerated claims because I am blessed to be a loved, hugged, and kissed wife…thank you, hon.