Last Sunday afternoon into evening was such an enjoyable time. I met up with my sister
Carmelle and good friend Eugenia and together we drove into Brooklyn to meet our mutual friend Michele at a movie theatre to see the new film Queen and Slim. It was a special occasion, as we were celebrating Michele’s birthday and she was the one who had suggested the movie (which I highly recommend!). After the movie, we decided we would find an eatery in the neighborhood for dinner. As we sat down in a small Thai restaurant, I texted my husband Dan to tell him that the movie was over, we were now eating and that I should be home by 6:30. He was fine with it.
The food was delicious and as always, we had a great time together catching up, talking about our jobs, our significant others and just life in general. By the time we left the restaurant, it was 6:30! I thought about Dan and the fact that he was expecting me home. Never once did I tell the ladies that we should head out earlier in order for me to keep my word to Dan. I was enjoying my time too much. I texted my husband about an hour later to apologize about my lateness and to tell him I would be home soon. He didn’t respond, which was out of the norm. Perhaps he’s busy, I told myself. But I would soon learn why he didn’t respond…
It was about 10 minutes after 8 when I stepped into the apartment, greeted by a very disappointed husband. The apartment carried the aroma of the dinner Dan had thoughtfully prepared for the two of us. Rice, chicken, carrots, and asparagus— a feast. He had even begun to pack our lunches for the next day before my arrival. But when I came home, he sat down on the couch and, without hesitation, expressed how inconsiderate he thought my behavior was. He had prepared our meals and looked forward to seeing me because we had not seen each other since that morning. But when he got my text that I’d be home later, he lost his appetite and felt too frustrated to even acknowledge my text with a response. He reasoned that our weekdays are so busy that he looks forward to spending time with his wife on the weekends. He reminded me that I didn’t even tell him until the day before that I’d be spending time with friends on Sunday. He felt that I considered him as an afterthought. “You’re still acting like you’re single,” he told me. I was quiet. I had nothing to say because I could very much see and understand his perspective.
I didn’t think he was being overly sensitive or unfair. He had a right to be disappointed. When I had realized that I’d be longer than I had originally told him, he deserved a phone call, not a quick text an hour later. Most importantly, I should have honored the time I told him I’d be home. If he did that to me, how would I have felt? I can say that I wouldn’t react the way he did, but that’s just conjecture. I don’t really know how I’d feel because I have not yet been put in that position.
I sincerely apologized to him and he hugged me, lovingly accepting the apology. But the experience stayed with me. A recent acquaintance, who has been married for 15 years, counseled that it will take a long time before Dan and I become one. We both had been single for many years before finding each other and an exchange of vows will not magically change the way we behaved when we were single. We are both making adjustments and that includes being mindful of each other when making plans. I’ve been single for so long with no one else’s schedule to consider other than my sister’s. And she’s the one I always did things with so that was never even an issue. When Dan and I were simply dating, I’d make plans on a regular basis with my sister without conferring with him. The problem is I find myself doing it still. But now that we are married, I understand that it should be very different. I should absolutely consider him when making any plans at all. After all, I am no longer a single woman.