It’s time for another “marriage situation” post. We’ll tackle the issues surrounding a hangry husband and a hormonal wife. What fun. Today we will post the situation and tomorrow we will give a solution. As always, Liz’s comments will be normal and mine will be bolded.
Given our crazy schedule, Paul and I have designated Tuesday evening a “Family Night.” Paul comes home early, we make a kid-friendly dinner and then spend a few hours doing things our little boys find amusing.
On one particular Tuesday I was making “brinner,” the beloved “breakfast for dinner” tradition that the males of my family seem to swoon over. (According to Jack, pancakes and bacon at 5:30 mirror his idea of life in heaven.) Thus, I was mixing up homemade pancake batter, chopping potatoes to make hash browns and just generally creating the chaos in which I cook the best. Every cabinet is open, most drawers only half-closed, and an unnatural amount of spoons litter the counter (I always forget where I put the one I was using…so I just get another one : ).
It was at this juncture that Paul stepped into the house. I turned to greet him with a huge smile and elevated expectations for his reactions to the dinner menu (I mean, I was making BRINNER after all.)
But instead of joy, or even a smidge of appreciation, I was treated to “Eyore Paul.” Creases between his brows. Half-lidded eyes. The weight of the world apparently on his shoulders.
I put out the feeler question of, “sooo, how was your day?”
Heaving a heavy (dramatic?) sigh, he dropped into a kitchen chair.
“Worthless. I didn’t get anything done.”
I ignored the glaringly obvious use of despondent hyperbole and shouldered on, “Hmmmm. Well. We’re having breakfast for dinner tonight! I’m in the middle of making it now.”
“That’s nice. To bad you couldn’t do that without using every single utensil that you own.”
“Well…..I can just wash them.”
“Or can you? I’ve seen the way you load the dishwasher. And forget to run it. We’ll be out of spoons by morning.”
And we moved on from there.
He noticed that the dishwasher was open. (He hates this habit.) Soooo, snark.
He reminded me not to set the fire alarm off again when I put the bacon in the oven. Snark.
He described his interactions with the people at work. More snarky snarkness.
Snark. Snark. Snark. Despair. Despair. Despair.
It was enough to make me want to hurl the bacon out the window…..almost. It was bacon after all.
Still, I had an inkling of what was contributing to all this angst.
“Did you eat lunch today, Paul?”
“You forgot, didn’t you?”
So I walked to the pantry and retrieved a granola bar. Which he defiantly accepted and defiantly ate. Then he followed that with a cheese stick, a container of yogurt and some apple juice.
Then came the sheepish admission, “Well…I feel much better.”
Aaaaand there you have it. An interlude with hangry Paul.
I’ve learned to read the signs and symptoms of hunger anger. It amazes me that Paul can’t see them. How hard is it to eat a granola bar!? Why can’t he see this problem and fix it? Am I suppose to police his eating habits? Is that my job? What am I suppose to do?
It was a Friday and one of the evenings when we host a dinner/Bible Study at our house. Now I don’t want to shatter anyone’s preconceived ideas, but even on the best of these nights it’s not all peace and tranquility as Liz entertains and I lead a lesson from the bible. At best it’s just plain hard work including a few hours of study and an hour or two of writing. I know it’s no walk in the park for Liz either. Her cleaning of the house and preparing dinner for our friends all while watching three children is a Bible Study miracle every two weeks.
Knowing this, I try to get home early on Bible Study days to make sure she has some help, if at all exegetically possible. Normally she’s grateful for such overtures and we progress through the evening working together as team. But sometimes. . .
I arrive home at 4:30pm congratulating myself at being so early. I walk in to the house, smell something amazing, and see Liz standing at the stove with her back to me.
Me: “Hi Babe! Let me just go to the bathroom and then I’ll be ready to help.”
Liz, somewhat acerbically: “Whatever….I mean, do you even care about this Bible Study?”
Me thinking: <Uh, yeah, I just spent the whole freaking day working on it.> Me saying: “Hmmm. Had a rough day?”
Liz, apparently ignoring the question, “You know, if this is going to work, and I mean really work, you’re just going to have to get home earlier. I need help. I can’t do all this on my own and you always spend way to much time writing the lesson. Who needs that much time to write?! Just…try to get it down and come home at a reasonable time, OK?”
Me thinking: <What a jerk(ette)! Now she’s criticizing the way I spent my day. I’m studying the Bible for crying out loud. Maybe I should just be like, “hurry up God, your Spirit’s taking way too long to communicate your infinite truth to me.”> Me saying in an even voice (perhaps even through gritted teeth): “But I did come home early. And now I’m ready to help. Would you like me to just clear the table after I use the restroom?”
Liz, in a somewhat frustrated voice: “Well it needs done, doesn’t it? It’s not going to clear itself and I can’t do it right now. But whatever. Go hang out in bathroom for a while and just leave me out here with the kids.”
Me thinking: <I really do have to use the restroom. It’s not like I’m going golfing or something.> Me saying, perhaps a little sarcastically: “Yeah, I’m just going to abandon you while I do something totally unnecessary, like, I don’t know, use the restroom.”
Silence. I ease towards the bathroom.
Liz, with what I think are the hint of tears edging her voice, “Well when you finally get out, can you please pick up the baby and so deal with the boys because I just. can’t. do. it.”
Me thinking: <What the heck is wrong with her, she’s not usually like this! And what happened to clearing the table?! I thought that was the plan. Maybe I could do it holding a baby? She’s setting me up to fail!> Me in a less than loving voice saying: “Fine, I’ll just do that. And while I’m at it I’ll just vacuum, dust, handle the kids, set up the tables and do various and sundry other jobs that you just can’t handle.“
I think: <Does she expect me to read her mind? WHAT IS WRONG WITH HER? … wait a minute….this is how she normally acts right around that….time. And, yeah, it has been about a month since she was last like this. Oooook. Everything is making sense now….>
This is the type of situations that might arise when Liz is, well, hormonal. So what’s a guy to do? I know that a major factor in her caustic and critical spirit is physical. Those monthly hormones change her very outlook on life, the universe and everything. She literally isn’t thinking straight. At the same time, her responses right from the beginning are wrong on so many levels and it just isn’t fair that I should have to deal with them, especially after a long day at work.
Two instances of common physical “impairments” that can contribute to very un-Christlike behavior. How should Paul handle a hormonal Liz? What is Liz’s reaction to hangry Paul? That’s the question. And our next post (posted here!) will (attempt) to answer it : ) (And if you enjoy these types of posts and want to be alerted when new ones arrive, please consider liking us on Facebook. It’s our primary means of staying in touch with followers : )