Guest Post by Kim W.
I told my husband I was going stand up paddleboarding with a group of friends. He said it sounded fun. “You can come if you want”, I said. We both love water sports but he was, as usual, working that weekend so I didn’t expect him to say yes. He thought about it and said, “It’s ok, I’ll just go work and make us some money instead”.
And so commenced Married Couple Cagematch Throwdown Spectacular 2013. Are you readdyyyy toooo rummmbblllee?
I was hurt - the implication was that I didn’t contribute to our relationship financially. Which is strictly true (he does and always will make more than me because he’s a nerd in silicon valley). He was being honest - he was sad to not go paddleboarding, but consoled himself with his (admittedly awesome) work ethic.
To support my case, I cited previous 'examples' of his 'opinions' that he had never properly 'apologized' for. This incident was just the latest in a string of comments that showed a deep resentment towards my much smaller income. I offered my evidence to the court and established a very nasty pattern of behavior. What a good little lawyer I would be, I thought.
With the patience of a saint, he explained that he didn’t think those things at all, and I was putting my own spin on this and past events. My catalogued list of unforgiven sins turned out to mostly be a reflection of my own unaddressed hurt feelings. MCCTS2013 didn’t shine a spotlight on his true intentions. My well-reasoned arguments were nothing more than well-disguised grudges.
It was very hard to admit I was keeping grudges. I’m a pretty forgiving person, usually to the point of excess. I’ve been known to suggest that dictators and despots might not be so bad with a few antidepressants and a good hug. However, I do hold a mighty grudge when my feelings have been hurt. Then I dig in and clamp down, reliving and reworking all the perceived wrong that I have suffered.
Being hurt by something my husband said is ok.
Being hurt, and holding it against him instead of addressing the issue, is bad.
Being hurt, holding it against him, and calling that anything other than a grudge, is the worst.
The more I thought about it, the more I was forced to admit I was hoarding a pile of secret grudges. Tomorrow in Part 2, I’ll confess my three ways to hold a secret grudge.
Read Part 2 here.