Sometimes text messages can be a bit confusing and misconstrued. A quick reply without an associated emoji can almost come across as being snippy. Wait too long to reply, and someone might think you’re purposefully ignoring them. Reply too quickly, and it might arrive in the wrong order. Like the time Matthew wrote: “I am so in love with you, Amy, and so very proud to know you as my bride!” Which came through just as I was hitting “send”, in reply ANOTHER message which required me to apologize. It read, “I know. I’m sorry.” And thus miscommunication is born. Thankfully, we were able to laugh about that one, but there have definitely been times where miscommunication almost killed us. Literally.
We were married for only a few months when the first instance occurred. Matthew had been working so hard and was exhausted. Naturally, he fell asleep at bedtime like any normal hard-working man would do. I had been home by myself all day, rather hormonal, pregnant, and having loads of things to talk about. (This was before texting, for all of you young readers out there). He lay there next to me, his deep and steady breathing signaling to me that sleep had overtaken him. I, on the other hand, just lay there wide awake. I started to think things like this:
Doesn’t he KNOW I’m here? Doesn’t he KNOW I want to talk to him? Doesn’t he realize I have things on my mind? I huffed and turned as noisily as I could, flopping this way and that, hoping my movement would make the point my thoughts were screaming. He just lay there. Breathing so peacefully. Blissfully unaware of my needs. The more I focused on how insensitive he was to fall asleep when I wanted to talk to him, the more angry I became. Finally, I rolled out of bed, stormed out of the room and slammed our bedroom door as hard as I could. I heard a huge crash and quickly turned around to open the door I had slammed. Matthew was sitting up in our bed, looking dazed. The gigantic bookshelf which had been above our bed, full of VERY HEAVY books, had fallen. On his head. Strong’s Concordance was laying on his pillow. He looked at me and yelled: “Are you trying to KILL ME?!” Immediately, I burst into tears. Of course I wasn’t trying to do such a thing. I just wanted him to wake up. Well, he was awake. And thus began lesson one of many called: My husband doesn’t know what I’m thinking unless I speak it out loud.
Then there was another time during the same first year of marriage when we were driving home at night in our white Subaru station wagon. We lived in a tiny apartment in Northeast Philly. We were both really tired, and Matthew was driving. As we were approaching a stop sign, there was one person ahead of us. At this point, Matthew closed his eyes for “just a few seconds”. In those few seconds, our car drifted forward and hit the car ahead of us. It wasn’t a huge accident, but it warranted pulling over to make sure the other car was fine. I was about eight months pregnant at this point in time. I remember looking over at him and probably saying something unkind. Then, I opened the door, got out of the car, slammed the door (see a pattern?) and walked home. Looking back, I can hardly believe I was so rude. Matthew was left with the owner of the other car, dealing with the small fender bender, while his pregnant wife walked home in the dark to our apartment, a few blocks away.
There have been many miscommunications since then as well. They have made us stronger and more determined than ever to be open and honest and gentle in sharing our hearts with each other. It seems so simple, but the less time we spend on hoping the other person will catch our emotional drift, the more time we have to actually voice what we’re thinking. Not assuming what the other person is thinking could actually save you from being hit on the head with a five-pound concordance. And if all else fails, try yelling the word “Bubbles” in the angriest voice possible. It’s impossible. And you might just start laughing instead. And the best part of every miscommunication, argument, or disagreement is making up again.