Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I told my husband I loved him. Oops.

It's not something we go around casually saying to each other. At least, not since February. Sure, during one or two or three hundred of the serious talks we're had, one or both of us might have let the L word slip. And, hell, even last night he said "that's why I love her" to a random stranger at the bar. What this random stranger said to warrant such a response? I have no idea. He was probably commenting on the good sense God obviously graced me with to know when to replace the pitcher of beer.

But this morning? The big, fat "I love you" just slipped out and it was awkward and I spent the next six hours hearing myself say the words over... and over... and over again. At least I can be grateful it was only over the phone and not (shudder) in person.

Me, grinning like an idiot at the display on my cell phone: Hello?
Him: Hi. I'm just calling to make sure you're awake.
Me: I'm just walking out to my car.
{insert brief miscellaneous chit chat here}
Him: I'd better get back to work.
Me: All right. Have a good day.
Him: You, too.
Me: I love you.
Him: (awkward pause) (which I may be exaggerating) I love you, too.

The we hung up. I got in my car and I sat there staring straight ahead as I heard those three little words replay like a broken record. My face got hot. I was like that girl, the one who always says "I love you" first. No one wants to be that girl. And even though I meant it, I do love him, and even though there are worse things I can do than tell my husband I love him, it just wasn't the time.

It left me feeling exposed and vulnerable. The sad, pathetic fact is we still haven't figured out (or even discussed) what the hell we're doing. And, despite its continuous improvement, there is still a big possibility that this marriage won't survive the surgery. Especially if we never make it into the OR.

You may have seen the tweets. It's what I do when I'm feeling embarrassed. Might as well take it public! In the middle of tweeting the awkward start to my day, my cell phone started to buzz with a call from my mother.

Her: I don't get it. Why can't you say "I love you?" (Did I mention her cell phone alerts her with each new tweet?)
Me: (sigh) It just wasn't the time. I didn't mean to say it and I think it threw us both off.
Her: But you're married.
Me: We're separated. We were getting divorced. Still could. And we certainly haven't been in the habit of saying "I love you" lately.
Her: And you don't want to be the girl who let's it out accidentally.
Me: Well... no.
Her: Frankly, I think you're both acting like babies.

I hate to admit it, but she has a point. You're all free to side with my mother. But just this once.

On a positive note, this whole situation has made me painfully aware that it is time for us to have The Talk. We need to make a decision once and for all. What the hell are we doing? Because even worse than being the girl who accidentally says "I love you" at the worst possible times? Being the wife of nearly seven years who isn't sure when it's appropriate to say "I love you" to her husband.


  1. Strange as this may seem, I am more worried that your mom's cell phone alerts her for any new tweets from you than that you said "I Love You" to your husband. I would think that even though you are separated that there is some expectation that you still love him. If you do, then tell him. If it is awkward for him then he has to deal with it.I am harsh. I haven't had enough coffee yet. And remember, free advice is worth just what you paid for it....nothing. So ignore me. I would.

  2. Not knowing where you are headed in the relationship has got to be very, very hard. Not feeling able to say I love you freely, also very hard. I was going to say it is definitely time to have The Talk, but my next thought was, sometimes we don't know where we're going or what we're doing. Sigh.

  3. I think your last line is it, yes. Good luck. Chin up. All that.

  4. Don't stress so hard over it, it wasn't that bad. As far as needing to have The Talk, don't push it. If your new relationship (which is what this is/should be) isn't there yet then don't push it. Are you in a rush or just impatient? Life take time, relationships take A LOT of time and maybe you guys aren't there yet. Take it easy and only take it as seriously as you have to. The more at ease you guys are with each other the better it will be. Don't sabotage it.

  5. If you love him, say it. It doesn't have to have any bearing on anything other than that you do, in fact, love him.Right?

  6. Whatever you do, don't call it The Talk when you come face to face with your husband. I always want to run for the hills when somebody says "we need to talk". But maybe that's just me :)

  7. It doesn't appear as if you said it because you were fishing for the same was an emotion you were feeling at the time. If you love him, I don't see the harm in letting him know.

  8. StephanieJune 25, 2010

    Heh. Thanks. ;)

  9. StephanieJune 25, 2010

    But isn't it a bit awkward to say "I love you" and not have it verbally reciprocated?

  10. Flattered.Unless I hated your guts. But, if that were the case, I wouldn't be accepting your calls and we wouldn't be talking anyway.

  11. StephanieJune 25, 2010

    You're not harsh, you're right. But, mature or otherwise (and I'm sure it's mostly otherwise), I don't want to be the one who put myself out there and said I love you and really made an effort to make this marriage work if he's still teetering between whether or not he wants to do the same. He's made me feel like a fool before. I really don't want to open myself up to that again.

  12. StephanieJune 25, 2010

    Most of the time we've spent together lately has been so much fun. Then there are times when not being able to do something that once came naturally makes me feel awkward and depressed. Things like reaching out to hold his hand... or even call him... or like saying I love you. It's a weird place to find yourself.

  13. StephanieJune 25, 2010

    You're a guy. You tell me. How would you feel if you were in his shoes?

  14. StephanieJune 25, 2010

    Wait, you mean people don't like that??? I may have to change my approach. ;)

  15. StephanieJune 26, 2010

    Okay. Good point. I have no rational response. I was going to say I'm just afraid of scaring him off, but then realized how pathetic that would sound, so I changed my mind. Like Michelle said (above), this relationship, or whatever it is, is very new. We're still kind of testing the waters. Having fun, yes, but still adjusting. It really does feel like we're getting to know each other all over again. And I wouldn't say the L word to a guy I'd been seeing for just a couple months.

  16. Keeping in mind that I signed up (somehow) for tweets from all the people I am following on twitter, not just from this bozo. :)

  17. Could be I suppose. I generally say "I love you" without expecting it back. Don't get me wrong ~ it is preferable and nice to hear it when I say it....but I would rather the person say it because they mean it instead of an echo of my words.

  18. Unless it was a guy you suddenly realized you really loved.right?

  19. StephanieJuly 02, 2010

    Nope. Even then, I'd be too afraid of scaring the poor guy off. What can I say? I'm a pansy.

  20. [...] And by that, I mean both of us. Him for not saying anything sooner, for letting me continue to believe that the time we spent together was helping, that it was mending our relationship… and me for letting him do it again. For not asking sooner. For assuming. For doing the same fucking thing I’ve done every time we’ve “broken up.” For the clothes I bought just to impress him, for the hours I spent in bars I hate just because I knew he liked them, for wasting my time and money flying to San Antonio. For everything. For every kiss, every hug, every intimate moment we shared. That fucking “I love you.” [...]