After being together for five years, her son began calling me “dad” two years ago. I have had the privilege of witnessing his transformation from a shy and quiet 4-year-old into an amazing, kind-hearted, empathetic, and outgoing 9-year-old with a heart of gold.
Without a doubt, she is the most incredible person I know. She has enriched my life in countless ways, though I’m aware that I often unintentionally make her life more difficult. Sadly, I find myself reacting emotionally due to the scars of childhood trauma, and this has caused me to behave in hurtful ways.
Regrettably, I often realize my unkindness only after the fact, and I sincerely try to listen, apologize, and learn from my mistakes. Nevertheless, I constantly struggle, and this aspect of my personality has caused considerable damage to the positive aspects of my life, which have been few.
Recently, we had a minor disagreement on Monday evening. Although it didn’t seem like a significant issue, the following morning, I woke up feeling irritated with her and went for a walk to clear my head. She later called, remaining calm, and informed me that she had an accident and shredded her tire while driving to work. Despite her composed tone, she asked if I could pick her up or if she should arrange an Uber.
Initially, my response was to discuss our disagreement since I was about 20 minutes away from home and needed time to gather my belongings before heading to her location, which would take another 15 minutes. Additionally, the drive to her workplace would consume another 15 minutes, making the whole trip nearly an hour. I also mentioned my financial concerns as I am self-employed and have been experiencing slow business.
Regrettably, she seemed offended by my response and promptly hung up. I sent a text expressing my feelings about her behavior, and this sparked a heated exchange over the next hour. Eventually, she became upset with me for not immediately checking on their well-being, accusing me of being indifferent and calling my behavior “disgusting.”
I tried to convey that I did care deeply about their safety but initially responded with a logical approach, based on the calmness of her voice on the phone. I repeatedly apologized for my insensitivity and offered my assistance in resolving the situation. However, it was not enough to appease her, and I understand her frustration. My tendency to be self-centered has caused numerous conflicts in the past.
We engaged in a four-hour-long conversation tonight, and I fear she has reached her breaking point. She is currently sleeping with her son for the fifth consecutive night while I am alone in bed at 3 in the morning, feeling remorseful and teary-eyed, aware that I am on the brink of losing my family, a consequence I believe I deserve.
During our discussion, I attempted to explain my reasons for reacting the way I did and reiterated the profound love and concern I have for both of them. Unfortunately, she dismissed my explanations, stating that she doesn’t care to hear them, and I suspect there’s no changing her mind. So here I am, burdened with a knot in my stomach and tears in my eyes, turning to Reddit to vent my feelings like a fool.
To anyone reading this, please learn from my mistakes. If you truly love someone, treat them with the respect and consideration they deserve. Do not repeat my pattern of behavior.