It’s my turn to tell the Honeymoon Hat story! Not really, Monica totally nailed it. I really surprised her with my level of anger and ability to pout when I left the hat on the shuttle.
It may sound insignificant and childish now, but that hat was proof of my good husbandry. I followed the rule of getting her a gift, and now it was gone. When I lost the hat, I lost my good-rule-following-husband proof! I had nothing else to hide me from my shame–I was scared to death I would fail as a husband. This made Ben-Hulk very angry!
Our honeymoon story is not uncommon. It was fun, but it was intense. We made love and we also fought. I believe this is all very normal. It’s part of adjusting to two crazy people becoming more intimately acquainted.
However, when those problems aren’t resolved and they are ignored, they don’t go away. It took years of living in fear before Monica knew how to deal with my anger. At the same time, it took several fear-filled years for me to know how to deal with Monica’s emotional states.
Our passion is to help couples reduce the amount of time (maybe even years!) they spend in fear or helplessness about their spouse’s emotions. We did not grow until we stopped fearing each other’s emotions, and with fear out of the way, our intimacy and friendship absolutely took off. We want the same for you!
The most crucial step is realizing your spouse’s emotions are his or her emotions. You don’t have to fix them. In fact, the more you focus on your partner’s emotions, the less your partner will focus on his or her emotions (and the more dependent your partner will become on you handling his or her emotions).
I can tell you Monica’s exact response if the Honeymoon Hat happened today. She would lovingly say, “That sucks, I’m sorry you lost the hat. I know you really liked it,” and she would continue walking through the lobby, allowing me the space and time to deal with whatever anger or frustration I might have.