Welcome to A Life Examined

What is the examined life? A life worth living! As I look at the road ahead, I take all the baggage from the past and use it as experience - the pain and the passion, the sorrow and the joy - allowing it to carve wisdom into my mind and hope into my spirit.
There is no experience that can't be useful to me at some point in my life. There is no lesson learned that cannot make a contribution to the future.
A tiny drop of water is a part of the ocean. A tiny speck in the night sky is a ginormous star in the distance. It all depends on perspective.
So, this examined life is to offer reflections in the hope of discussing things which are of value to myself and to others.
Love, Sarah

Thursday, 14 November 2013

My "Perfect" Life - part 24

Men don't read their girl friends'/wives' minds. I base this on a very narrow band of experience and information.

I fell in love with A, the man who was to become my husband, long before we started dating. But he didn't have a clue.

For 9 months we built a friendship. He introduced me to his friends around England, I invited him to school performances and parties (I'd gone to England for one year to study acting). He fit into my world because he was polite and courteous, though his only previous experience of theater people was going to see shows. What I shared with many of his friends was faith. So we got on.

And in this 9 month period what grew inside of me was love.

I had made a decision not to date A from the first introduction. But I hadn't made a decision not to fall in love. And whether I could have held to that decision, had I made it, is debatable. 

How it happened?

A few times A invited me to his home for lunch on a Sunday, to share with him and his young daughter. I met her on the same day I met him, and she and I got on really well. I suppose we did, because she was lovely. I suppose we did because I love kids. I suppose we did because there was no tension, no hidden agenda (whatever that might include). And I suppose, without my even thinking about it, A was observing his daughter and I. I suppose, if she and I hadn't 'got on', I wouldn't be writing this piece at all, because I suppose he never would have considered proposing to me - no matter how much he might have been attracted to me.

But I was oblivious to all of this because to me, it wasn't relevant.

But it became relevant, very relevant, eventually...

On on those Sunday afternoons, and on other occasions, when A and I would go to a concert, movie or show, we got to know each other. Or he'd come to a party, or I'd join him at one of his friend's for a meal. And we got to know each other. And I liked him. I respected him. I valued his kindness. And, unknown to him, I fell in love with him.

And I remember clearly, the moment that I realized A couldn't read my mind.

At the 6 month mark, I was planning a trip to Scotland with a friend of his, who had also become a friend of mine. A was very nervous. The friend was a male, and A was concerned I'd fall in love with him. I knew I wouldn't because I was already in love with A.

A asked me, "How do you know you won't fall in love with him?" He was also concerned for his friend, who was very sweet and to A's mind, had a very vulnerable heart and didn't want me to break it.

At that moment, the right thing to say, to alleviate A's concerns, and to be true to my own tendency to honesty (and to fess up!), would have been to say, "Because I'm in love with you." Instead, I looked at him. Realizing he didn't have a clue how I felt about him, I was astonished. But I couldn't admit I loved him, because if I did, he might hurt me. So, I said nothing. Or, if I answered his question at all, I said something dismissive like, 'Oh, you have nothing to worry about.'

I did go on that trip to Scotland. I didn't fall in love - because I was already in love - but did have a good time and learned a lot about my relationship with my God and about my 'roots' (my heritage is almost purely Scottish) and got to know the other friend better. Incidentally, I don't think the friend fell in love with me either, but then I'm not sure that a woman can read a man's mind, so perhaps he did and I didn't know it.

After returning from the trip, and after assuring A I hadn't fallen in love with his friend, things returned to normal... It would be another few months before A would ask me to be his girlfriend. By that time I said, immediately, "yes!" I'm not entirely sure how we got from status quot to the point of his asking me out, but I think it had a lot to do with the fact he went on an overseas trip for a few weeks and he asked me while we were apart. I was finally ready. He was surprised by my response. We haven't been apart very much since.

Wives and girl friends: there is a very practical application to this post and here it is:

I think, if you want your hubby to know what you are wanting/hoping/thinking, you've got to tell him. It isn't fair that you expect him to know - he just won't. Your best girl friend might know. Even a remote or vague female acquaintance might guess. But your sweetheart very likely won't know, unless you tell him.

I'd love readers to share a tale, if they have one, that demonstrates a man can read a woman's mind. That would add to my library of information and experience. And it might contribute to a world wide effort to enable men and women to understand one another better. Or, to read a tale that consolidates my experience that says men don't know how/what women think, can also help us to relate better.

Until next Thursday....


Amber Hawkins said...

This is so very true.
Thank you for sharing your insight.
I am not sure what it is in a woman, that causes her to think that the man in her life should be a mind reader. We deal with this quite a bit in counseling that we do. Many times it takes years to figure out that they never will be mind readers.
I am sure that this will help others, thanks for sharing.

Sarah Tun said...

Thanks, Amber. I'm so glad this can be useful to you... please print it off (copyright Sarah Tun, 2013) Use it and pass it on if you like, direct others to the blog where you think it appropriate. We're all just eager to learn, to grow, to share and to shine!
Best to you and for your counseling work!

Jeannie said...

This is kind of funny but SO TRUE, Sarah. Open communication is better than just hoping and assuming and wondering. And so much more respectful.

sarah tun said...

Indeed Jeannie, and to think if I'd not confessed - to myself and to A - how I really felt, I might have lost a most wonderful aspect of my life: my hubby.