I’ve read a lot of relationship books. Ours was not an easy one, though I am certain we would’ve endured and even flourished had you lived.
In general, during arguments, men tend to stonewall. They shut down, don’t talk, need a break. Women, in general, but this was true for us, want to talk about the issue at hand until they feel that, the problem isn’t necessarily solved, but they are reconnected with their spouse.
These different ways of dealing with conflict can really be trying…one person is pushing to keep talking, discussing, working it out. This is her way of loving. The other is trying not to lose his temper, needing a break from the intensity of the discussion, shutting down and leaving the room or even the apartment. This is also, his way of loving. But the more she pushes, the more he shuts down.
Your death while abroad, away from me, on another continent, with so many things unresolved- not even two years after a rough and sudden move, a new baby, and a job change for you that took you away from us for a month at a time- we didn’t get any time to settle back into ourselves as a couple- go on date nights, (oh how jealous I am of the people on FB now who are “out on a date night with the hubs!”), talk more, watch favorite shows together, share chores or tuck our daughter in together- your death, because of all of this- is the ultimate stonewall.
I want to cry and push and make you listen to me, but it is worse than any stonewall because there’s no angry face walking away or slamming door or turning on your side in our bed without saying goodnight. There is nothing. You can not hear me. It is all over. The pushing and stonewalling and connecting and loving. This is a very, very hard thing to accept.