Something New and Disturbing

A few minutes ago I left Kate in the bedroom working on her iPad while I went to the kitchen to check on something. As I left, I said, “I’m going to get ready for a shower in a few minutes.” When I came back, she had put the iPad on the ottoman of her chair and was watching the news on TV. She also had an angry look on her face. She said, “You told me to put that thing (the iPad) down and watch the news for a change.” I told her I hadn’t said that. She said, “Yes, you did. Don’t deny it.” I leaned down by chair and put my arm around her shoulder. I decided arguing wouldn’t get us anywhere. I told her I loved her and that she didn’t need to watch the news. She sat quietly fuming for a minute. Then she said, “I just get so tired of being so dependent on you. I can’t go anywhere or do anything without you. Here I am in my 70s and I’m treated like a child.” I repeated that I love her and told her I knew it was hard.” Then I asked if she would like to watch Golden Girls. She said, “I don’t care.” I turned off the news and now Golden Girls is playing. She is working on her iPad again.

Although she has talked any number of times about her not liking to be dependent on me, this is the first time she ever blamed me or took it out on me. I realize that she is likely to have forgotten this tomorrow, but I can’t help wondering if this signals a change in her outlook toward me. It comes just after a period of several days during which she has been unusually cheerful and cooperative. What a dramatic change she has made tonight.

The drama is now over. She just got up from her chair and said, “Well, Babe.” She didn’t sound angry at all. I asked if she were going to get something to wear to bed. She smiled and said she was. I told her I loved her, and she walked to her room. I hope she returns in the same state of mind in which she left.

Wow! This came at me from left field. To underscore how dramatic this was for me, this was the first time I have ever heard her express anger with me from the beginning of our marriage to now. She has expressed irritation frequently over the past few years, but this reaction was well beyond anything I have seen before. I am very glad that it has blown over and, hopefully, won’t return again.

When she returned from her room, she was just as pleasant as she has been for the past few days. It is as though the angry outburst never happened.