I left off just before the huge blow-up. It had seemed to me like Tim and I had had a nice day, that even though we hadn’t exactly worked through everything to my satisfaction, things were going well and would probably end well.
But that night, after the evening’s entertainment, Tim, his brother and I were sitting in the upstairs lobby when Tim started making comments. I raised my eyebrow at a few and let them slide. Right up until he made a statement about his preconceived notions about sex that night. In front of his brother. Though he phrased it as a question, he didn’t wait for my reply and instead made plans to go to the hotel’s “Disco” (which is what most clubs are called in Cuba and what all dancing seems to be referred to) with his brother.
After everything else, that really felt like a punch in the gut. I felt humiliated. I tried to let him know that he had been wrong, that his comment had become a self-fulfilled prophecy, but I’m not sure if I was at all successful. I was too busy getting up and leaving.
I had trouble sleeping. At first, I waited up to see if he would come back to the room. We’d only been given one key card to the hotel room and I wanted to be able to get to the door quickly if he did knock so as not to wake up the kids. By midnight, there was still no sign of him.
Despite exhaustion from the day’s activities, my mind was racing. What would I do, what would I say when I did see him? Why couldn’t we get over this – whatever it is – already?
The kids woke up at 5 am. I’d barely had four hours of sleep at that point and there was still no sign of Tim. After changing Nathan’s diaper and seeing to Abby’s bathroom needs, I sat down and wrote a letter. It was lengthy and it not only contained my concerns from the last few days, but some concerns that weighed heavily as doubts from long before the vacation started. I chose each word carefully. I tried to assume blame when I felt it was due to me, but I did have a lot to get off my chest. I felt even more exhausted after writing the letter than I had when I first woke up with the kids.
I took the kids and we left the hotel room. As we walked past the room my inlaws’ were in, my father-in-law popped out the door to stop us. He asked if I knew Tim was in their room. I had figured as much. I handed him the letter I had written for Tim and continued down to the restaurant to get the kids some breakfast. I didn’t feel like eating.
There were plans to head into Matanzas for a day-trip. A couple cabs had been booked instead of taking the tour bus, for which I was grateful [side-note: these cars were gorgeous! And cabbing it sure beat waiting for 35 other people to get back on the bus before going to our next stop]. Tim’s dad collected a few items from our luggage for Tim who was showering in their room.
When Tim finally approached me about the letter, apology written all over his face – I resisted. I was still too hurt to accept his apology. I was somber and quiet for most of the day. For a brief moment, while the cabs had stopped at a view point and everyone was out taking pictures and stretching legs, we sat in the back of the car and talked. I admitted that I didn’t know what I wanted to do at that point. I was exhausted and even a little bitter from the events of the last 24 hours.
At one point during the day, I was so depressed and the thought occurred to me that I missed touching Tim. I missed hugging him, wrapping my arms around him, or even just holding his hand. I remembered that I had picked out a word to mark 2012 and I realized that it was so important that I be the one to act first. And so, in the middle of the Bellamar caves, I wrapped my arms around Tim and I whispered to him that I missed him.
It was like a spell was broken. I don’t mean to suggest that everything was perfect from there on. However, by making that first move, everything else just got a whole lot easier. Having a pastor for a father-in-law, one who happens to be a fantastic relationship counsellor, also helped. We had a good session later that week where we hashed out a lot of issues – some that were almost hidden to us.
Friday, the day after the emergency counselling session, Tim and I got to spend in Havana all by ourselves. I’ll share more about that in separate post.
We still don’t have a solution to the lack of touch problem that is created by his working away from home for great lengths of time. It will be three weeks on Thursday since he left for the most recent job. And likely another month before we’ll get to see him next, which means this is shaping up to be the longest he’s been away at one time. So, if you have experienced a similar situation, please share your thoughts! If you prefer, you can use the contact form and email me privately.