If you were to ask me, I'd normally say I'm a far less judgmental person today than I was, say, five years ago. That I'm willing to listen to an opposing point of view, and be content to let the other person believe in something that I may consider downright wrong. Closer home, I'd have thought that Vicky and I were getting used to each other. Still bickering over differences, but reconciled to being different.
And now, I'm not so sure that I've changed much, after all. There is much that Vicky does that bothers me. How much I didn't realise until I left my household and child in his hands. I don't agree with many of his methods and I don't always agree with his judgment and I genuinely believe that by carelessness he has caused some serious damage between Rahul and me.
On the other hand -- and this is something I'm considering extremely reluctantly, almost under duress -- how important are these transgressions given the larger context of our lives? Rahul and I have our differences now and we've always had them. At worst Vicky merely catalysed a situation that was ripe for occurrence. Also, not all our fallouts have ever changed the understanding he and I have of each other, something that is beyond and set apart from the rest of the world. I am his mother and not all our fights will ever make me any different. Can I really blame Vicky for stepping on toes he didn't mean to tread?
Household chores are a relatively minor issue because I'm not really houseproud. We both would like to live in a home decorated with our cool stuff but since neither of us can be arsed to clean or maintain all this glory, we are comfortable living with dust and messiness. Yes, I would appreciate some proactiveness from his side, but I am also liable to abuse it, heaping more and more chores on him, so I do understand his wariness better than I confess.
What I have not been able to tolerate is the distance he puts between us without any explanation or contrition whenever he feels the need for a break. He does not physically walk away but for all the good he is to me, he may as well have. In fact, if he actually did walk away to return only when back to his normal self, there would be fewer bitter words said in this household. But I don't want a husband who walks away from me. Nor do I want one who is able to happily dispense with me and my part in his life at his convenience.
It leaves me at a crossroads. When he recovers his balance and comes looking for me, I'm no longer waiting for him. I stopped hoping he'd notice how lost I got myself. I stopped expecting him to hold me the nights I needed him the most. And worst of all, I stopped trusting in him to never let me go no matter what the provocation.
In a way, this lack of trust is in itself an intolerance, I'm coming to think. Intolerance of imperfection. Did I think I was marrying perfection, then? Surely not?
So if I can accept that he will need to walk away. That he won't be able to tell me when or why he needs to distance himself. That in those periods he will, to all intents and purposes, cease to be an active member of this household. If I can accept this hitherto unacceptable facet of our marriage, perhaps we shall both be happier for it. I cannot control my ungovernable temper, but surely I can learn to channel it better?
And with that, I let the grudge go.