My passive aggressive husband has an uncanny ability to read my very thoughts at times. He always seems to know what’s really going on inside of me. He has an awareness that’s beyond normal.
One day recently driving to the beach to swim, I wasn’t looking particularly at any certain thing, not inasmuch as you could see me physically focused as looking at any certain thing. As my eyes glanced at the buildings, people, and general surroundings we passed in the car, I took subtle notice of the hanging baskets of flowers on the city street, and was casually inwardly thinking of trying to replicate it next year. I actually looked at the flowers for mere seconds, and not any longer than I looked at anything else. Within seconds of my thoughts, he asked me, “Do you happen to know what kind of flowers those are in those hanging baskets?”
Part of me kind of jumped within, but I didn’t show it. I answered in a nonchalant and absentminded way, “What did you say?”
He said, “I was wondering if you knew what kind of flowers were in the hanging baskets, and if they’re some kind of annuals.”
I answered, “Oh, no, I don’t know, sorry.”
That kind of incident is not really that unusual. I’ve had so many inexplicable experiences like this with him over the years. I used to think it was love. I used to think it was empathy. Now I accept it as some strange ability to read me.
It has pros and cons. On the bad side, if I say I can’t take this, he can read some imperceptible measure of my yet to be saturated ability to take a little bit more. On the bad side, I can know that he knows I’m hurting, and just doesn’t seem to care to show compassion.
On the good side, if I say I won’t take this, he can sense that I’ll walk away if he even puts a toe over the line I drew in the sand. I don’t even have to get mad. On the good side, since I know he knows I’m hurting and doesn’t seem to care to show compassion, I can now more easily take my energy and redirect it to caring for myself.
Meanwhile, maybe I should make some kind of tinfoil hat.