Yesterday morning I woke up sick, the sort of sick that really only gets better from staying home and sleeping it off. Mr. Unicorn and I were enjoying a nice morning before he had to leave for work, but then he said to me, "You know, sometimes I wake up feeling bad and then I go to work and I feel better. You could try it and see."
I was incredibly hurt. I had struggled with the decision to stay home, and had come to it as something that would be necessary for me to feel better--against my fears that staying home would reflect badly on me, having just gotten my walking date at work. Couple this with the obvious lack of an income that is upcoming and the issue was suddenly about money, not my health and well-being. The passive aggressiveness of his statement really summed up how subtly unsupported I have felt lately, and I told him so. I said all I really wanted to hear was "I'm sorry to hear that you are sick. I hope you feel better today."
We spent some stony minutes in silence, and then he pulled me into a big hug and wouldn't let me go. He repeated the words I wanted to hear with a smile, and continued to hug me well after he should have left for work. I was beaming by the time he left, all of my worries drained away by his display. Just having him take a little bit of time to address my needs like that dissipated all of the prickliness we had been feeling over the last few days.
I slept for the next seven hours and woke up feeling worse. He called on his way home from work, and asked if he could get me anything. I said I wasn't sure if I wanted hot or cold for my throat, so I asked for ice cream and also a hot coffee from the stand down the road. He came home bearing all my gifts, including some throat lozenges, but the best gift was himself.
We run and host a D&D session weekly, and we like to discuss the theory behind what makes a good game, things we can improve in and out of game, and so forth, but the conversations usually wrap themselves up in an hour or so, because he'll start reading to me or get caught up in mechanics and I just start to tune everything out.
Last night we had a huge breakthrough in our communication. Whenever he sensed that I might be drifting, he would stop himself and check in with me, and we were able to get the conversation back on track. We talked around and around ideas that irritated us until we found out the root cause and corrected the misunderstanding. We were able to propose ideas and play around with fleshing them out without losing the other person. Amazingly, we talked for nearly five hours, and then finished our evening by being intimate well into the wee hours.
It was a wonderful occurrence. Very healing after the small rift we had been dealing with. We were both very clear on what we needed and wanted and worked together on achieving our conversational goals. I hope we can continue on that path because I love having those sorts of exploratory conversations with him, whatever the topic.