At dinner, J either misheard or misunderstood something I said and he reacted poorly. He hurt my feelings.
While those hurt feelings were nearly matched by anger, my response to him was uncharacteristically level-headed. I told J to go home–to his home, not mine. He left immediately, only to return a few minutes later. He sat and we exchanged more words, none of them all that productive, and I repeated my earlier command. He left again.
I finished my wine and left the restaurant. As I walked to my car, I saw him sitting in his. I found my keys and drove home without him.
My sending him home was half a response to my being hurt and angry and half out of wanting to punish him. I’m not sorry I ended the conversation and went home alone, in large part because I was angry and I probably would have made the situation worse. I know myself well enough to know that I’m not always rational when I’m hurt and angry. If I had invited him back to my place, I might have said something far more stupid and hurtful than he said to me–I’d be the one having to make apologies today. I needed time to cool off.
Besides all of that, some part of me was punishing him for being so careless with my feelings. I was glad to learn he recognized it as a punishment. It was.
But still, sending J home means I missed out on time with him. I probably won’t get to see him again for a couple of weeks.
I recognize this is one of the problems that comes with a driving distance relationship, particularly one wherein I’m unwilling to administer punishments that would waste my time and his. I’d rather not see him at all than waste our time together.
But of course, refusing to see him means… well, it means I didn’t get to see him. That sucks.
In the end, the details of the misunderstanding are unimportant. Despite some bruised feelings, we’re fine. I’ve said my own share of stupid, hurtful things in the past and J has always responded to my apologies with grace, understanding, and forgiveness. I admire that about him, and I’ve decided to follow his lead. He apologized sincerely and I forgave him (also sincerely), and all is well now.
But still… a missed night? Missed time together? I’m sure it hurts him, but it hurts me too.