I sensed Alex had been restless lately, but I had no idea it was this bad. I thought we were happy. That he was happy.
“I don’t ever get to see you anymore. You’re always doing something with the church,” Alex whined. He grumpily crossed his arms over his chest.”I don’t want you doing Caravan anymore. I’m tired of the people in the church. I don’t want your father as our pastor. Why can’t you understand that?” he repeated to me.
I sighed, as he tried my patience, but I was beginning to think he was losing his mind.
“Alex, we have close friends there who we always do things with. Why would you want to leave that? You don’t want them as friends anymore? I don’t understand.” I leaned closer into Alex, trying to get a sense of what he was thinking and feeling, but failing miserably.
“You don’t get it, Kat. I don’t like it and I don’t like that you’re never home. You’re always off doing something with the church and never pay any attention to me. I’m sick and tired of it. You’re never home to cook dinner. You don’t clean the house. You don’t do things with me anymore. What about me? Where do I fit into all this?” Alex abruptly stood up and paced the living room. He rubbed his goatee with his hand, which meant I knew he was really peeved. I was stunned by his words. I guess I never realized how much my involvement in the church bothered him. I didn’t know he was “missing me.” He never said anything until now. But that didn’t mean we had to give up everything to change that, did we?
“I’m sorry you aren’t happy, Alex. I had no idea! I wish you had told me sooner. But do you think going to another church is really the answer? We’re just going to get involved as much there, too. It’s what we do. Why don’t you like where we’re at?” I leaned back into the couch and waited, hoping he could give me concrete answers that I could work with. This wasn’t like him to abruptly want to change something that was a big part of our marriage.
“I’m ready for a change. I want to do something different and find a church that has more young people like us. I want to play in a praise band and make new friends. I don’t like our praise band. I’m tired of the fights of trying to do things at this church!” Alex stomped around the living room, emphasizing his point. “I’ve had it, Kat. And you’re either coming with me or you’re not.”
“What? Excuse me, but I don’t think that’s the answer. And who are you to give me ultimatums like that? So what, if I don’t want to go, you’ll go without me? What kind of thing is that in a marriage? That’s stupid, Alex. You’re being ridiculous.” I huffed and stood up. I wasn’t going to put up with his idiocy. Those small, stinging barbs against my parents church and my father hurt. I calmly gazed at him, holding in my feelings. I didn’t want to say anything spiteful just because I was annoyed. “Alex, I think we really need to think about this and talk about it some more before we make a decision.”
“I’ve already made a decision, Kat. I’m the head of this household and the leader of this family spiritually. This is what I’ve decided and it’s what we’re going to do and that’s final.” Alex turned and left the room. I stood there trembling, hurt and angry, but submissive. I was his wife after all. I could only say so much.