By Top Contributor James Prenatt
You ever tell a stupid lie because you’re afraid of someone’s disappointment? I have. You forget for the third time to bring to the makeup bag and clothes you were supposed to bring when you pick her and the kids up so you text her telling there’s a big accident but she’s got you figured out from the start. Because you’re a bad liar. Because in your messed up head it’s better to lie than it is to screw up again.
Okay, just me? Insert your situation here. I know someone reading this has told a so-called white lie in order to prevent an argument.
Then you’re sleeping on the couch and worried she’s going to leave you over this. Lies don’t have a hierarchy. Lies are lies and they hurt. Word to the wise: don’t make excuses. Say I’m sorry even though she won’t believe it. Give her space. Let her do what she needs to do in order to figure out what she’s going to do with you, with the relationship. It’ll mend. Forgive and forget. But it won’t happen right away. You’re an asshole and don’t think saying, “Baby I’m such an asshole. I’m sorry” is going to help. Self-pity is the worst apology in the history of all apologies.
When you lie to her (or him), you lie to the family. Some people don’t get that, but when the parents are having problems, the kids will have problems. They sense the tension, the way you both don’t quite work together the same and the fact that you’re not as happy when the both of you don’t get along. Happy parents mean happy(er) kids. Not to mention, leading by example is incredibly vital to raising good kids. The way they see you solve conflicts is they way they will learn to solve them.
I call this piece “Throwing the Bread” because my parents’ had one fight early in their marriage and my mother threw a piece of bread at my dad. They almost broke up, but obviously it worked out and things were great from that moment on. Apparently they only fought a total of three times. That’s how my mom put it, anyway. I hope this is my bread throwing story, that after this, there’s only good. Tip: let her throw the bread at you. You’re not doing each other any favors by ignoring your anger. Just do so out of sight of your children.
James Prenatt lives in Baltimore with his wife, son (monster), a clingy dog, and noisy cat. He studied Literature and Writing at Towson University and has published poetry and articles for magazines such as JMWW, Gay & Lesbian Review, and Severna Park Voice.