His response inspired me to write this.
"Love, it's a lot less expensive for you to take the toll road every day if you need to than for us to pay for you to have to re-take those classes. Especially with how hard that would be on you emotionally. Take it if you need to & we'll finish this semester."
So much wisdom for such a young man. His response to my apology was both rational and incredibly empathetic. I am just 50 days from my last day of graduate school, (I like to think my last day of school ever), and the added pressure of knowing how stressful and complicated it would be for me to drop or flunk a class this semester, pushing back my graduation and forcing me to pay twice for a class, has been extremely difficult.
I feel my husband had every right to be a bit annoyed with me, or to at least appreciate my apology, for spending money outside our budget on something that is technically optional. The degree of thought that had to go in to his response seems to me to have been happening along the way, so that in the moment, he was able to instantly consider my needs and the bigger picture, and just be incredibly understanding of what that expensive little shortcut meant to me.
So I just want to say this. A truly solid, positive relationship- any relationship, not just marriage- is a lot easier when your logic accounts for the less tangible needs of the other in the relationship. It's been 2 weeks and I can't get this interaction out of my head because I realized in that moment that I felt understood, taken care of, and completely safe to care for myself in this high pressure season of life.
If you are in a relationship, give yourself time and opportunity to think about what the other is going through in life outside your time with them. Take the time to empathize and think about how they may be feeling at the end of their workday, or when they haven't gotten to do that thing that makes them feel good in a long time. Just thinking about this stuff when you have a chance will give you the same wisdom in the instant you'll need it someday. And when it does come up, that person will feel so loved by you. 100% worth the effort.
(P.S. This conversation actually happened during the week of our 3rd anniversary, and I just gotta brag and say that my husband is clearly nailing it.)