I play social sport after work a couple of times a week. Talking to my wife yesterday morning, she asked what time I'd be home, and I said probably 7.30-8ish...
Fast forward to the evening, I decide to grab a beer with teammates afterward. My wife calls me just after 7.30 asking where I am. Apparently she was planning on going xmas shopping tonight when I got home, and is steaming that I'm not home already. I say "OK, I'll finish this drink and come home.", and can hear her starting to rant as I take the phone away from my ear and hang up.
I casually sit down, and keep chatting with the guys until I've finished my drink, wish them all a merry xmas etc, then head home. Get there around 8, and she storms out of the house ranting. I smile and tell her to enjoy the shopping.
I go inside and find all three kids still up, despite their regular bedtime being 7.30. I shower, grab a snack, and put them to bed. By this time, the youngest is losing her shit, but I just laugh at her protests, and she falls asleep pretty quickly. I then go and check on the 5 year old, who somehow has a glow stick in his room and is waving it around. I sit with him for a bit, do a little glow stick dancing, then leave him to fall asleep by himself. I then go to the oldest's room and turn out her light- that kid would read until midnight if we let her.
I heat up my dinner, and sit down on the couch and start watching an episode of 'Black Mirror'. I get some chicken stuck between my teeth, and remember that we're out of floss. I text my wife, who is probably still be fuming at me, and ask her to grab some floss while she's out.
She gets home a little while later, in a good mood, and with the floss. I get that pesky bit of chicken that had been annoying me. We discuss plans for the weekend, how we're going to get to her work xmas party the following night, and other bits of idle chit chat. We head off to bed, but I'm tired and don't feel like sex so don't initiate anything, and we fall asleep.
None of this is remarkable. None of this make me attractive. This is all about not being unattractive. This is just how a person should act when they don't live with their heads up someone else's ass. What is remarkable is the contrast of this unremarkable evening against how old me would have handled it all by doing one, or more, or possibly all of the following:
(a) DEERed like shit over the phone about how she didn't tell me that she needed me at home by a certain time bla bla bla, and probably gotten into a heated argument. (b) Left the drinks immediately after making a rude comment about my wife to the guys I was drinking with (c) Continued the argument when I got home (d) Flipped out when I saw the kids were still awake (e) Lost my shit with the youngest when she kicked up a fit (f) Snapped at the 5 year old for playing with the glow stick (g) Continued the argument with my wife via text once the kids were asleep (h) Would have asked for the floss, but my wife would likely have ignored the request (i) Given wife silent treatment when she got home (j) Decided to punish my wife by not initiating sex
This wasn't a once off either, I've become the balancing force in my household for the last few months now, but last night was just a good example of fighting off a series of shit tests that I would have failed miserably in the past. Things aren't perfect, but inside my head and inside my household, things are finally unremarkable. I am finally not unattractive.