My M went white water rafting this weekend with some friends. When he came home yesterday, he told me this story about the ride……
We were on the boat, 10 of us, and among us were 3 couples, all younger, maybe mid to late twenties. We chatted and talked before we began and I learned that the one couple hadn’t been married long, Jen and Sam. Jen had never been rafting before and was very nervous.
Along the way, there’s a spot where we get off the boat and jump off this 15 foot rock. I could tell Jen didn’t want to go with all the others, but she felt like she should. At the top of the rock, everyone jumped and Sam and Jen were last. I could see them talking, but then Sam jumped, leaving Jen up there by herself. And, the longer she waited, the further away she was from the boat. She had no choice, she had to jump, alone, and scramble and swim to the boat on her own. When she got onto the boat, she looked scared and hurt and she was obviously upset with Sam.
Later in the ride, our boat flipped on a relatively easy rapid, but Jen was already uneasy from the jump, so she panicked. Sam got in the boat and seemed pretty unconcerned with helping Jen. I helped her into the boat, talked to her and made sure she was okay. By now, she was clearly hurt and upset with Sam and Sam wasn’t going out of his way to comfort her or calm her fears.
At the end, as we were getting ready to leave, paying our goodbyes, I saw Jen standing away from everyone on her own. I walked over to Sam and this is how it went:
M: Sam, how long have you been married?
Sam: I don’t know, less than a year.
M: Sam, I’m going to give you some advice whether you want it or not, you seem like a good guy. I’ve been happily married to my wife for almost 21 years. You need to walk over to your wife, tell her you’re sorry, give her a hug, and tell her she’s safe. If you don’t, you’re a dick.
Sam: Walked away and gave his wife a hug……
M said he felt so bad for Jen. She had to feel so alone and unsafe and hurt, he felt like he needed to say something. And, as he told the story, I felt what it was like to be in Jen’s shoes. Unable to allow herself to look weak on the outside, feeling rather alone, but wanting so badly for Sam to be compassionate and wanting to feel his concern. There was a time I would have shrugged M’s concern away, feeling shameful and weak for needing it. He may have let it be if I said I was okay (and I would have). Not any more.
And, I was moved to tears with pride…..I feel so lucky to have him.
Ladies, let’s accept help from our men. Guys, please, don’t be a dick