My husband the sailor is fearless on the water.
I, on the other hand, am not.
He lives for the unexpected wind gusts, the on-the-spot problem solving, and the rails-in-the-water feeling of a boat heeled thisclose to tipping over.
I do not. In fact, each one of those situations makes me throw up a little bit in my mouth.
He's inclined to ignore small craft advisories.
I am not.
I'm a fan of horror movies, while he hides under the covers.
If there's an episode of REAL STORIES FROM THE E.R., I'm tuned in while he cringes and looks away.
When a family crisis of any magnitude erupts (be it a bed-time debate or an in-law debacle), I'm prone to dive in head first while he tends to hang back.
I've accused him of being too daring and even a bit dangerous on the water.
He's accused me of being too confrontational and a bit* bossy on land.
We're both right.
And so, when I'm terrified on the boat, it's not an emotion he identifies with. I need to tell him I'm scared. I might even need to show him the whites of my knuckles and the tears on my face and the terror in my eyes rather than screaming. Then he understands me a little better.
When I've had a long hard day and feel like snuggling up with a juicy episode of Plastic Surgery Disasters, he needs to tell me the sight of a full liposuction catch basin makes him nauseous rather than bolting up and saying, "I'll never understand why you watch this garbage." Then I'll understand him a little better.
It's always a challenge finding the balance...but so worth it when we do.
*paraphrased from his actual quote of "Why do you constantly find the need to control every situation?!"