My husband doesn’t think too much of my concept of ‘being hurt’. I told him about the conversation I had had with Johnie and his wife and he was rather in favour of the critics who said that my idea was unrealistic, not in keeping with human nature. It would require super-human efforts to overcome hurt feelings. A sage might be able to, one person in fifteen million, Christ was probably never hurt, what about Rudolf Steiner himself, my husband respects him highly, even he was supposed to have been hurt, perhaps ‘disappointed’ would be a better word.
Being hurt is a weakness, I said. My husband shrugged his shoulders, saying neither yes nor no. I reminded him of our discussion with Aldous who had maintained that being hurt emotionally is no different from being hurt physically. One can’t avoid being hurt physically, if someone is determined to do it. How does one avoid being hurt emotionally? Impossible! My husband was much in sympathy with Aldous’ view. He told me I was expecting too much of mankind. Simply unrealistic. No chance at all.
But how about doing the experiment personally ? A deliberate exercize in controlling one’s hurt feelings by analyzing what really causes them ! He shrugged his shoulders once more, refusing further comment.
We were on holiday when discussing this, staying in a large caravan with an unpleasant little parents’ bedroom tucked away at one end. The bed was small. When we got into it, Steve wondered whether I would be able to sleep there. He knows I like a certain amount of room. It was a dreadful night : mattress too springy, husband too close, bedding riding down, if it wasn’t lost altogether through turning-over action. I told my husband that he could have the bed to himself for the rest of our stay, I would make use of the living-room settee for myself. He looked profoundly disgusted and turned away from me. I explained the advantages of such a procedure. He wouldn’t listen. I said, he, too, would sleep better with more room, but he didn’t think so. I asked, did he want me to sleep well ? He said, we managed last year, why shouldn’t we manage now ? No doubt he thought I should try a bit harder. However, I didn’t feel like wasting another night. My husband looked very resentful by now and I dropped this delicate subject.
I had a little discussion with my eldest daughter about it, though. She decided to ask him, did he want me to sleep well, yes or no ! However, I am pleased to say her intervention turned out to be unnecessary. My husband having worn himself out by a strenuous walk, was so tired in the evening that he had no energy left to offer resistance. He withdrew into his bedroom where I had made up his bed with great care, not before having kissed the children and me ‘good night’, he tends to kiss me last, I suppose it’s last not least. I slept very well that night and he ‘a little better’, he said cautiously. He had lost his blankets unfortunately, I hadn’t lost mine, which I rather welcomed. It means that he will have to make his own bed next time to make sure it’s well done.