“I didn’t wind up painting yesterday,” she said, “but I looked at the colors and the brushes and I had a thought.”
“OK,” he said.
“I realized what frustrated me so much the other day when you were probing about something that had made me angry. I don’t mind the probing, but I object to the premise– ‘you believe you were wronged but there is another possibly equally valid side to the story and isn’t it possible that you are completely wrong, and in fact, the one who wronged the other person?'” she said.
“Not an unreasonable premise,” he said.
“No, not unreasonable. Even something worth discussing. Only there was one thing missing– you jumped to that premise without recognizing how hurt I was and that, possibly, I was entirely in the right to feel hurt.” she said. “Even if I later realized I was wrong to be hurt, after reconsidering in light of your new insights, I was badly hurt at the time and you brought up something that was a painful experience for me. And brought it up with no expression of sympathy before trying to convince me I could have been wrong to feel the way I felt.”
“Yes,” he said, “but isn’t it equally possible that you were wrong?”
“Possible? Yes, particularly if I was a thoughtless and emotional person who reacts to things impulsively. Equally possible? No, not even remotely equal. If you heard my side of the story, which you did, and couldn’t admit you’d feel hurt too, which you eventually did allow, after an hour of batting back hypotheticals, you would have to recognize that I had good reasons to feel hurt. You would have felt hurt too. Might have acted much like I did, maybe better, maybe worse. In the end, you might have convinced me to reconsider, but not if you didn’t at least acknowledge that I had a right to feel hurt.”
“So this is all about you?” he asked.
“Listen to me carefully: I am going to paint now,” she gave a wan smile and turned to head out into the garden.
“I will never have true peace with this person,” he thought hopelessly as she went.