…and everything is alright!!!
I get upset when I feel I am not being understood.
Tom gets upset when he feels he isn't being respected.
I talk louder and he shuts down.
When it comes to fighting, what we've learned after almost 15 years of marriage is the issue is never really the issue.
This weekend we went for a bike ride, out and about exploring new bike paths around Minneapolis.
As we navigated around a local lake, we got off the bike path and got on a busy street to go a different direction.
Since I am slower than Tom, I was leading, with Tom shouting directions from behind.
The road was bumpy and there were cars alongside me. My focus was on the road ahead.
Our turn snuck up on us quickly and while I heard him saying, “go right, go right, go right,” I kept on going straight.
I rode to the next intersection and waited for Tom to turn around and come find me.
When Tom rode up he was irritated.
It went something like this…
“I don’t know why you didn’t listen to me and turn back there (respect).”
“I don’t know why you don’t (understand) that I’m not as confident on my bike as you are and turning on a dime on a busy street makes me scared.”
Back in the day, we would have stood on the street corner, and kept this going. Me getting louder and louder, and Tom staring at me in silence.
But this day, we only had about 10 seconds before the light turned green, to settle our difference and get on our way.
(Side note: I wonder how many other disagreements would have gotten settled sooner if we put a 10-second timer on them.)
Okay, here’s the part where I get to gush on my handsome husband.
Over the last three years, Tom has challenged himself to become a better husband.
Not because I asked him to or told him to or because he wasn’t already. It’s who he is.
He has read more books on marriage than anyone I know. He has never once asked me to read them or told me I should.
Not that I don’t need to. Not. At. All.
One of those books is Love & Respect by Dr. Emerich Eggersons.
The book explains the cycle of a woman’s need for love (understanding) and a man’s need for respect and concludes by stating…
“It’s not about who’s right or wrong, it’s about taking ownership; MY response to MY spouse is MY responsibility.”
Tom does this really well, and I don’t do it often enough.
I'm working on it.
We got into a fight and everything is alright!!!
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