Recently, as a couple, Jane and I were clicking on all cylinders. Laughing. Loving. Sharing. Not arguing. It was wonderful! For those of us who have been married a long time, that doesn’t always happen when we’re together for long periods.
However, I made a disastrous mistake at the tail end of a weekend of speaking. I brought up a subject that had previously been off limits and asked my wife if it was a good time to talk about it. Apparently, it was not! Those last two hours of our journey were not the honeymoon experience the previous three weeks had been.
Unfortunately, I didn’t let it go once we got home. I continued to rant and rave about it until I had depleted my energy. It didn’t help when I told my wife, “I’m not going to let you make me angry like this again.” I don’t ever recommend making that statement, but it’s so easy for us to blame our behavior on someone else.
You probably don’t know that when Jane and I were first married, I had an issue with anger. Not anywhere near abusive, but when I got mad, it was hard for me to let anything go. I’ve come a long way in 35-plus years of marriage, but obviously it can still happen. While I could have dwelled on my behavior for days, I immediately tried to figure out why it happened and then resolved to try not to let it happen again.
What is it in your life or in your marriage that you need to improve on? Maybe you are still at the stage of admitting you have a problem in a particular area. While everybody understands that they are not perfect, most of us like to think we are pretty good at a lot of things. Because isn’t that easier than confessing we have an issue and then dealing with it? Or maybe we just really don’t see it because we are busy worrying about the problems our spouse and other people have.
Maybe your issue isn’t anger, but it’s a critical spirit. No matter what your spouse or children do, you find a way to criticize them. Or you rarely ever praise them for something they did well. At work, you’re the champion of praise, but you never bring that home with your laptop.
Are you a husband or wife that carries a grudge? You say you forgive your spouse for a mistake they made, but the minute you get the chance you bring it up again. You are a carrier who’s creating a barrier to a healthy, loving relationship.
If you don’t know how to help yourself, then seek the assistance of a professional. Our relationships will not always click along on the same cylinders forever, but if we want to strive for that kind of rhythm most of the time, we need to work on becoming the person that we know will get us there. The kind that wins more often at home.