It would be so nice if the road of marriage was similar to driving on the highway. At least on the highway there are endless signs to warn you and prepare you for what is to come.
Marriage, not so much. How nice that would be!
These past couple of weeks I wish there had a been a sign to warn me. Caution: Rough Road Ahead! At least then I could grip the steering wheel and brace myself.
Here is the problem; the second that I start to get a little cocky thinking, ” I’ve got this. I have this all figured out,” I am smacked over the head with the realization that, frankly, I have a lot to learn.
Here is what I mean. I can’t say what where it started or what exactly happened, but things between hubby and I have just been off these past couple of weeks. We find ourselves bickering and arguing regularly. We can’t seem to dig our way out of this little ditch that we are in where the smallest things set each other off.
I feel like I am a child, regressing back to all of my old behaviors. Trying desperately to remember all of the things that I learned last year about fighting better, taking accountability for my actions, being appreciative. It seems all that flew right out the window. “What is going on?”, I scream to myself while hubby and I are delving into the same arguments that have haunted us for years. Didn’t I learn how to deal with this better? Aren’t I better than this person that keeps pointing the finger away from herself? It certainly hasn’t felt like it.
I can’t say what triggered this little rough patch. It seemed things were moving along smoothly, then one argument leads to another and before I know it I am a 4-year-old in an adult body.
Here is what I realize when I step away and force myself to get some perspective; rough roads are just part of the deal. “In good times and in bad.” It is not the end of the world, as it feels in the heat of the moment.
I see now that these rough patches are a test. Can I rise above? Can I put into play all of the things that I have learned about maintaining a healthy marriage, or do I run and hide?
I will not hide!
So, our last big argument 2 days ago, turns heated. Me yelling and stomping upstairs and forgetting I am a grown up. I take a moment to breathe and think, “Come on. Our marriage is better than this.” And even though it is hard when I am upset, I take a moment to think about everything that has been working for us in the past. All of the tools that I have learned to fight better. Be a good listener, be accountable (no finger-pointing), show appreciation, be understanding of where he is coming from, don’t yell, remember that I love this person that makes me crazy.
I put these tools into play and painlessly, the argument dies with apologies, hugs and a feeling that everything is going to be okay.
Things are not back to perfect yet, but I have spent a lot of time thinking and have realized that a significant key to being in a healthy marriage is to always know that the “light is on the other side of the tunnel.” I have seen it! I know it is there. I just need to hold on to the wheel. Be cautious, proactive and loving and we will get to the other side.
Today’s lesson in improving my marriage: Rough roads are inevitable, but take the scenic route whenever possible.