Making up is Hard to Do
Every married couple has conflicts- sometimes over the littlest things. Most conflicts are a result of our unmet expectations- I expected this, but instead that happened. We begin to feel hurt or disappointed. We begin to think we're disrespected or that we’re unloved.
In the first 5 years of our marriage, the silent treatment was our ‘go-to’ strategy. We brushed our problems under the rug and hoped they would go away. It’s taken us years to figure out that NOT talking about those little disappointments was NOT a good strategy. Eventually, we learned to deal with the small irritations as they happen, rather than letting them build up until there’s a big eruption.
One Friday evening, one of us made plans to get together with friends, not knowing the other one of us had been hoping for a quiet movie night at home. When we told each other of our plans a disagreement broke out- the walls went up, and there was that proverbial silence that you could have cut with a knife. Now what? Do we spend the evening apart, grouchy and irritated?
Rather than apologizing and admitting we should have talked before making plans, there was a desire to defend ourselves. It took a while to swallow our pride and apologize to each other. Making the decision to humble ourselves can still be difficult. It wasn’t really about who was right or wrong… it was about the fact that there were hurt feelings, and we were at odds. We both admitted we could have handled the situation better (check out our Guidelines to Fair Fighting). More importantly, we apologized and forgave each other.
Although this example was a minor thing, sometimes we deal with bigger issues that can fracture our relationship. That being said, the concepts are the same… Our relationship is more important than any issue! Every day brings situations that can divide us or bring us closer together. Making the choice to talk through these small disappointments as they happen, in a healthy way, can pay BIG dividends.