So, my bride and I had a few heated moments today. It is rare, but we still get at cross-purposes and even get upset with each other. We got through it just fine, and I noticed a few things that went well. Dissecting it, here are the good things we did:
- We each stood up for what we needed.
- We each tried to understand and value what our spouse needed.
- We each said things to assure the other we were not angry.
- We both were willing to assume blame.
- We both wanted not only to fix this issue, but also to find ways to avoid having a similar problem in the future.
- We spent the rest of the day having wild sex.
Okay, the last one is not true, but it seems to me like a great way to make up! To expand on those points:
- I both respect and appreciate my bride standing up for what she needs; I would be most unhappy if she did not. I want to bless her, which I cannot do if I remain clueless.
- It is easy to be understanding of her needs when I know she is doing the same with my needs. If she were all about her needs and only her needs, I would feel I had to be just about my needs to protect myself. Because I know she values both her needs and my needs, and she knows the same about me, we can each dare to work to meet the other’s needs.
- I’m not saying angry is wrong, avoiding it make things easier. Communicating the nature of our frustration helped us avoided misunderstandings.
- In part, the problem came from me not knowing she needed something she thought I should know she needed. It does not matter to me if she failed to communicate it or I failed to hear it or store it in long-term memory; what matters is getting it clear now and dealing with it. This means I can admit I may have not heard or understood her when she communicated clearly.
- Some problems are one-off, but many are various versions of the same problem repeatedly. If it is not a one-off, save yourself a lot of grief and see if you can do something to avoid or reduce similar problems in the future.