I spent a good part of this afternoon reading and responding to emails sent the last few days because of some recent comments and my reaction to those comments.
First, thank you all for taking the time to communicate; I honestly appreciate it very much. In addition to a lot of encouragement and some good points I need to ponder, there were several who said God has used something Lori or I said to bring about a positive change in their marriage. It’s always such an encouragement to hear this.
A fair number of you suggested I was taking some of the comments too seriously. I hear what you’re saying, and I understand the danger of being driven by what a few people say in the comments section. At the same time, I see an opportunity to learn something that might help me do what I do better. The real issue is having balance and being able to look for truth without feeling negative. It helps that I have folks I know and trust, both real life and on-line, to whom I can turn for perspective and balance.
Looking for truth in almost any criticism, even those I could be easily dismiss, is a habit I learned in my marriage. Just because a criticism or complaint is unfair and not completely accurate doesn’t mean it’s all wrong. No one likes to be corrected or criticised, so we look for ways to prove the other person wrong. We try to find one wrong point and dismiss the entire thing. That may feel good, but it means we lose the chance to learn and grow. I think it’s wise to learn to toss out the obviously false, and then examine what’s left.
Another version of this for husbands is the PMS rant. Sometimes when she goes off you know she’s been taken over by either hormones or an alien body snatcher. I used to ignore those rants, knowing they wouldn’t last long and everything would be fine in a few days. Then I noticed a couple of complaints came up monthly, and I made the mistake of looking at myself to see if there was any truth to those things. What I found was things that bothered my wife all the time; she choose to live with most of the time. I worked on those things, which made her life better all month long. Her rant may have been unfair, inaccurate, and over the top, but I found useful truth none-the-less.
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