Yesterday was our 34th anniversary and we celebrated with our typical over-the-top style; a flash mob dancing it out to our favorite Bruno Mars song(sung live by Bruno Mars, of course, sparkling champagne flowing for everyone, rainbows with a pot of gold at the end, flying ponies with glitter on their wings. And chocolate everything.
Our day actually began with blueberry buttermilk pancakes and bacon. Because bacon makes everyday a celebration.
And that's when everything began to crumble.
A casual conversation quickly turned heated and angry words were said(loudly) tears were shed (I handed him a Kleenex) (just kidding) and one of us began to walk away angry and silent, pancakes and bacon left on the counter. No one was hungry anymore.
Yep, arguments still happen even after 34 years of marriage, even on days of celebration. Or on the way to church. Sorry to disappoint all you youngsters.
What has changed over the past decades is learning the rules to argueing.
We each have our own way of dealing with conflict; Rod is a stonewaller and I am an exploder.
Take a moment and imagine how well that works out.
Here is a list ofpretty straight forward rules that we mostly try to follow because we both have the same goal of resolution, not simply winning a point or even the argument.
I am not saying we always perfectly follow these rules, but we do try, and it has become easier as the years pass. And because we practice so much. :-)
Side note:And seriously? Who can argue without sarcasm? That should almost be against the law. (kidding...I'm only kidding.)
I would also add a few things, such as:
Do recognize that anger is a secondary emotion, usually caused by feelings of rejection, being attacked or threatened. Do try to figure out which one so the anger can be addressed.
Don't let your primary goal in an argument be to WIN.
Do try to argue the point from your partner's perspective. (This works! Someone who's initials are ROD may have done this yesterday! He slayed it!)
And it must be said that we are, first and foremost, trying to please God, not ourselves. Not always, and we constantly have to redirect ourselves, but that would be the mission statement for our marriage.
Okay, I'm done. This is sounding way too psycho-babbly for me to be comfortable with.
Just wanted to give a shout out to all the young marrieds who think we should have it all figured out by now after 34 blissful years.
Not even close.
We just keep working on it.
"My trust is not that I am holy, but that, being unholy, Christ died for me. My rest is here, not in what I am or shall be or feel or know, but in what Christ is and must be,--in what Christ did and is still doing as He stands before yonder throne of glory." Charles Spurgeon