Arguing in the parking lot

Tonight we got into a pretty big argument. You could call it a fight if you wanted to, and you might be right. We sat in the parking lot of a Best Buy and let loose after days of frustration. My frustrations were not with Lindsey directly, but hers were most certainly with me.

I will say up front that she was right about the issues, which I won’t cover in detail. I made mistakes, and she was right. But the lesson I took away from tonight’s argument is not just that I had been insensitive and unaware of some things, but rather the effect my behavior can have on my wife.

When I was single I was able to prioritize what I wanted to and procrastinate on anything I wanted to avoid. Sure, it could cause some problems but the consequences only fell on me. I could handle that, and so far in life it never caused me any real problems. But my life changed when I got married and my habits did not. Tonight I saw how much it hurts my wife when I do not live up to what I should.

I was wrong tonight and I apologized to Lindsey. She forgave me and that’s that. However, her point is well-taken and I have something to address. She knows I’m not perfect, but that’s not what she expects. But she still deserves my best.

Roots

A wise man recently told me that we must avoid bitterness in our hearts at all costs. He borrowed the biblical term “root of bitterness” to describe how a moment of anger can turn into bitterness which, if left alone, will take over our hearts. I appreciated his insight and thought about it for weeks. But tonight I saw firsthand how this can happen, and that advice gave me a framework to deal with it.

There was a moment tonight while Lindsey and I were settling in where I took a small action of Lindsey’s the wrong way. Instead of asking her about it or reacting to it in love, I swallowed it but retained the offense. Two more moments, innocent on her part, which I also took offense at and we were off to the races.

I was not angry, I did not pick a fight, I didn’t even say anything. I just sat there and decided that I deserved to be offended. Once I did that, I let bitterness in.

Honesty time: I was mad at her. I thought about how I didn’t deserve to be offended. I told myself that I was in the right. I told myself that it was my turn to hold the high ground and make her apologize. There was only one problem, none of it was true.

My emotions, my temper, my pride and ultimately my heart was lying to me. I did not have the right to be offended. I did not have a right to try to hold the high ground. Love is primarily the opposite of selfishness. I was not showing her love in those moments, I was only loving myself.

Then and there my error and my transgression was pointed out to me. I thought back to the advice I received and saw what lay ahead if I held onto it. So, I took a moment, said a quick prayer, and then I apologized.

God rooted out my sin in that moment, and gave me a change of heart. The offense is gone and I see the falseness of my actions. Bitterness will not be able to take root..

This was new for me. I have never been conscious of what was going on in my head in these situations before. To see the situation unfold and be aware of it was a big change for me, and a good one. I know I am not going to be perfect in the future, I know that I will fail. It seems to me though that this is a good start.

It’s been a long week

I’m pretty wiped out and so is Lindsey after this week. We’ve found out that when you are running on empty everything is magnified. Your need for each other, your ability to be frustrated, and the likelihood of you being the frustrating one.

We had a fight tonight, and I’m almost certain it stemmed from this frustrating, long week. We have made up and will not go to bed angry, but we still have a lot to learn. And it’s ok, and it will be ok– we both know it.

But hey, this is the fun part of the blog. Open honesty. Isn’t it great? 😉