It was probably one of our biggest fights in a long time. It happened a couple of weeks ago and in the middle of the fight, I calmed down, stood there and “listened” to what he had to say. Now this is very difficult for many of us to do, okay, let me only speak for me, “difficult for me”, lol, especially in the middle of a very “heated” argument. Our first response, most times, is to let the other person finish “Lieing” about our character (because we’re just too great of a person for someone to have issue with us, right? Right, lol!) and then we “lash out”, never responding to the issues they’ve raised but all the while continuing the disagreement in order to prove that this person is lieing about you and/or your character. In the end, the argument somehow never addresses or solves whatever the true issue or problem was at hand. Yep, that was us on this particular morning.
Well, we’re standing in the laundry room and its his turn to speak and as I’m boiling, about to revert back to my “old ways” of shouting him down and storming off, I stop, and in that moment, I say, “April, calm down. Allow him the opportunity to speak and really “hear” him. And then respond to “ONLY” the points he’s made”. So he’s speaking and I’m nodding in agreement with some of the things he’s saying and hearing him out when all of a sudden he “Strikes”, no not “physically”, lol but with his tongue. See my husband, as passive aggressive and as “anti-confrontation” as he may be, he likes to hit below the belt a little. What I mean by that is, Personal attacks are his weapons of choice. Pray for me ladies and gentlemen because I don’t do well with “personal attacks” at all:). Especially if said attack has absolutely “nothing” to do with our discussion. Well, one doesn’t need a crystal ball to know what happened next. I. Lost. It! I’m Done”! Is what I exclaimed as I pushed passed him in that tight little hallway near the laundry room and told him to “Shove it”, but not in such nice terms, lol. I stormed passed him as I ran upstairs and slammed the bedroom door shut! I was absolutely “DONE” with this dude!
Soooo, he left for work and a few hours went by and I sent him a text saying, “I’m sorry. I would like to extend grace to you. Even though I’m still a little upset about the “personal mention” you brought up, which had nothing to do with our disagreement, however, I love you and I want us to be ok way more than I want to prove how wrong you were”. His immediate text back was, “No, I’m the one who should be apologizing. I shouldn’t have brought up the issue we were arguing about in the first place and I shouldn’t have let myself get that mad to go there with the personal attacks. Sigh, I thought, “this “humility” thing is so very powerful”. So with that said I wanted to Share 5 things that my husband and I do in order to “Thrive” in our beautifully “human” marriage.
- Humility. Humility is a character trait that has since become apart of our dna in the Moncrief family. We never knew how Important this character trait was in our first marriage, but we have learned to lean and depend on her a great deal since God did the unthinkable and turned our hearts back toward one another and saved our marriage. Saying I’m sorry, even when you may not have caused the disagreement, is a truly humbling thing to do. It takes a lot for someone to accept wrong for someone else’s right but in doing so, there’s a healing that takes place that is indescribable.
- The Gift of Touch. Disagreements or arguments happen in our marriage just as they do in any other marriage. In the past, these arguments would go on for days because of the stubbornness or unwillingness by either of us to simply admit fault. Nowadays these arguments don’t last as long, especially when we’ve both had time to cool off and understand where our communication broke down and what led to the argument. We usually find each other and merely “touch” the other person. It can be on the shoulder, the back or we just walk up to each other and give a big hug! It’s not at all about “sex” in this moment but more about the “Heart”. Therefore you don’t want to give off a “let’s get it on vibe”, lol. But in that moment of the touch, that’s it! It’s over! What argument? Lol. We melt like butter in each other’s arms. Oftentimes, we begin to instantly apologize for whatever it was we were fighting about and take the blame for it. It’s just something about “the touch” of your spouse.
- Communication. One of the key ways to lose intimacy and respect and more importantly, love for one another in your marriage is to “NOT” communicate. This was one of the things that led us to divorce court. We often assumed that the other person knew or “should know” what and how we feel about a particular thing. We learned through counseling that the key to a happy marriage/relationship was “Talking It Out”. We talk about everything now, “Everything”. And the blessing that has come out of us sharing and talking so much to each other is that we get to know one another that much more.
- Accepting your spouse for who they are. Living in this new age of social media, especially with fb, a lot of relationships and marriages are suffering because of it. And let me disclaimer, the individuals who are posting happy and beautiful moments with and about their spouses are not the problem, it is those individuals who are sitting, watching and comparing their spouses to a snapshot or a single “moment” in someone else’s life. Women are going to their husbands saying, “Would you look at this. Look what he did for his wife”! And vice versa (men mentioning things to their wives). This very unfortunate trend is very damaging to a relationship. Your spouse can only be who God made them to be, no one else. Stop wishing for your husband or wife to be like Jimmy’s wife or Tonya’s husband. Celebrate the man or woman that he/she is, not the man or woman you just saw on fb last night giving his/her spouse 25 roses for each year of marriage. That’s merely a snapshot of their marriage, not the whole of it. Accept your spouse for who they are. I’m sure they have amazing characteristics but you have to stop looking at what someone else has in order to appreciate what you got.
- Say I Love You. My family, as much as I’ve mentioned how we argue and have disagreements, the love and the expression of love in our home is probably something that would make most people gag’, lol but it is who we are and what we do to “show” how much we care about one another. As we’re handing down punishments when the kids have gotten into trouble, as they began to walk away headed to their rooms for the rest of the day, they usually wait to hear my husband and I say, “I love you”. Because at the end of the day they realize the reason we punish them is because we love them so very much. My husband and I will text throughout the day some days just tell each other how much we love and appreciate everything the other one does in order to make our life go round’! I didn’t mention after that argument my husband and I had in the laundry room that morning, as I stormed away into my bedroom and slammed the door, I could hear him yell up to the kids (but secretly directing it to “all” of us as he walked out the door) “I love yall”! I sort of whispered under my breath, “Love you too”. Lol! Our tongue, probably one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal. And It is used often times to tear down, but it can also be used to build up and to express the highest commandment of all, “Love”. Always remember to say, “I Love You”! “How My Divorce Saved My Marriage”.