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What you can expect:
The brutal truth of me, without all the sugary coating.
Here I am just me, UNCUT and UNEDITED.
I talk about my family, my divorce, and a lot about MAKEUP.
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What's that about the apples... and the tree?

Me, 1980-something

Remember when you were a kid, and you hid under your covers, straining to hear what your parents were fighting about? (No? Boy, were you lucky.)

What was that they just said?
Did I hear that right?
Are they mad at me? My brother? 
What's going to happen next?
Are they going to get divorced?

Falling asleep in fear can probably be blamed for my issues, right? My nightmares, at least. Just kidding, there are about a billion things that contribute to my "tortured soul," but I do wonder what affect I am having on my own children.

I vividly remember curling up in my sister's arms, listening to her softly sing to me, drowning out the sound of my parents yelling. I thought she was the safest place on Earth, and she always would be. It turns out being an adult takes those safe places away, and leaves you on the other side of that scenario.

Each fight they had, each argument, each cutting comment they made, I thought,

Why don't they just stop fighting?
Why won't she quit saying things like that? She knows it causes a fight.
Why can't he just let that comment go? Why can't they just NOT FIGHT?
For Heaven's sake, it's [insert name of holiday here]!

I honestly didn't understand why they didn't just choose to stop.
Maybe they couldn't have chosen that even if they wanted to.
Who am I kidding? Of course they wanted to.
Maybe it really is a choice, and I just don't understand how to do it either?
Maybe it's just a habit I can't break.
Or maybe it's just the nature of the beast... marriage, that is.
Maybe there's another way. 
If there is, in eight years, we've never found it.

We don't fight like we used to. So many things have changed, and we have improved in a million different ways. We'll always be complete and total opposites; there's no changing that, and it will always end up in arguments at least some of the time.

And Asher's not a baby anymore. Now he says things like, "That's ENOUGH! You two just need to QUIT arguing!" He looks like the toughest little five-year-old on the planet, with his little hands on his hips and the stern look on his face... except that little lip quiver that gives him away.

(No, I didn't take this picture during this incident.)

I used to wonder if there was anything that would hurt more than a fight with Husband.

Well, this, ladies and gentlemen, is it. Welcome to You've Turned Into Your Parents.
...and not even the good parts - the parts of them you always said you wouldn't emulate.

3 comments:

  1. You can't eliminate your differences - they will ALWAYS be there. They are there for a very good reason. The two of you, together, are stronger and better than either one of you could possibly be alone. That is, you are better if you learn to use each other's strengths to compensate for each other's weaknesses. In order to do that, you must first give up the mistaken idea that your thoughts and your way are always the best way. Once you give up that thought you put yourself in a position where you can begin to recognize your spouse's strengths for what they are - strengths that YOU need to become the best that you can be. Not only the best that you can become as a couple but the best that you can become as an individual person.

    It is through the clashes and the expressions of our unique points of view that we learn that we don't always know what is right and best. At least that's the only way that is open to us prideful people.

    Some are, apparently, born with the ability to be humble and honestly consider other people's point of view without feeling like they must give up some of their SELF to accept someone else's point of view. But for the majority of us it doesn't come easily. It is an attitude and a skill that must be developed. For us hard-heads it can only be developed by experiencing the pain of contention and living through the consequences of our pride and our inability to listen to each other and respect each other's differences.

    It can take many many years to come to the place where you can honestly HONOR and RESPECT your partner's differences, not just tolerate them.

    There is a secret, revealed by the work of Dr. John Gottman, author of The Relationship Cure and many other books, that makes it possible for spouses to work their way through these learning years and still remain loving and loyal to each other while they are going through those hard learning experiences.

    Dr. Gottman's work reveals that the way to make sure that you can continue to love your spouse during these hard times is to watch the ratio of positive comments you make to(or about)your spouse compared with the number of negative comments you make. Those COUPLES who make 5 positive comments about their spouse for every single negative comment they make have marriages that thrive and grow stronger and stronger and more and more loving over the years. Those who have a ratio of negative comments that exceeds the number positive comments are just biding time until they can't take it anymore and they finally divorce.

    Obviously, it can be very hard to say something nice and complementary to or about your spouse when you are in the midst of an argument . . . regardless of the subject. But it is not so difficult later on to praise your spouse for ANYTHING they do that is good or that you like. It doesn't have to be a big thing, any little thing will do. It's the ratio that counts, not the size of the compliment.

    If you can do this, you'll have learned the greatest secret to lasting, enduring, growing love. This is the secret: Love is a choice, not a feeling. Feelings come and go, they ebb and flow. Real love is constant because it is based on choosing to love, not allowing yourself to be a slave to your feelings. AFTER you choose to love, feelings of love follow.

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  2. "Swing from my branches, eat apples, and be happy."

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  3. I hated the fighting and felt I was doing a major disservice to the kids by allowing it to continue. It is very nice to NOT fight. Ideally that would happen while you are married and can have the best - good marriage and good environment for the kids, including them learning a better way and NOT learning to yell and fight and compete constantly. As you know all too well, their behavior tends to mimic what they see. You can do it but you have to want to badly enough.

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