14 May 2012

in which I pretend to know something [part I]

Last week I went to a bridal shower. I'd been asked ahead of time if I could share words of wisdom (?!) with the bride, so in the few days preceding I set about compiling a list of Things I Have Learned About Marriage.

It was a surprisingly long list. (I say "surprisingly" because when it comes to the practical matters of life, I'm not the sharpest crayon in the box . . . neither observant nor inclined to be so. Thus I was pleasantly shocked to see how much I really had learned after only 2.5 years of wedded bliss.) I only chose three to talk about. Then it occurred to me that it might be fun to post them here too. So here goes #1.

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All Apologies(20/365)
{image credit: howficklemyheart}
Whenever you possibly can, take the initiative in resolving conflict. Never sit there pouting, waiting for your husband to apologize first. He may not, at least not for a long while . . . and in the meantime, you'll be simmering a nasty pot of bitterness.

How to initiate? Well, find your fault in the conflict and let him know you are sorry. Even if you think it's all his fault (which is rather unlikely) you can still invite him to speak his mind and point out your weaknesses. Maybe he will and maybe he won't, but when you express humility this way, it can soften his heart to you and prod him to apologize as well.

Some couples need "cool off" time when they are in the middle of an argument. Sometimes we do too. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. However, don't let that wise period of withdrawal slide into angry silence. As soon as you are ready to pursue resolution-- once you are self-controlled enough to want peace instead of revenge-- go for it. Communicate your willingness to talk. I can't tell you how many potential wars have been headed off by one of us saying "I was wrong. That was stupid. Forgive me." A sincere apology really defuses anger. Make it your goal to be the first to offer that apology!

Yes, I believe this is an area where it's quite appropriate for the wife to initiate :) ha. (And anyway, by opening yourself up to peacemaking, you are inviting him to take the lead.)

1 comment:

  1. This is a very good one. Nathaniel taught it to me early in our marriage by always being the first to apologize, and sincerely. Sometimes now I apologize first. ;)

    I really do not know what marriage advice I would give if someone asked. Maybe, "Your inclination is to prefer yourself and think yourself the best. When you start to get snooty about your husband, try to take a step back and consider how things might look from his perspective, iIn humility considering others as better than yourself.'"

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