I have the outrageous good fortune of being married to someone I consider my soul-mate and perfectly matched life partner. Let me qualify this for you by saying that this does NOT mean it’s always rainbows and butterflies up in this place. A lot of times it’s more life fart wars and middle-of-the-night-get-the-baby wars, but I digress.
What this does mean is that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the man I married is the man I needed. Yes, because he’s kind, generous, playful and VERY handsome (that is not subjective, it is totally objective). But mostly, because he is the precise mirror reflection of every flaw or ache I carry.
The majority of our “fights” stem from being EXACTLY THE SAME HUMAN BEING. Just as stubborn, unapologetic, defensive and self-righteous as can possibly exist between two human beings. He illuminates in me every character flaw I’ve tried desperately to hide and I trigger every insecurity available in his entire psyche.
Match made in heaven, right?
It is my firm belief, after three years of partnership and coming up on our first year of marriage, that the only kind of partner we should be looking for is the kind that is willing to serve as your mirror and who is equally as willing to see themselves in your reflection. The kind of partner who is not too proud to feel embarrassed, hurt, resentful or envious to your face. The kind of partner who loves you and the family you’ve made together so much, that they are willing to feel like a dirty diaper if it means improving themselves and thus, your lives.
And that, friends, is exactly what I manifested. Yes, I manifested his ass, but that’s a whole other blog post. However, as fortunate as I know myself to be for having him, I have often been less than gracious in my treatment of him. By this I mean, when it gets heated between us, kindness flies right out the window and I’m fault-finding his ass like I’m the IRS on an audit – relentless to the max!
It is no surprise to imagine that he then flies at me with equal gusto ensuing a, most likely, week long silent protest between us which pulls us further apart and incites more loneliness and agitation. It’s a vicious cycle, friends. VICIOUS.
Sound familiar? Read on.
The other morning he responded to me in a manner that I considered flat out rude. I don’t believe in cussing at your partner, under any circumstances, and this took me quite by surprise. I decided when he was done getting ready for work I was going to say something. However, as hurt and angry as I was, I decided that my intention in bringing this up was NOT to be a victim, but to generate more closeness and understanding between us, so, I chose my words and my tone very carefully.
“Let me ask you a question. How would you feel if I answered you in the manner you answered me this morning?” I made sure to keep my tone even and not “judgy”. He immediately flipped OUT and began riding into “you-always-do-this, always-about-your-feelings, im-sick-of-hearing-this” town on his white horse of self-righteousness. I waited until he was done and continued.
“I’m only asking a question. How would you feel? Because I imagine, you would think I was being very rude and hurtful. Is that right?” He stopped. And just stared at me. For like, a while. Then, meekly, he responded.
“Yes. You’re right. I would think you were being very rude.” He then ate his breakfast, finished getting ready, gave me a kiss goodbye and left for work. He didn’t apologize, which I would’ve appreciated, but in his demeanor I could see that he had received the message – I was hurt. And I did not want to hurt him, I just wanted us to be aware.
An hour later I receive a text message that read, “I’m truly sorry for cussing at you. Let’s not do that around our son. Ever. Didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.”
I know, with all my heart, that had I chosen to react instead of respond to him, had I chosen to accuse him instead of ask him a question, had I come from any other angle other than kindness and wanting to raise awareness – his response would’ve been VERY different. But, because he did not feel attacked or accused, he was willing to look at his error and admit he was wrong and he was willing to recommit to never doing that again.
I had every ounce of power in that situation. Although I had been victimized, what I did about it affected the course of the relationship there after. That, my friends, is powerful.
Do not allow yourselves for one second to believe that the world is “hostile” or your relationships “are terrible” and that you have nothing to do with that. You have EVERYTHING to do with that. Your relationships are YOUR responsibility. How you experience the world is YOUR responsibility.
If you are tired of fighting, hating, violence – then STOP engaging in those in your life. Take the high road. Speak with kindness, compassion and patience. This is the answer to world peace – your peace.