Because Sweet Husband and I will be celebrating our second anniversary this month and because I feel like I talk about our relationship quite a bit, I’ve decided that at least for the next little while, my posts on Thursdays will be about marriage – some of the issues we face, the things that work for us, articles, perspectives, posts that I find useful in helping us create a stronger bond. Feel free to share what is working for you in your relationship as we spend some time focused on marriage.
Sweet Husband and I rarely have arguments. We rarely get in fights. We rarely have disagreements. I think it’s our personalities. We’re both people pleasers, so we can’t stand to disappoint others and then when you add in that we love each other and really want to make each other happen, we occasionally put ourselves through contortions to avoid arguments.
Sometimes, though, it’s unavoidable. I hold on to things. I let them simmer for a bit, and you’d think that by now I’d know that’s not the best recipe for success – in anything. But it is what it is. I’m much better than I used to be, but I still have a really long way to go.
On our drive to New Orleans Saturday morning, Sweet Husband made an off-handed comment that wasn’t really off-handed about something that’s been bothering him, and I replied with my reason, which happened to be a not-so-thinly-veiled reference to one of those things that I’ve let simmer for a bit. And before we knew it, things were escalating, mainly due to me. At one point, he actually said to me, “Why are you getting angry? We’re just having a conversation.” Well. Yes. And No. Because yes, we were having a conversation but it was about a lot more than just that stuff. It was about that stuff that we both have hung on to without letting it see the light of day.
It’s never easy when folks point out our flaws. I forget that some times. And as a closet perfectionist, I really hate it when my flaws are pointed out because I occasionally like to delude myself into believing that I’m mastering and minimizing the issues that I do have. It’s good – if uncomfortable – to be reminded that gentleness needs to be used when approaching others about an issue that is a problem. It’s also a good reminder that if Sweet Husband and I were communicating more, talking about these issues as they come up, perhaps nobodies’ feelings would have gotten hurt Saturday morning.
All of that leads me to the Pope. Neither Sweet Husband nor I are Catholic, but we like Pope Francis. A couple of months ago, we discussed the Pope’s Valentine’s message, which was essentially that the six most important words that a married couple can say to each other are, “May I? Thank you. I’m sorry.” I think that both Sweet Husband and I are really good at saying “Thank You.” I don’t know how often we ask permission, and I don’t know how often we apologize. I’m not sure that I apologized on Saturday. I’d like to think I did, but I can’t remember because I was busy being hurt as I was busy hurting. I’m pretty sure, though, that I did apologize on our drive home Sunday. For lots of things. I suppose it’s better late than never.
Do you agree with the Pope? Are those six words the most important ones for a married couple to remember? If you think there are others, what would they be?