I seem to always be in a hurry. Yesterday, I had my husband’s car, so it wasn’t nearly as easy to get the baby and my three-year-old into the car. I finally got them, and myself, strapped in exactly ten minutes before we had to be at Kamren’s speech class. That’s okay – that’s perfect, I thought.
Then, I started the car. A message mocked me: Fuel levels low. Yep, the gas gauge was on empty.
Great, I sarcastically thought. A negative thought instantly popped into my head about how irresponsible and inconsiderate my husband was for leaving me with a car that had no gas.
And then, just as quickly as that thought entered my mind – along with the idea of calling him and loudly complaining about it – the thought left. It just…left. That rarely happens, I am ashamed to say, as I am often quick to judgment.
I surprised myself as I thought of my husband’s perspective. I knew that he wouldn’t have purposely done that. I realized he probably just didn’t have time to get gas the day before, or he decided not to do it so he could be home quicker to see his beloved family.
I thought of how thoughtful he was to take my van to get tested (since the engine light had been on for a few days). I remembered how he had taken the car seats out of the van and left them for me, and how he had pulled the car into the driveway that morning because it had been raining.
And then I thought about myself, and how I should have been more diligent about getting ready on time, rather than cutting it so close. Then I wouldn’t have a need to feel frustrated at all, because I would have had time to get gas and still get to speech class on time.
My husband is my partner; he is on my team. As I embraced that comforting thought, instead of calling him out for not getting gas, and thus causing a fight, I gave him my gratitude when he got home. I praised him for getting the van tested and ordering the part that it needed.
This is such a simple, seemingly insignificant story, yet, how often to the little things cause huge rifts in marriages?
My husband and I have had many arguments over the years that stemmed from petty things. But, I want to end that. I don’t want to do that anymore.
Reading Love Me True: Overcoming the Surprising Ways We Deceive Ourselves in Relationships, by Dr. Jason Whiting, has gotten me to see already how I need to better control my emotions, and how I need to think before I act, as well as think the best of my spouse.
I have a lot to learn, but I am going to do my best (and keep trying over and over again) to have the best marriage possible.
So, if you find yourself in a similar situation that I was in yesterday, ask yourself these questions:
- What was likely my spouse’s intention?
- Does my spouse love me and care for me? Would he/she do this on purpose?
- What does my spouse’s load look like right now?
- Have my actions played a role in my plight?
- What things can I be grateful for that my spouse does for me?
As you reflect, you will hopefully feel more love, appreciation, and patience for your spouse.
And don’t beat yourself up, either. I didn’t dwell on how I couldn’t get out the door faster. I am trying to come to peace with the fact that my life is very hard right now with a small baby and three other kids.
I am doing the best I can, and so is my husband. Our best is going to look different based on our circumstances. I am going to work harder to give the benefit of the doubt, choose my battles wisely, and always remember that my spouse is my best friend, my protector, and the love of my eternity. I am complete with him by my side (because he is a good man who loves me, his family, and God), and NO fight is worth losing that completeness or that joy.