It comes in torrents. Like a down pour in the Amazon, the sky opens up and lets down its drenching bounty. Friendship and finding ones tribe carries with it a sense of connection that is hard to ignore. I have searched for many things in life. A healthy relationship with God, the love of my life, a happy family, good friends and my craft.
My mother was a searcher as well. Although I know little of what she truly desires to find I do have a small understanding that she too is still searching. I dare not to dishonor her by attempting to articulate what it could be, I’d only be guessing. No glory to be found in that exercise.
Last night I was blessed to be invited to a friend’s birthday. A friend that I made while assisting on a local film production called Caster’s Blog. It didn’t take long for me too see just how kindred we all were in respect to each other. Thus began our friendship.
I had forgotten there was a party that day and luckily my phone had notified me an hour before this celebration. So my husband and I got ready and took off for a night of unknown fun. As I got dressed and into the car I had him drive so I could read various parts of the menu to him.
After the menu had been deliberated on, my husband had made a statement in regards to our marital disagreements. He had suggested that we argue less in front of the children. This came as a shock to me. I had no idea that he felt this way. So naturally we started discussing it.
My opinion was the discussions we had of this nature were always executed in a respectful healthy manner. Truly, I believe this. I always listened to his side of the discussion. I ask questions, I state my points clearly, with evidence and real examples.
According to my husband he took issue with the volume and fervor in which I approached the argument. He would rather I remain, what in his opinion was more a more calm and reserved manner. In his humble opinion I was “yelling”. I know myself very well and I can tell you now, I do not yell at him. That is a whole other nasty beast that I call upon very rarely. Even then I only do it with carefully executed precision and effect.
I of course took offense to his suggestion. As my argument now is that, I in fact, am in no way yelling at him. Nor does he yell at me, we do not yell at each other. I then brought into example the one time he ever yelled at me and how he’s never done it since that time. He agreed. I then brought into example that if and when I do yell, it’s unmistakable.
The conversation continued. I made the distinction between arguing and discussing. An argument is when two different points of view are discussed with varying points from either side. He agreed but went on to say that it needed to be executed in a way different from how it’s been done currently.
I made the argument that I have some friends whose parents never argued or even disagreed with each other in front of them and just how devastating this was in their lives. Since neither had never seen their parents resolve matters of conflict in their presence, it had left this element of their intimate relationships in a state of retardation. Both of the children had a very hard time having a healthy intimate relationship as a result of it.
In my own home my parents fought what felt like daily. As a matter of extremity these arguments would go too far. I assured him none of that was happening in our own home. He was not satisfied with the extreme’s of these examples naturally. So I continued. My next point after bringing into example these two extreme’s was this; if our children never see how we resolve issues, how we approach, argue, reason and execute our points of view with one another, how would they learn to do the same in their own relationships?
He humbly wanted me to keep my calm, watch my tone, be more aware of the pitch and timber of my voice at various parts of the argument. I stated that this was unacceptable, as I believe it’s important for my children to know and see that I too am an emotional feeling person that is still capable of making a point, asking questions, listening and rebutting to the matters at hand.
I stated that I am not someone who willy nilly walks around inflicting my emotional drivel to all in my stratosphere. In fact, I never let loose the emotional details and intricacies I experience unless it’s with him and at home. I think it’s healthy for my children to see that their mother feels safe with her husband enough to let him know exactly how he makes her feel. By being honest and yet still controlled I can make my point while still displaying the depth of my feelings.
He was still reluctant so I went on. I then drew into example that when we had experienced a serious tragedy not too long ago, I had every right to be enraged and unreasonable and yet I had remained a picture of reservation and calm. As I saw that the situation was so dire that it demanded such reserve and calm. What I had truly wanted to do was on the exact opposite of that spectrum and yet I had not expressed those feelings at that time. A point he immediately acknowledged.
Then I went on to say that when I was growing up I had witnessed my tiny Asian mom always stand up for herself. She always stated what she had to say. Sometimes in a very gruesome way but still. What I had learned from her example was, what I had to say as a wife was important and that I serve the highest good in sharing that unabashedly with my husband. That doesn’t mean he has to do what I say, or even believe in what I say or has to agree with what I say, but by golly he’ll listen or we’re through. I share because I trust him. I trust him to hear me and do what he thinks is best. I have to honor his own actions, choices, and beliefs. I as his wife, must share what I see, what I think and what I feel is right. In the end his actions are his own. But I cannot sit idly by and remain silent.
My last argument in this matter ended with this. I stated that of all the things our children will learn from this is that, as women, we must make a stand for ourselves, especially with those we trust to be in our lives. That we have the right and must have the safety to express ourselves. Especially in our marriages. My children, most especially my daughters, will know and see their own mother, succinctly state what her issues are, what problems she sees in the situation and how she approaches a problem. They’ll see how I validate my views with questions, that I listen carefully and ask for clarification if I don’t understand. I’ll repeat what I think I do understand and ask for validation of that before proceeding to the next point. They’ll see that when evidence is presented I acquiesce, that when I’m wrong I concede, apologize, assimilate and adjust accordingly. That when there is no solution I state earnestly that I disagree but then leave it at that.
If these things are bad, unacceptable or distasteful then I’ll have to answer to that in the end. But I see no harm in allowing our children to see the differences in how my husband and I execute making our various points and views known to one another.
Joshua is a picture of calm. The Lake Placid of human existence. He has the patience of a saint, is logical, respectful and very subdued. I on the other hand am passionate, colorful, and intense. As well as logical, inquisitive and respectful. Yes my voice is loud, it’s loud all the time I have a voice that rings out like a shot-gun. I was born with it. I’d have to make a conscious decision to become someone completely different during our discussions.
My final point was it was important for the kids to see both sides of the coin. The honest sides of each coin. That the children will see and make a choice which example to follow. Perhaps even call upon both during different times in their lives when the situation calls for a different tactic. That having both well speaking, logical, intelligent parents work out their differences was crucial to their development. In the end, they may do what I did and decide that neither was good enough and choose a whole other path, which is what I did in my own life.
In the end he agreed with me that it was important for his daughters to see a strong mother stand up for herself and what was right. To see the gift of sharing their life with a man that makes them feel safe enough to handle the rawness of their feelings and emotions and still listen with care and consideration. But most importantly that they also get to see two very different ways of handling disagreements and one day they can decide to pick and choose which way makes the most sense for them. Should the day come when they’re married and have to work something out.