So, not going to bed mad leads me into another important practice in marriage, “pick your battles”. I don’t know about you, but I struggle with this daily. I admit, I can be a bit of a control freak. I like to do things by myself or my way. This was a huge bump in the road when Joel and I first got married. We are both used to doing things our way and by ourselves. This caused several disagreements and it was a long learning process before we had our first child.
I remember one night we had a friend come over. He and Joel had been friends long before we ever met. He spent several hours at our apartment. Now, keep in mind, we were newly weds. We had been married maybe 3 months at this point. We were still getting used to living together and had different expectations that night. I went to bed because I was tired. Joel was happily chatting away with his friend and I felt totally ignored. At the time, I thought he was being selfish by not making this friend leave so he could go to bed too (I hated sleeping alone and Joel was working third shift. This was a weekend that he had off). So, what does a newly wed female do when she feels totally ignored? That’s right. I had a huge quiet crying fit. The friend stayed probably two, maybe three more hours after I went to bed. (-.-)
This was a learning experience and looking back now, I see that I was the selfish one, not him. If I had a friend over and wanted to visit, I would have wanted to stay up and talk and giggle like we did when I lived with my parents. I learned that night that I needed to be flexible and let Joel have “guy time”. I learned that I really was selfish and that if I wanted our marriage to work, I needed to lighten up and let go of some control. I had a partner in my life now, I needed to act like I shared the work load, not dictate and run the show.
Having open communication really cuts down on disagreements and wasted time on arguing and shedding tears. It frees up time to LOVE each other. It frees up to share and enjoy each other. It frees up time to enjoy the little things and build each other up rather than tear each other down. Speak works of affirmation. Spend time being intimate. My challenge for you is to open your lines of communication. Speak with positive words and work to build each other up in times of disagreements. You can do this. It is so rewarding to speak rather than sit and suffer in silence. Let go of some control.