I have all these plans, and then something happens and 4 days go by. It’s a reoccurring theme, and I am so tired of beating myself up for the same things over and over again. Can I still be considered a productive person even if my production is within a smaller time period than others? The answer is definitely yes.
That is not why I brought you here today, I actually want to tell you about an argument I had with my husband this last week. And by tell you about it, I don’t mean the details about why we were arguing, but I want to highlight what happened throughout the entire 4 day process to coming to a better place than we felt like we were before. A stronger place.
I do want to provide a disclaimer about arguments, they do not go to any kind of plan. In fact, if you try to plan an argument, you will most likely fail and definitely get hurt. So, be careful what kinds of people you are pressing, and be careful of the assumed outcome since when you get your hopes up to a certain level of expectation the fall is harder than if you hadn’t.
I have been falling out of love with alcohol for a while, but I ended up getting sick this last week. I had a few beers, and a few shots and I ended up sicker than I ever had before in my life. My husband took care of me, and helped me for 3 days. Even though, that night we were drinking I smacked him in the face and he threatened to leave me.
I do not take pride in those actions, I would go so far as to say that they aren’t me. And I’ve never hit my husband before that day and I never want to again. That moment though is what perplexes me the most, for the duration of the argument I was insisting that he does the same thing I was suggesting that I wanted to do, but he got more and more upset at the thought of the argument being turned around like that. So, although I did not want to make him feel bad, you know we both said some hurtful things. And that’s when my uncontrollable moment happened. I know it was lashing out at whatever he said, but I don’t feel like what he said was actually important. What was important was what was said after, He threatened to divorce me.
Now under threat of divorce I am not thinking clearly at all. But, I did not rush out the door, I waited until everyone was comfortable and I went for a walk. On that walk I made a voice recording, and in that recording I exaggerated the truth of events, and conveniently left out the fact that I had hit my husband. I hit him more than once, but only once physically. Emotionally I hit him. I cornered him with truth he did want to accept, and made him think about a life where he had to be accountable for his actions.
In the days that followed that initial fight, my other immediate relationships crumbled a bit and I had to repair those also. The first one is my oldest daughter, I snapped at her about something that is a big deal, but could be handled so differently. I had to turn it around and express to her that I knew I was in the wrong with my actions, they do have deep underlying reasons, but they’re not excuses for my actions. Now, before coming to her like this, I was sure she would never talk to me again. After this, she talks to me more and understands where all this came from.
I played the voice recording to my husband, and let him know beforehand that I wasn’t truthful, or at least I omitted facts from it, but at the core I really needed him to hear the raw emotion behind the actions of the whole evening. This is 4 days later mind you, and after hours of deflecting the actual conversation I was able to get his full attention and he listened.
What he heard was an emotional cry, and a balancing act between someone too tough for their own good and someone so afraid of being alone that they do stupid shit in spite of that fact. So, there I was and there he was. He has a problem to solve for himself, but I don’t want to be so emotionally invested in his problem anymore if it’s going to lead me to be out of control of my actions like that. I am so glad that we were able to get back to a state of harmony together, and I wanted to share with you what it is you should be looking for.
Three things to look for in an argument, to figure out what the argument is really about…
1. Who started it, what kinds of things were they saying? In our case, I started the argument by suggesting I wanted to walk to the store while drunk, and I instigated the argument by bringing my husband’s alcoholism to the table and introduced them to their behavior.
2. How are you behaving after, what hurt you the most? In the days that followed I was completely upset and sick, take the sick out and I would have been more outwardly upset than I was. While trying not to lash out at my kids too much, I had to dig deep to figure out exactly what it was that hurt me, and why I was still feeling like a kid pushed out of shape.
3. What kind of steps can you do to correct the actions? Or at the very least explain them, offer apology and consolation. When I was processing the whole series of events, I kept this first question in mind the whole time, what am I going to do to make this better? I was able to explain why I had gotten so upset, and hopefully got my husband to see that he means the world to us. I apologized and I heard his pain from the evening also. I respected that there were two people being hurt at the same time. It wasn’t just me, and it wasn’t just him.
After this, you will know if this is going to be one of those life lessons or just a passing thing. I am hoping for a passing event for you all, those are more manageable than life lessons.