A recent fight with my husband taught me two things:
- Those who don’t understand tend to get angry first.
- Those who do understand could use a little more understanding.
I am not saying I’m right, and he’s wrong. I would like to think we both have weaknesses we need to work on.
As I locked myself in the bathroom, all sorts of thoughts entered my mind. I was angry. I was crying. I was crying because I couldn’t be angry. I couldn’t shout at him. I was no longer that kind of person. Over the years I have learned to keep all the words — especially the mean ones — from coming out of my mouth. Surely, this wasn’t one of the situations that called for my mean speech.
In my mind I thought, “Heck, how you reacted was just the worst. Now you sound a lot like —.” I calmed myself down. I had to. The sudden outburst of tears made it hard for me to breathe. Thank God for hyperventilation — it keeps me sane enough not to cry most of the time.
You see, the problem with marriage is that there is no trial version. It comes as a whole package. No, there isn’t a crack. There is no keygen. You discover and work things out on your own. Together. It’s up to you and your mate to solve your differences — all the more your misunderstandings.
Back in the bathroom I wondered, “What if, after he reacted semi-violently, I approached him more gently? What if I smiled at him, cracked a joke, and reassured him that we could work on his forms together?” Seems easy, but not really. It was especially straining because I hate going through stuff repeatedly. My favorite line, which he usually mimics, “Eh paulit-ulit naman tayo eh,” was the same line that made him snap — it showed no hint of understanding on my part. It was more of complaining that I had to repeat what was already previously said.
Clearly, marriage requires understanding, not just of one, but of both. There may be setbacks. One might have, or know, less; the other might have more, but where the other person lacks, the partner should provide. That is true partnership.
Four months into married life and I am slowly learning. I thought it wasn’t hard at first, but challenges come, and they make us better at what we do. 🙂