I had actually planned to write about something COMPLETELY different for this month’s Marriage Monday post, but after an experience that happened last night between Caleb and I, I decided to rewrite the entire post.
The Back Story
Being several weeks into wedding season — with lots of driving these first couple of months — I have been experiencing some pretty extreme back pain (riding in the car for long periods of time is what really does it I think!). Being in chronic physical pain has a tendency to make me kind of cranky. I’ll just be honest about that upfront!
We were gone this whole past weekend and Caleb had to work yesterday at Apple at 3:00 PM so I dropped him off at work with plans to pick him up when he was done; we also had plans to go for a run together when he got home!
After picking him up, on the car ride back home, I told him that I wanted to go for a run right when we got back. What I didn’t tell him was how bad my back was hurting and also that I was getting hungry (another thing that makes me cranky). So what I really meant when I said I wanted to go for a run right when we got back was that we would literally get home, he would change, we would go out immediately after, and then we would eat dinner as soon as we got home. *Remember, I communicated NONE of this to him.*
When we got home, Caleb began unpacking the car from the weekend (it had yet to be unpacked because he wanted to do it when he got home so I could get right to work with editing this afternoon — yes, he’s a saint). Unpacking took a bit longer than I was expecting and I was getting hungrier and more irritated as I continued to work and my back continued to hurt.
When Caleb was done unpacking, he told me he was ready to go. I asked him if he could bring down the keys to our car because I wanted to put it in the garage before we left for the run. We met downstairs, tied our shoes, and then he handed me the keys to pull the car in the garage while he put the leash on Vivian.
I went to go pull the car in the garage and then it happened.
He grabbed the keys to our other vehicle.
A SIMPLE mistake but I blew UP.
“You grabbed the WRONG keys and now I have to take off my shoes and go all the way upstairs and get the other ones!! Ugggghhhhh!!” (<<<I am so embarrassed to even admit how horrific I acted here but I really want to be real with you guys).
I ran upstairs, got the keys, pulled the car in (all without even acknowledging Caleb), then handed him the keys and looked at him and said, “I am NOT running with you.” And off I went for a run by myself.
I am awesome, you guys.
It didn’t take long into my run for me to realize how absolutely out of line I had acted and treated my husband who had done NOTHING wrong.
The hardest part of the realization, however, was my PRIDE.
The first few minutes of my run, I tried to justify my behavior in my head. “I told him that I wanted to go for a run as SOON as we got back. Did he HAVE to unpack the car first when he got home?!? NO. He didn’t.” Etc, etc. But DEEP DOWN, I knew what I had done was wrong. And I had to let my pride down and admit to myself FIRST that yes, I had messed up. My behavior was not justified. I needed to apologize and I was GOING to apologize. Not justify. Apologize.
Once I was able to get past the hardest part of accepting that I had done something wrong, I was able to LEARN and think through WHY I had acted the way I did. As I explained in the “back story” section of this post, there were several things that were building up and making me cranky — the perfect storm to explode in a way like I did. Had I just COMMUNICATED to Caleb my expectations right from the start, this whole thing would have never happened! <This was my take away from the whole experience and something I was able to learn for next time.
Own up to your mistakes. It’s worth it for you AND your spouse. Stop being prideful and stubborn!!!
- I was able to learn from the experience and know how to better handle myself in the future. This will only help improve my relationship with Caleb and our communication!
- Caleb got the apology he deserved and didn’t have to feel bad about himself, wondering what he did wrong or be confused about why I got so upset.
- We were able to have a wonderful rest of our evening together instead of a wasted evening of silence and/or ignoring each other.
Seemingly insignificant (and downright embarrassingly bratty) experiences like the one I just described — these are the day-to-day experiences that I TRULY believe have the power to make or break a marriage. Last night, I chose to make my marriage and I am SO glad that I did.
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