We had just spent a relaxing weekend visiting my (Caleb) family in Minneapolis for Thanksgiving and were headed home with high spirits. To break up the long drive from Minneapolis to Madison, we stopped on the way back in a little town that we love known for having amazing antique shops — after all, maybe we would find a treasure or two for our new home (P.S. We did!). After we were done, we hopped back in the car and headed out into the sunset. Not two miles into said sunset, Maison asked the innocent question that would unknowingly ruin most of the ride home.
“Babe, will you grab me my sunglasses?”
You see, I would have handed her the sunglasses … but they were left behind on the counter of one of the antique shops we visited. To make it worse, the next exit was about ten miles up the road. We were faced with a decision that we can confidently answer now, but at the time, put a damper on an amazing holiday and our ride home.
Maison turned to me and asked, “Should I make a U-turn?” Now, if you’ve spent any time driving on highways (at least in Wisconsin!), you’ve probably asked yourself this question too. But when someone else asks your opinion on the subject, it catches you off-guard … especially if you’re not good at making decisions like me! I nonchalantly said, “I don’t care… it’s up to you. I’d probably do it but I don’t know.” We made the U-turn and got pulled over. To add insult to injury, the fine was more than buying a NEW pair of sunglasses! Ouch.
You might be wondering why I’m writing a blog post on our traffic violations.
The goal here is to share a bit of insight on arguing! Instead of offering Maison grace in the situation, I got VERY upset. We exchanged some heated words and then I shut down. We didn’t say another word to each other for probably 150 miles! But then, something our marriage coach told us for some reason popped in my head.
Swallow your pride and ask to “go again.”
“Going again” is basically like saying “we could’ve handled that a lot better and I don’t want to be fighting with you so instead of choosing to hold on to resentment, I’m going to ASK (whether I am more at fault or not) you to step into choosing our relationship with me.”
If I take a step of faith and believe that Maison feels like me (she doesn’t WANT to be in conflict) and that she loves me more than she wants to win an argument, we can make the decision together to wipe the slate clean. To apologize, forgive, and let … it … go. We can go again, showing each other love and kindness, and even enjoy the rest of the experience we are having together!
Looking back on the situation and the ticket, we laugh and can learn from our mistake with a positive outlook. It isn’t always easy but it is worth it to be in right relationship with your spouse!
As the guy on the airplane next to me yesterday said, “It’s all good in the new year!” Here’s to lots of “going agains’ in the New Year!
Yep, those are the sunglasses! ; )