Not Choosing Peace

I should’ve known better. I’ve been married for over three years.  I should’ve known that if we decided to go out, we’d get into a fight.

It’s seasonably sunny and warm here in my area (Indian summer in October is typical).  Yesterday, Bob asked if we could go out today because of the sunny weather.  I gladly said yes.  Fast forward today.  We did chores in the morning and had lunch at home.  All afternoon, I had been waiting for him to get himself off the couch from watching football so that we could go out.  He didn’t really seem like he wanted to go.  I told him that we could just stay home.  But at one point, I also said, “Didn’t you say you wanted to go out today?”  He took that as me sending him mixed messages.  He still looked reluctant to go when he put his shoes on.  I told him (and I meant it), that I’d rather stay home than upsetting him because he didn’t want to go.  I prophetically said, “If we go out when you don’t want to, I think we’re going to get into a fight.”

Yes.  That was prophetic.  Because we did get into a fight.  We hadn’t even pulled out from the driveway and he already said something to upset me.  I remember a post by A Calm Persistence that struck a chord.  Her husband asked her a question that annoyed her.  She had two choices.  She could flip out and get mad, or she could choose peace.  And she chose peace.  I applaud her for that because it’s very difficult to choose peace at times.

Today was very difficult for me to choose peace.  At times, I get very angry because of what Bob says or the way he says it.  I already told him I would rather stay home than having this person next to me who didn’t want to go out.  However, he thought that I gave him mixed messages.  He didn’t think that I meant it when I said okay to not going out.  He felt guilty keeping me home and he wanted to please me.  But instead of pleasing me, he started to get upset and said things that were basically not true in my ears.

This seems like such a small matter.  Going out or not going out.  I didn’t care. I just wanted a peaceful afternoon.  My afternoon was anything but.

When I get angry, I say things that I shouldn’t say.  But I don’t get to that point of anger unless Bob continues to say something to push my button.  I don’t know about your spouse.  My spouse really knows which button to push.  He’s very lovely when he’s calm.  When he’s mad or upset, he becomes a little irrational and brings up a lot of different issues that we were even fighting about in the first place.  That gets me even more upset and angrier.  And then I start saying the F-word because I am so upset.  And that upsets him even more because of me yelling and screaming.  It’s such a vicious cycle and I just really want to stop.  I don’t know how to stop it.  I feel like sometimes there is this demon in me that I can’t control.  I knew that my foul mouth is so sinful and so provocative that Bob for sure would get upset.  However, when I am at that point, I just feel that I can’t stop myself from it.

A marriage needs a lot of grace and patience.  Grace and patience don’t come from ourselves.  They are granted by the Lord.  And we have to pray and to ask for it.  I sometimes feel like a failure as I fail at communicating with God about the constant need of grace in my marriage.  I fail to confess my sins of my foul mouth.  I fail to change how I interact with my husband.  And I also fail at communicating with my husband in a way that doesn’t further upset him.

We were fighting in the car.   He calmly told me which of my words upset him.  He told me not to talk if I couldn’t talk without screaming.  So I shut my mouth the rest of the way.  He parked the car and just sat there.  I opened the door and walked out.  It was a walkway by this crowded beach.  I walked very fast to the other side of the beach.  Tears started streaming down.  It was such a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I said we were going to fight if we went out.  We went out and we fought.  I was mad at myself for letting the fight escalate.  I was mad at him for being stubborn and saying things that upset me.  I walked faster and faster.  And tears kept on streaming.  This is not how I envisioned coming to the beach.  I stood there watching the people around me.  They were all playing, lying in the sun, throwing a football, having a picnic, riding the waves, running in the water, and having a lot of fun.  I stood there alone, staring at the ocean, hoping that my husband would at least come and meet me where I was.

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I felt so lonely.  Standing there felt so meaningless without him next to me enjoying the sunshine, the warmth, the sea breeze, and the view.  In this world, we have just each other to hold and to cherish.  We should be on the same front fighting the same cause.  We should be focusing our energy on enjoying each other and expanding our family.  Instead, we waste our time and energy on fighting because we don’t think for the other person first.  It all stems from selfishness.

Life is so messy sometimes.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get rid of all the fights and just focus on making a baby and each other?  I definitely need a lot of help in this department.  I just feel so vulnerable today… As if we were the only people who would get into fights.  That feels lonely too.  I hope to learn in the future to stop, breathe, and think about the two choices that I have.  I can choose peace or I can choose to win an argument.  I hope that I will learn to choose peace.

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23 thoughts on “Not Choosing Peace

  1. Oh girl you’re not alone. I’m super stubborn and can’t let things go. I complain often. Just today hubby said it seems like we bicker all the time. This is definitely something I need work on, too.

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  2. Hugs.. you are not alone at all. It’s difficult and sometimes I think it’s just easier to continue arguing. Peace is not something I always choose, but you’re right we are on the same page and we should use our energy towards the same goal. Sending you lots of love.. hugs.

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    • Thanks for the love girl. I agree with you that sometimes it feels like it’s easier to just keep on fighting because I just can’t control the emotions. I need to take the advice to walk away from it for a little. Thanks again.

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  3. Oh Isabelle, don’t feel too bad–these things happen. Mr. MLACS and I have had some epic fights these past couple of years, and yes I am ashamed of both our behaviors, but on the other hand these fights have propelled our marriage forward and showed us how much we love each other (when we humble ourselves to reconcile). Sorry you had a bad day sweets, but this too shall pass and Bob loves you. XOXO

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    • Thanks for your reassurance. I know it happens to other couples too but it just feels so… discouraging… and such a waste of time. Thanks for the reminder that my husband loves me. I know he does. The good thing is we get over fights fast. Thanks again. 🙂

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  4. This happens to us all the time, I want to get out of the house and b just wants to watch football. We’ve mostly found or happy medium-mainly laying out expectations. But yes, he and I escalate and both of us push buttons and it gets ugly. We find it particularly ugly when we’re in confined spaces and can’t get away for 5 minutes to calm down. It’s hard and frustrating, and like you, afterwards I’m so mad at myself, but in the middle, I’m just seeing red and can’t seem to stop. I’m sorry you went through that, andI know you and Bob have probably already smoothed thing over, but is always a little raw after. Hugs, my friend.

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    • What’s up with Indian husbands loving football??? 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement, girl. The theme is to walk away from the situation so that it doesn’t escalate. Sometimes it’s so hard to walk away though. Yeah we get over fights fast…. although I wished we hadn’t gone that way. Thanks again. 🙂

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  5. You’re both human – cut yourself some slack 🙂 All of this is such normal married-stuff (losing your temper, sensitivity, pushing each other’s buttons) and everyone’s been through it. Lick your wounds, talk it out, and turn the page for a new day!

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    • You’re totally right. And we do that. I wrote the post when the emotions were still raw and they had nowhere to go. We got over it pretty quickly, like usual. Thanks. 🙂

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  6. I get mad at Ronny for doing stuff like that too. I tell him it’s all about the follow through. If you say you want to do something then do it! I’m sorry you were having a bad day. I hope it gets better 🙂

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  7. Not to be an annoying person who has studied psychology and the brain, but that’s what I’m going to be….

    It’s that damn amygdala, firing away. Once the brain is snagged into fight-or-flight, it’s actually not possible to turn it off without the passage of time. I used to give family therapy and couples’ counseling and once the brain was firing those impulses, the people literally got locked into a cycle that was impossible to break out of, and I often watched, powerlessly, as the sessions devolved.

    When DH and I first met, we were expert at getting into epic lock-ins that felt torturous. Somewhere along the way we learned to disengage as early as possible before I/we (mostly me, I have to admit) started seeming like attack dogs. It’s the only thing you can do–get away from each other until the brain is functioning normally.

    I’m so sorry. I hate it when this happens—it’s depressing and depleting and can make everything seem hopeless and bleak. In case you are interested, these books have been helpful to us: The 5 Love Languages (Chapman) and True Love (Thich Nhat Hahn). XO!

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    • You’re not annoying at all. 🙂 I know that everything you said is right. Walking away before it gets ugly is the way to go. I am always the one who can’t walk away. Bob is the master of walking away but sometimes I won’t let him. 😉 I guess I feel like he’s abandoning me when he does that. And that makes it harder for him to keep his cool because I force him to be in the situation with me. I will be mindful in the future to disengage as quickly as possible. Thanks for the book suggestions. We have both read the first book but I haven’t read the second one.

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  8. Aaww I’m sorry you had a fight with Bob and a crappy day. But you also have the humility to see the failings and mistakes that make you human, so I’m confident that the two of you will work it out. hugs and I hope the rest of your week is easier.

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  9. I can relate. Infertility is so, so hard on a marriage. Just a crazy strain that is present all the time. I’m praying things look better today and is giving you both some perspective and grace for one another. When I first got married, I was told that marriage is always giving and always forgiving. That stuck w/ me – even in infertility. Hugs and prayers, friend. God will get you through the rough patches. xo

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    • You are exactly right. I was wondering if this has to do with infertility as well and I think it does. It doesn’t matter how much the two of us are on the same page. We still fight over IVF and other things that may or may not be related to it. Things are usually fine within a couple of hours. We made up and it has been fine. I have to think more about the idea that marriage is always giving and always forgiving. Thank you so much for your insight.

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  10. Sending you a huge hug hon. My hubby and have had days/fights like this too, and although choosing grace and peace are usually the better way to go, it’s so much easier said then done! Hope things were better today. Hugs ❤️

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  11. You are certainly not the only couple that fights. In fact, looking back to my first marriage, we didn’t fight, and that ended in divorce. I see ‘fighting’ as good, it’s proof you care. My husband and I had a fight in the car last Sunday, about how much we are spending on building a house, and how he assumes the builder plans to rip us off. It was ugly. Marriage is messy, but worth it in the end, through the good times and the bad 🙂

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