Long day; long drive; short tempers

Mark and I had saved up a bunch of errands we needed to run down south for, and today was our day to do them.  We are exhausted, but we accomplished a lot.  I won’t bore you with the details.

However, there was a point during the trip when we had a matter of disagreement.  One of the things we’ve been trying to work on in our marriage is communication.  Another is probably best described as a power struggle.  These are fairly common issues in marriages, so it should come as no surprise that we deal with this too.

The communication issue in our situation is complicated.  Mark and I are both introverted.  (This may be news to those of you who know me.)  We both do a lot of internal thinking.  In my case, at least, I know that sometimes I think something through so thoroughly that I think surely I’ve already communicated it to Mark.  I’ll be talking in shorthand, thinking he has the background on what I’m talking about, and he’ll say, “You never told me that.”  At other times, I’ll tell Mark my plans or ideas in great detail, but his mind’s eye pictures it differently than I’m thinking of it.

This happened today when I had the whole list of where we needed to go and what we needed to do and in what order lined up in my mind.  I was thinking it was just going to be a matter of telling Mark how to get there and what we were going to do once we got there.  It didn’t occur to me that inside his head he was hatching plans of what he wanted to do when we got to the places we mutually agreed we were going to go.  I was on a tight schedule to beat various closing times and there wasn’t much time for dilly-dallying around.

As we were getting close to one location I told Mark what we needed to do there and said we needed to make it quick.  That’s when Mark told me he had other plans in mind.  He wanted to look at some things.  I have a difficult time changing direction in mid-gear, so I tried to tell him we didn’t have time.  I laid out all my best reasons and he laid out his.  Neither of us did so in the best manner.  Fortunately, he was able to come up with a solution to the time factor that was reasonable and workable.

I spent a while after our discussion giving some thought to the situation.  Do I want to be the kind of person who always has to have things go my way?  While it might be nice for me to always get my way, it wouldn’t endear me to others nor would it help me to grow personally.  It’s risky to put this out on my blog because once there are witnesses, I will be held to it.  I’m sure Mark will bring it up next time we are in this position, but I am saying it anyway.  I want to be a better person than I am.  I want to be fair, and fairness involves learning to share.  It’s the same concept my Sunday School teachers tried to instill in me as a child.  It’s one that I’ll be working on for the rest of my life because new situations present new opportunities to learn to share.


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