Friday, September 9, 2011

braver and bolder than this

Driving home yesterday, I thought about something that got me a little miffed.

And the more I thought about it, with the passing through each toll, the more I became comfortable in my discontent towards my husband. Strike after strike added up against him, until I had worked myself into an angry state.

By the time I got home, bless his heart, I had had an entire argument with him, in my head, and

he had no idea what was going on. 

"Are you mad at me?"

He caught on to the not-so-subtle attitude that followed every action, every inflection of my voice.


I replied.

"Care to let me in on it?"

And I knew, right there, that I had no real case to present. The minor infraction that had originally set me off was inconsequential. But by the time Neal confronted me, I had settled into the negative churning in my soul. There was no traction here--I didn't search for my anger's source to find the truth of the matter; I had simply stalled out.

And can I just be honest?

It felt good to be angry.

I can see how people stay this way--anger slips around the senses, creating a buffer between conscience and action, between self-evaluation and speech, fortified by pride in its agenda to keep you in the right, no matter what.

I felt empowered, I felt in control, and I stayed this way for longer than I'd care to admit.

The thing about settling into anger instead of working through it is that it doesn't make for a good night's sleep, it doesn't make for a good morning before work, and it sure doesn't set you up for good conversations at dinner.




I had settled that long.

Finally, I repented, only after being prompted by a patient husband. And even then, I was only half sincere. I found myself still grasping for some illusive reason, something floating out there that might, at the last second, justify my piggish state. It was a bare-bones apology, skeletal in words, with no real conviction to bulk it up. But by the time I had put the boys down and had time to relinquish my pride, I had figured out what my true apology was all about.


what I did was cheap.

If I had had a real complaint, or something genuinely wrong to bring up with you,

then I should have been braver and bolder than the tantrum I just threw.

I'm sorry."

Because that's what real marriage requires.

Two partners, braver and bolder than selfish retreats to anger, fighting hard to draw closer,

leaving behind lines drawn in the sand.

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