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.
"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.
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.