As I walked into the family room, my husband was at the desk with the vacation folder out talking with someone on the phone.
After he hung up, I said, “I thought you were going to wait until we heard back from the children.” I assumed he had already gone ahead and made reservations for vacation. This is something we had talked about and agreed we would wait until everyone was on board.
“I was talking to them about the insurance we may want to take out in case one of us gets sick.”
“Oh!” See I had jumped to a conclusion. Do you ever do this? When we assume, all kinds of things can happen — misunderstandings, frustration, disrespect, communication divide, unnecessary conflict or our spouse may think we are trying to parent them.
A counselor friend of ours says, “We like to know, so in light of not knowing, we make assumptions. ” Not a good thing!
I bet when you read this you thought, “What?” When I say “fight” I’m not talking about a physical fight, but one of those inevitable disagreements we all encounter. In all honesty, we don’t have a lot of arguments, but when we do it causes us to take notice. Doing the kind of work we do at MERCY, it helps us understand how emotionally taxing it can be when you and your spouse aren’t getting along. It reminds us of how things can go from calm to loud in a matter of seconds. One says something; the other snaps back and off we go. Escalation has taken center stage. But it also forces us put those relationship skills we have been preaching to others into place. Take a time out! Huge! We need time to stop the drama and reflect. . .reflect on what happened, why it happened and pray the Lord will help us see the situation from the other’s perspective and that He will speak to our hearts as to what each of us needs to do differently. So for us, at least, good can often come out of those difficult situations.
We have been on a little rest and relaxation trip. When on vacation, my husband normally gets up before I do and heads to the pool. He left a note saying, “I’ve got everything.” Therefore, I was a little puzzled when I found two bottles of water still on the counter. So I figured he had forgotten them and took them out with me when I was ready to join him.
As I was walking toward him, he started shaking his head and I could tell by his expression he was irritated. “I told you I had everything!”
“Well, why were these (bottles of water) on the counter?” I asked.
“Oh, I guess I forgot them.”
I was tempted to give him back the same attitude, but instead I just touched one of the bottle to his stomach. He laughed. This humor broke what could have been a very different outcome.
Humor can be a great tool to limit emotional stress or prevent a situation from escalating But know the person and exercise common sense. Not everyone responds to humor so use it in the right moment and the right way.