This is an excerpt from a marriage book am working on, from a chapter on conflict and responsibility.
Please let me know what you think in Comments? Thank you.
“Your similarities, not your differences will create some of your greatest marriage riots”
I remember hearing the words before I got married and thinking “Ridiculous!”
In my mind, I believed the more alike Tommy and I were, the happier we’d be!
Two weeks into marriage and in the middle of “honeymoon”, I got a little dose of truth.
Part of our honeymoon itinerary included a one day romantic getaway in a lodge, far from the city. On the morning of our departure, something descended on my brand-new beloved husband.
Like a sheer intangible curtain, a cloud of stillness enveloped him. He went quiet. Cool. Silent. On Me!
For a newly wed girl who had been living on a steady diet of romance, sweetness, chivalry and words, the abrupt change knocked the air out of my lungs.
Still I found myself responding, swiftly, the only way I “knew” how.
I reckoned that if BNBH (brand new beloved husband) could serve “attitude” I could serve it right back to him in style.
After all, I had the “gift of goodbye” – rejections and heartbreaks slid off me like water on a duck’s back. (Not true, but it was a great rhyme.)
I burned with indignation and pride and purposed to run my husband (what! I had one!) to the hills – “punish” him with icy brooding silence.
But Tommy, who later confessed that he was going through serious inner adjustments to having a woman in his house, his bed, his life couldn’t fathom the depth of my confusion, bewilderment and fear.
He didn’t notice my punishment either.
The ride to our romantic getaway became a nightmare.
But somewhere between the city and the jungle, I began to think that maybe, just maybe, I could work on my attitude a little bit.
I would later admit that when I was burdened or anxious about something, I behaved exactly the same way my husband did that day – zooming off in to space, cutting off all communication with my surrounding but for civil niceties.
What Tommy later called sickening-nice, where a person gives enough of themselves to keep the engine running (barely) but not enough to make the car move.
Still BNBH won, hands down. He was much better at the brooding business than I was. Even in my detachment, I still liked a little fuss.
Except for simple niceties, Tommy hung a big “Do Not Disturb!” sign at his door.
Clearly, his calm and collected exterior, the same that had drawn me to him had a much deeper side! One that I did not like.
Slowly I would discover that I married a human being.
Tommy was not from Mars, neither was I from Venus. We were similar, not just in behavior, preferences and attractions, but right down to our core.
We were human, selfish in nature.
In His mercies, God brought us together, so “iron could sharpen iron”. It was in a our strongest area of strength, namely our humanity, where our greatest potential for conflict lay.
Questions – What do you think about about this excerpt? What causes (or has the potential to cause) more conflict in marriage, our similarities or differences? Please share in Comments.
*I have edited the excerpt to fit a blog post.
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