After being gone almost all day I arrived at home at about 4:00pm. The door we use to enter our house leads to the kitchen and the first thing I saw was a counter full of dishes.
My frustration levels grew instantaneously.
My heart started beating faster.
Angry emotions gripped me.
I thought, “I have been gone all day. My husband and kids have been home all day and they left all their breakfast and lunch dishes for me to do! How am I to cook supper with no counter space?” I proceeded to walk into the living room and complain to my husband in front of the kids about why he didn’t do the dishes and why he left them for me to do.
As you can imagine the rest of that evening was not harmonious, nor were the next few days as my husband hardly spoke to me. This incident was a tipping point. Brad was feeling falsely accused in front of the kids. He thought he had been this great dad, spending the day with the kids and giving them his full attention and I came home and immediately complained about how he spent the day. I was feeling taking advantage of. We both needed to learn a new way to communicate our feelings.
Later that week, Brad gave me a piece of paper with three life rules, some pertaining to this instance and some pertaining to other struggles we were having.
While this is not a fond memory for us, it forced us to form new habits and new understandings, new relationship roots. We are not perfect, but we seek to understand each other – not accuse each other, to talk about our frustrations with each other in private, to always speak well of each other in front of others, and to forgive each other. It was hard, yet we are better today because of it.
What relationship roots are you and your partner growing?
- Are you allowing the tough times in your relationship to grow deep roots, shallow roots or no roots?
- Roots need room for water to flow in and out. Are you giving and receiving forgiveness to keep communication flowing?
- Are you growing new roots by seeking different ways of communicating or spending time together?
- What are you doing to listen to the old roots – the lessons you have already learned, the lessons that provide structural support to your relationship?