Thursday, March 09, 2006

No Resolution Here

So my wife and I had this argument last night, and it became clear to me that the truth is a hard thing. She gave her opinion, and I gave my opinion, and when it was all said and done, we went to bed angry. As I write this I'm foggy on the details of the whole thing, but I do remember that she was right and I was right, and she was wrong and I was wrong, and in the end, it didn't really matter who was right because we felt all wrong.

Why do we do that to each other? Why can't we just say "You're right", and go back to enjoying a love that defies argument? What is it that makes us gnaw and jab at each other like dueling trial attorneys trading objections in a tension filled hearing? Shouldn't we, after nearly ten years of marriage, be fully aware that we're not always going to agree and leave it at that? If only it were so easy.

The fact of the matter is that, because we love each other, we want to agree and be agreed with. The other fact of the matter is that, because we love ourselves, we want to disagree and be disagreeable. Sometimes the self just wins out and all we're left with is the empty sense of false justification. It's like our emotions skipped a meal... or ate too much. Either way we're uncomfortable and probably a little unstable. I hate that feeling, and I have the sinking sense that she does too.

I love my wife. We have a good marriage, and we rarely argue. When we do, we fight pretty fair, and by mid-morning we're back on track, but I really wish we would never have an argument again. Ever. We have enough to fight through these days without the occasional battle of opinions. I'm sure it's healthy to disagree, but what I'm feeling now doesn't seem healthy. When I see how my self ran roughshod over her self, and vice-versa, I just feel sick.

No resolution here, just a few frustrating thoughts. All I can say is that I was much more wrong than my wife last night. As usual, she was more pure-hearted than I, and rather than celebrating that, I tried to exploit it and tug her into my less than pure pit. My self won, but me lost, and she lost too.

I can't wait till mid-morning.


docsavage_ said...

I just read The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis, so I'm still kinda skittish about being "attacked." One thing that is true, though (no matter whether one believes all attacks are from some greater force or from our own selves), is that there is nothing that would make Screwtape happier than to see a family embattled. Because it is the model God uses to reveal His love and union. Because it is holy. Maybe this is an over-reaction for your situation, but in my own marriage, it is not. My problem is that, instead of letting my opinions duke it out with my wife's opinions, I try to duke it out with her. I make it personal (or she does), rather than letting our differences be what they are. It is an awfully hard concept to grasp, that rejection of one's opinion is not rejection of the one who gave it. Of course, some of my more heated fights skip the opinion and go straight for the throat, without even a second thought.

As you can see, I'm frustrated with you. And, like you, I always look forward to the make-up. But do not discount the value in remaining in the moment long enough to be healed of it and to glean what insight you can into the problem behind the problem. Sometimes that is the hardest thing to do because we want to fix the superficial wound without curing the true wound. Truth be shown, I would be covered in band-aids from my "fix it" approach.

ryan said...

Consider it a blessing that you're at least sometimes right. I'm never right. Christine is always right. I've never won an argument with her. Disgusting...

docsavage_ said...

My wife and I are attorneys and she has won every case against me. Even if I seem to have the stronger argument, she wins on some technicality or something.

I feel like one of those crappy little Div. II-A schools that gets scheduled at the beginning of the football season, so that the Div I-A school gets an easy win (like The Citadel or Mississippi State... wait, they're not Div...nevermind)and you know that little crappy school just can't wait to play someone in Div. II-A because they feel like they'll be tougher and battle tested for having played a better team. The key is to not get beaten into submission - then even the little crappy schools beat you up, too.

Steve Hayes said...

It's hard to lose when you're never wrong, and my wife is never wrong. Seriously, I'm not saying that as an insult, but a fact. She really is right the vast majority of the time. I can't really blame anyone else because I could have probably married some other chick and been right more often, but that was just too easy. What fun is it marrying someone who's not better than you? When it all comes down to it, (using Hoychick's illustration) I'm just happy to be on the same field as the powerhouse!