Monday, March 9, 2015

Things I Need to Remember About My Husband When We Argue

The other day Zach came home from an event. He had a rough time and was telling me about an experience and an exchange with some other people that took place. The things he told me didn't set well with me for the night and the entire next day. I felt as though he was treated unkindly by someone and most likely judged unfairly and, quite honestly, unnecessarily. 
The situation really wasn't a big deal and Zach didn't let it bother him.  I, on the other hand, let it get under my skin. I needed to share some of my feelings and so I had a conversation with my mom and a friend. And then I had a conversation with the offender in my head while I was in the shower (tell me I'm not the only one who does this?)

tips for handling disagreements in marriage

There are just a few things that really bothered me when I thought of someone judging my husband or not being nice to him. Some of the things I wanted to tell the offender were:

*He would never ever pass judgement on you. At least not  for anything other than your political beliefs. I say that jokingly but it's true. The only time I've ever seen Zach "judge" another person was over politics. Other than that, he never makes anyone feel like less than they are or makes people feel bad. He's such a good example to me because he doesn't dwell on the little things--whether they are his little things or yours.

*He has a good heart...a really good heart. Before you go making assumptions I wish you knew how he doesn't even get through the door before his daughter is in his arms at night. He doesn't need "time to unwind" in order to happily and willingly  embrace his family. He leaves work early and comes home to surprise us sometimes. He will take over bedtime on the nights that I have no patience left and he is a master at handling JaiseAnn with great patience. He worked close to sixty hours a week for almost a year so that I could be home with our daughter, even though he didn't like his job all that well. He would undoubtedly still be doing it if he hadn't found a new job. He takes care of the people in his life. 

* So he's not like you. He's not high energy, super motivated, "We have to change the world right this minute!" In fact, he's super laid back. Yeah, I know it can be frustrating, but it can also be helpful and useful. Try to learn from him instead of only wanting him to learn from you.  Or at least try to understand him.  He rarely gets offended or worked up over things people say or do. He is often the calm voice of reason. He's a great example of manners and kindness.

*His best may be different than YOUR best. It seems so unfair to make assumptions about another person's efforts or work when you don't know what their strengths are and you are not seeing the whole picture. You not seen how he's put his time, effort, and energy into the things you are concerning yourself with.


 I was frustrated, upset, and angry. I let this whole thing get to me far more than Zach did. I stewed over it for a few days and then one day as I was thinking how "Nobody really gets Zach." I was thinking about how his family sometimes still thinks of him as a 17 year-old punk with a temper and how that frustrates me. Those who are aquaintances often only see him as a political instigator who is "always right."  I was feeling a bit frustrated about it and then so glad that I get to see the whole picture. That I know him. What a gift it is to be the high anxiety to his calm. It's just pretty darn perfect.

And then it hit me. Sharlee, do you rememer who Zach is most of the time?

And I thought of all of our disagreements and arguments over the past year...I thought of all the times I, myself, had passed judgement on him. And I realized that all of those arguments I had in the shower, I could just as easily be having with myself--especially when we don't see eye to eye.

*He never judges you, you should be less apt to judge him.

*He has a good heart.

*He's not like you and that's why you work. Embrace his differences, don't fight them. Try learning from him sometimes. 

*His best is not YOUR best. And your best is not his best. That's why you work.


The next time I start to get frustrated with Zach for being so different from me or the next time I go to pass judgement on him, I am going to make an effort to remember these things. To treat my husband with the same grace and respect that I feel everyone else should.

Do you have small reminders that you give yourself when you are feeling frustrated with your spouse? I'd love to hear them!

*This is  another way I am trying  to Renew My Marriage this year!

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