How to get through those “big” fights.
I think I knew it was coming for a long time. The last one we had was bad and scared me. Not because of what we said, but because of what I felt. Perhaps it’s age, or maturity, but I am no longer afraid of what happens if we don’t work it out. I won’t run crying to my momma or make a big deal about it. I am not who I was when I was a younger woman with young children. I know what I can do and I know I could do this alone if I needed to.
Here come the words. The words I had heard one too many times. I don’t know what you do with our money. As I calmly got up to reply I snapped. It was a conversation that we had had one too many times. I lost my mind and all self control and my mouth enjoyed the moment and let out obscenities that should have been bleeped. He got extremely angry. Imagine that? He stormed out. I followed. I didn’t heed his warning to give him time alone. I kept at it. The word divorce came up and I followed him more intently. The shouting match transitioned to the garage where our son would later join us to do his manly part at the age of almost 18. With his phone in his hand he told us to stop or he would call the cops.
We communicated. That was the best result from the fight. We also poured vinegar into a bad wound. Our stress levels were out of the park and now we added pain, insult, and disruption to the mess. We were reminded of the consequences of our actions. Our family is stressed, our relationship is strained, and now we have a teenager to deal with.
If only we had communicated properly in the first place. To add salt to my fresh wounds I began to re-hash the harsh words I said, the way I provoked him, and the way I completely forgot there is such a thing as God. In an instant I became a practical atheist.
How do we survive?
- We have to get things stable. Is everyone safe, cared for, is food available, and can we get through the night without more chaos?
- We need to let things calm down, let God begin to speak to us. Try shooting up arrow prayers. Let your tears speak to God. He can hear your anguish. He cares. He knows you are hurting. Shoot up the prayers help me and I need you. Listen. Listen carefully and He will begin to heal and show you things. Contact someone who can pray objectively and that you can trust. They don’t need to know who said what just the basic facts. Get someone else interceding on your behalf.
- Keep moving. Wash the dishes, fold laundry, fix dinner, read, do something. We have to keep moving forward. You might feel disillusioned, but keep going. Forward movement gives us hope and helps fight off depression.
- Don’t listen to the lie in our head that we are alone. You may be physically alone, but God is with you. His Son intercedes on your behalf and there are a hoist of saints who have walked where you have. You are not alone!
- God can use things like this to teach our children. My son will learn what not to do and what to do. I can talk to him about this and use it as a teaching moment. I can confess my wrong, and we always have wrong, right? I can teach him about what he did wrong and why it was wrong. Not everything is his business and if I didn’t make a clear border than I can make one now. This is how God pulls good out of difficult situations. We can aid in that process.
- Read a verse, sing a song, listen to a sermon. Pour some food into your soul. You can’t leave your mind and heart empty. You must feed it with something eternal and good. Don’t let Satan lie and steal. Don’t let him drive a wedge. You can do that by pouring God into the mix even if it’s just you. My husband doesn’t attend church. We aren’t running to the altar anytime soon to pray about this. I still need to be a faithful servant and to do that I need to pour God into my life.
The first few hours are about getting through maybe even the first few days. God can heal anything. He really can! Never give up hope. Never give in. You need to ask yourself something? When the end of your life comes does something in you hope that it’s you and him? Would it be better to say that you worked it out than to have given up?
Don’t judge the future by your current emotions. They will mislead you. If we judge the future when we are hurting, disappointed, angry, or fearful we can become hopeless, distraught, make poor decisions, act rash, or incite another fight. Sometimes we just need to let things simmer until we can begin to deal with the problem rationally. God can do amazing things and His Word demonstrates His ability to make something amazing out of a hot mess.
I looked at him. He threatened divorce and I didn’t care. I began to think about what I would do and where I would go. It would be tough, but I knew I can do it. We kept talking. Something in us wasn’t ready to let go. Then we entered phase 2. We were quiet. Wondering if it would work out. If his anger would cool down and if I would finally keep my mouth shout. We feared and that fear signaled that we still cared and so we got through those first hours and the next day we started talking again. It was raw. Every word stung. It came much to my surprise when a little over 24 hours later he would touch me and I would touch him and we would reunite. Did I really hate you yesterday? Tomorrow we can work on the problems that got us here in the first place.
Originally published at enroutejournalfol.com on October 16, 2017.