“It takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.” ~ Unknown
Continuing last week’s (May 25) story about the night early in our marriage when I learned the importance of the wise, old phrase:
“Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.”
That wise phrase is especially relevant in marital relationships. The phrase is a simple warning. Dire things can happen—especially in human interactions—when we immediately act in anger upon the belief that the first impression of what we hear or see is real or true.
I learned that night to trust myself and my inner voice and STOP…before I let my justifiable anger blind and overwhelm me.
As I sat at the table making my sandwich, Bill’s anguish poured out of him.
“Men disgust me. Tonight I’m ashamed to be a member of the human male species.”
Whoa… I hoped I sounded calm but I was alarmed at how sad and distressed he looked. “What happened, honey?”
“I’m cancelling that weekly Friday night mixed doubles tennis party. I created that event thinking it would be fun for couples to bond with one another and other couples, as well as get some tennis drills from me. How naïve I was, Gail!” Bill shook his head and put his hand on his forehead.
“So I take it the husbands behaved badly?”
“Badly? That’s an understatement. At first I was shocked. Right there on the tennis court, many of the men screamed and berated their wife whenever she missed a shot. Over and over I had to listen to this abuse. I’m telling you, I couldn’t believe it.
‘Then I started feeling like lashing out myself. I nearly lost it. Once, I was about 5 seconds away from punching one of those men. His wife was actually crying as he berated her.
“I think I felt even angrier at the women. Why does she tolerate him yelling at her like that? Why doesn’t she tell him to go…” Why doesn’t she slam her tennis racquet up against the back of his ignorant head?”
I sat silently watching, listening, and nodding as my husband’s pain poured out.
He seemed to be reliving it. “Can you imagine, baby? If they act like that in public, what in the world is going on behind their closed doors?”
IF YOU heard your spouse express such anguish, how would you feel? What would you say to him/her?
Come back next Tuesday for the conclusion of:
The #1 Intimacy Skill Couples Need for a Harmonious Relationship