Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Fight

I know I’m really great at making it seem like I have the perfect marriage and that I’m married to the perfect man. I don’t mean to… because it’s not and he’s not… and I’m certainly not.

So… I guess it’s time to share a little bit of our ugly.
I guess it’s time to tell you about The Fight.

The Fight we had four days before we were to be wed. The Fight that made me wonder, “Uh oh…”.

It involved a suit.
A tie.
An undershirt.
Shiny, shiny shoes.
Don’t forget the belt.
And some money.
Lots and lots of money.
Oh. And my credit card.

Now, under different circumstances (like ones where we are sharing a bank account and had thoroughly discussed things ahead of time), I might not have balked my head when dear Mike rung up my husband’s total at the check-out counter. But, circumstances weren’t different…and so I balked.

It wasn’t so much vocal as it was through clenched teeth and glaring eyes as I tried to "not speak speak" to my to-be-husband that he should double check why in the world it was costing this much money. Did you know that men can’t read minds? Even when we’re seething?

So instead, he whips out the card and swipes away.
Five minutes later we were in a nearby department store searching for undershirts that don’t cost $50000000 because of the way the keep the sweat off your body.

We tried to communicate.
“Debbie, you need to use your words. You didn’t say anything back there so I figured you were okay with it…”
“Why would I EVER be okay with you spending that much money on all of that? I can barely buy myself a new toothbrush because I don’t want to spend money.”

We never yelled.
We were in public.
With my mom and my aunt.
Of course.

My anger wasn’t ceasing and so his only solution was to run off to return everything. He had to make it better, and I was giving him n.o.t.h.i.n.g. to work with.

I called behind him.
His impulsive desire to do something drastic because of my irrational reactions caused me to pause.

He really wants this.
It’s our wedding day.
My dress cost more than this.
We can afford this.
We are getting married.
Our lives are becoming one.
My money isn’t mine anymore.

With tears in our eyes, in the middle of the department store, with my mom and aunt wandering around awkwardly waiting for us to “work through” our spat… we came to some sort of understanding.

His ability to spend extravagantly for our wedding didn’t mean that this was the way he was going to spend money our entire lives.  This was a once in a lifetime celebration.

Plus, there was the fact that I was the one who handed him the tie… so why wouldn’t he assume that I had (a) seen the price and (b) approved it? (Unfortunately I had seen a bunch of ties on sale for $15 and when the sales rep handing me this beautiful tie I had just assumed it was from that rack…. Yes, I’m quite sure I was conned).

© Catherine Rhodes Photography 2014
So we worked it out.

He kept the suit. 
But it was ugly. Not the suit. The situation. 
I was a ball of tears, humiliated that just days before our wedding we were in such a predicament in front of my family.

Surprisingly enough, they told us they were actually impressed with how we handled the situation when we tried profusely apologizing to them for our ridiculous behavior.

We almost laugh about it now. 
You know… 40 days later.
But really, it feels insignificant. And, true to his word, while he spends money more quickly than I might, he isn’t an excessive spender. And, he does love those new shoes- so much so that he wore those shiny guys to work at least once or twice this past week. He insists that he’s not trying to prove a point and that he truly just loves them… but I’m not entirely sure.

That’s The Fight.
I’m not naïve enough to think that we’ll never have another… but I am relieved to know that I have married a man who can remain level-headed, who will talk through things, who will seek to place me and my desires above his own in the midst of conflict.

Even if he does like expensive things.
And even if I’m cheap.

It somehow all works out in the end as we learn to extend grace to each other and as we seek to love each other the way Christ loves us, imperfections and all. 

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