One night last week I was at home and feeling tired. I also knew that I had to work on paying bills later that night, and that always brings me down. Plus, money has been really tight lately, and I was worried about making it to the next paycheck without any big problems. On top of all of this, my wife and I don’t think about money the same way, and that can cause problems in our relationship.
That night, my wife mentioned casually that she had bought a new purse that day. Without even thinking about it, I started to get mad. I came really close to making some kind of sarcastic remark, but it hit me that I was starting to lose my self-control. Amazingly for me, I was able to walk away, and I said we could talk about it later.
For a little while, I was still mad. I kept thinking of all the things I wanted to say about how wrong she was, but after a while I calmed down. Slowly, I started thinking about the right things to do, and I even prayed about how I should act. We did talk about the situation later, but were able to do so calmly and without either of us going getting angry or upset.
When I thought about it later, I realized I had caught myself because I knew in advance that finances were a danger area for us. That way, I was able to get ready and find a way to deal with that type of situation. It was funny that it was my wife who had told me about the “power of the pause” in the first place, which is when we step back from a dangerous situation to collect ourselves before going further. Taking a pause in this situation allowed me to calm down and think about how I should handle the situation.
Generally, when I get mad, nothing good ever happens. Anger tends to mess things up so that nobody wins, but when I stay calm, things almost always work out better. My wife also really appreciates it when I stay calm, and it hurts her and makes her upset when I get angry. Plus, when I handle things well, she is much more open to compromise, and things normally turn out okay.
After making a lot of mistakes, I have found that I can deal with some situations better when I have a plan in place. Since I tend to make the same mistakes over and over, that gives me lots of practice to figure things out. One of the simplest but most useful tricks I have learned has been the “power of the pause.” Sometimes it works out better to just walk away and continue the conversation at a better time.
Submitted by: Steve W.
Photo by Mic445