Perspective. The definition for perspective is “a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.”
We gain perspective from past life experiences, our personalities, self esteem, strengths, weaknesses, wins, losses, dreams and our vision for our future.
I have discovered that when Y and I have a disagreement it’s difficult for me to see the situation from her perspective. I can have the purest of motives and can feel completely “right” and still be wrong.
Recently Y and I had a few days where
we were not seeing eye to eye on a couple issues.
My feelings were hurt and I went to bed angry.
The next morning, I had to leave to meet the bus and Yvonne began a conversation about discussing the issues before I left. She attempted to do the right thing.
I was still angry from the night before and I lost my temper. She was trying to ask questions and explain things from her perspective, but I was too busy focusing on MY point of view.
I needed to make a couple stops before going to the bus and once I loaded my car, I left. I didn’t kiss her goodbye or tell her that I loved her.
My emotions of anger and hurt blinded me from telling her that I loved her, even if I was angry. I was wrong.
We didn’t talk on the phone for 3 days. I was in a battle. My heart said to call her and fix this. My head said “No way. I’m not wrong.” One of the things she said before I left was “If you are not going to talk to me about this before you leave, I don’t want to get an email saying we SHOULD’VE talked.”
My stubbornness kept me from contacting her AT ALL.
Finally the next night, I emailed just to say “I love you. Night.”
She emailed back and we began some conversation. We shared our hearts and were able to speak from each other’s perspective.
When I left that morning without saying goodbye and I love you, to me it was just anger and stubbornness.. To Yvonne, it was abandonment.
In the email that she sent, God convicted me of my bad behavior. I read the email over and over and saw her heart. I saw the situation from her perspective.
I asked God to forgive me. I then asked Yvonne to forgive me.
I’m determined to conquer the issues of anger and stubbornness that sometimes control me. Sadly, those emotions just don’t affect me.. They affect those whom I love the most.
Well, to be honest, I have been procrastinating writing this months article. I have been discouraged. I also know we usually write about something that has recently happened to us. Lately, we’ve had ALOT of things going on around our home. We could have written about being first responders, illness, disappointment in others, old emotional wounds being opened back up or death. When Bryan suggested we write about perspective, I felt a knot in my chest. All the other topics were personal… yet “safe”. This subject though is personal AND uncomfortable. Uncomfortable for me because its being completely transparent about our life and our marriage. Then I thought to myself, what is the point of our passion for marriage if we don’t try and help others learn from the lessons we’ve learned? Sometimes we learn the hard way. So, here goes. Our hope is that no one judges. Our hope is that when ( not if) this happens in your marriage you will stop and think about this article and try not to do the things we did.
One evening an emotional wound of mine was reopened. You know- the thing you put behind you, heal and move on. Sometimes it’s not that easy and sometimes it just seems you can’t put enough distance between you and the hurt before its brought right back to the present day. To be honest- I was hurt all over again, bitter again and tired of it again. So, long story short. I was a pressure cooker. Bryan was trying to “fix” the situation and evidentially I roll my eyes without realizing it. I’ve been told I do this before so I’m sure I did. He became angry, raised his voice, I became defensive and felt disrespected and I snapped back. No good came from that situation. He went to bed angry. I went to bed hurt.
He was leaving the next morning. I felt adamant that we should try and clear it up before he left. We ,of all people , have witnessed that life is short and you may leave this world unexpectedly. So… I asked him to talk about it before he left. Well, as you read above he was still angry. The conversation went no where.
When I realized he had left, I absolutely could not believe it. I thought~ he has done the one thing he knows will hurt me the most. The person who just abandoned me was the one person who is not suppose to. In my world, people leave or abandon you even when they promise they won’t. You are not the reason they make choices…. their emotions come before you when the rubber meets the road. I bawled. You know…. Ugly cry!
I worked all weekend and tried to focus on work. I knew I would not hear from him. My perspective is that I get punished when we argue. I did not expect it to be 3 days though. I cried the whole way home that night from work. I felt alone. The next day I was off to take Megan to the doctor. That was good because it gave me someone who loves me around me. Yet… What if there had been a car accident or worse?
We emailed back and forth and I just laid it out there. I was honest. I felt alone and abandoned. I hadn’t reached out because I sent a text after he left and it wasn’t responded to in any way. After that… I didn’t reach out over brokenness – not stubbornness. It took several emails back and forth before it seemed things were getting uncovered and repaired. In my heart though…. I wondered what about the next time? What things are absolute despite how we feel?
Why did she share a a very personal situation this month? Because we feel our ministry is to be transparent and honest. Our desire is to help couples who are struggling. No marriage is perfect… this is not Disneyland. This is life. We have disagreements just like everyone else. The point is to look back and learn from them. To do your best to grow together.
In the heat of an argument, do you personally try to see your spouse’s perspective?
Do you allow your determination to be RIGHT- cloud your judgement?
Do you let your emotions control you?
We suggest you sit down together and find your own “boundaries”. These are non negotiable. Things you need no matter the situation or emotion.
Proverbs 4 is a wonderful meditation and can help in those times you have to choose to love out of commitment ~ not out of emotion.
“Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” (Proverbs 4:10-15, 23-27 NIV)
The Hutsons 2013