Thursday, November 22, 2012

Conflict Resolution Steve & Dana Style

In the movies, when a couple has been fighting, it seems the makeup scene always has them staring at each other from a distance and then running into each other's arms. I'd like to say that's what we did, but that's not our style. No, we take a more roundabout approach.

Last night I did some thinking and some praying. A fellow DD wife helped me see that I was so wrapped up in what I was feeling that I hadn't considered there might be something going on on his side. I started thinking that while I was sitting here waiting for him to make a move, he might be waiting for me to make a move as well.

So when we went to bed last night, I decided that I was going to quit being stubborn and make a move so we could get past this. It didn't quite work out the way I had planned. I started to reach for him and he turned away. I got hurt all over again. I spent the night getting up and down, unable to sleep. He apparently had no such problem and happily snored all night long.

This morning I was feeling a bit frustrated. It wasn't long until that frustration bubbled over and we ended up in another fight. Considering how rarely we fight, for us to get in two fights in less than week is a record, not one I ever hoped to hit.

He stomped away angrily and I stayed where I was just simmering. The longer I sat, the angrier I got. Now normally anger isn't an emotion I recommend holding onto. As a good friend told me, anger has a way of poisoning not only a relationship, but also the person that's holding onto the anger.

But in this case, anger was a good thing. It was what motivated me to get up and go after him. I was determined that whether he liked it or not, we were going to have this thing out and get to the bottom of it. I was not going to let another hour go by with this mess hanging over our head. With that in mind, I stormed through the house looking for him.
When I opened the bedroom door, I'm sure smoke was billowing out of my ears. I found him sitting on the bed looking like he had lost his best friend. Seeing that just drained me completely of all the anger and hurt. Because that's how I was feeling too.

So instead of going on the attack like I had planned, I softened. I made the first move. I crawled in bed beside him, laid my head on his chest and told him I loved him. Then he wrapped his arms around me and told me he loved me too.

Then we talked. Basically what it all came down to was miscommunication. When I made my confession, I was telling him that I was at fault. I was admitting that I hadn't been giving my all to our relationship. However, that's not what he heard. He thought I was blaming him for things not working. He thought I was saying he wasn't providing what I needed.

So we talked for a while and then our daughter interrupted. A little while later, he left with her going to his parents for Thanksgiving dinner. Thanks to the shingles, I have to stay away or risk infecting my father in law. Before he left, he made it a point to come find me, give me a kiss and let me know he'll miss me. When I asked if we were okay, he said yes.

So the storm is over and we're basking in the glow of the rainbow. And it feel nice.


  1. You were so brave to take the first step toward Steve, not once but twice. Sure the second time might have been fueled by anger, but you weren't hanging on to that emotion so tightly that you were blind to his pain.
    You are an inspiration. Congrats. on finding your inner strength- maybe, just maybe it will be a little easier next time :)

    Big hugs


    1. Thanks Willie. I was ready to wring his neck the second time I took a step, but it was that pissed off feeling that got me moving instead of sitting around waiting on him to make a move so it worked out in the end.

  2. Whew! Dana - I am so happy! I have been worried about you guys! I felt very responsible for the trouble you were having. I am so glad everything is okay and you are back canoodling again.

    1. Oh sweetie you shouldn't feel responsible for our mess. Your post helped me see that what I was doing was weakening us. I think some part of me already knew that, but I was having trouble admitting it until I saw that I wasn't alone in it.

      While I do wish we could have avoided the fighting and distance between us, we did learn some things from the experience. Clearly our communication skills need some work. I think I may go back to writing emails so I can be absolutely positive that what I think I'm saying is coming across in the way it's intended.

  3. It's just nice that you are feeling close again. It's what we all want for ourselves and for our friends.


    1. Thanks PK. It is nice being close again. Last night I snuggled up in his arms and slept like a baby.

  4. Hi Dana,

    I have been worried about you and am so happy to see this post. I am so glad you were able to talk through things and are close again. Keep the communication going.

    Good on you for taking the first step and approaching Steve to resolve the issue.


    1. Thanks Roz. Taking that step was the hardest, but it was so worth it in the end.

  5. Dana.....

    I am so glad that things are better. I hate that feeling of things being unresolved and is hoping you were able to spend some time together making up :D

    Have a wonderful day!!!!!


    1. Thanks Lucy. Having things unresolved and in a mess is hard on all of us. We've been making up ever since.


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