I truly believe that my husband is my other half. No one, not my ex-husband, former boyfriends, friends or even family have seemed so close to me in my entire life. We are very similar, but with enough difference to keep life interesting. We genuinely enjoy spending time together, he’s my best friend and my first choice of who I want to hang out with, always. That said, because he is so much like me, there are times he gets on my last good nerve. These times don’t happen often, but this weekend it happened.
My husband is smart, well read on so many topics and loves to debate is his point, often to the “death”. I love his passion and while 90% of the time we are on the same side of the debate, the times we aren’t, watch out. Again, being we are so similar, I too have great passion and we will get into heated debates. Nothing too serious and without fail at the end of the day we can put anything aside, because nothing is more important than our relationship. This weekend the debates were more with his mom, which is where his passion comes from. I woke up yesterday asking if he had apologized to his mom yet, as I really felt he crossed a line. He had not and had no intention of doing so. I let it go, as I was in no mood to ruin my Sunday with carry-over drama from the day before.
This got me thinking about the shit we let go for the sake of the relationships in our lives. Not just with a spouse, but we all make allowance for those people closest to us, allowances we would not afford a stranger on the street. My husband’s mother is a perfect example. While I feel he owes his mom an apology, not because he was wrong, but for how he handled himself, I am typically on the opposite side of her in most of the time. We don’t have the same views on many thing, yet it doesn’t keep me from loving her and having a wonderful relationship. When she pushes me too far, I tend to physically remove myself, as I don’t want to be disrespectful and the debates are usually nothing so personal that I feel I need to cross a line to make my point. There have been friends I have fallen out contact with because we were on the opposite side and I couldn’t let it go any longer. Maybe it is due to the changing political climate over the past several years, but what was once water cooler talk seems to have a far greater personal impact than it once did. I don’t completely cut everyone out of my life who doesn’t see things the way I do, that is not how mature adults act. You have to find a balance.
What is your line in the sand? What are the things you can’t let slip, no matter the stakes? I have a few, but this isn’t really about what pushes me to the breaking point, but how I handle it when I’m there. I do not like confrontation, I don’t know many people that do, other than my husband upon occasion. Since I will do pretty much whatever it takes to avoid confrontation, often my first reaction is to give the benefit of the doubt. To excuse a comment or behavior as an isolated slip in judgement. The second time, well, as the saying goes, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. That is when I will make every effort to talk to the person about how I feel and how their behavior is affecting me. If there is open and productive dialogue, even if we can’t come to an agreement, I can agree to disagree and move on. I have said my peace, they know how I feel and should things escalate in down the road, they know where I stand. However, if my attempt to have a mature discussion is met with defense and devolves into an argument, well I have no problem cutting my losses. I’ve gotten to a point in my life were I don’t need to be “right”, I just need to be heard and if someone can’t hear my side, well, whatever relationship I thought I had with them wasn’t at all what I thought. Yes, it hurts to walk away from friend and even family member, but there is also very freeing to have that weight lifted, because as time passes you come to realize what a burden those relationships can be.
So, you can love someone with all your heart and still be annoyed with them, doesn’t mean you don’t love them, you may not like them in that moment. And you can let go of someone you thought you loved when you start not liking yourself for what you put up with to keep them in your life.