Tonight, Husband and I stepped on each other’s land mines. (That’s what we call stuff from the past that triggers the person into a gut-level reaction.) And stepping on one means getting blown to smithereens by a past event you didn’t know existed. Okay. Not actually, but definitely verbally blown up. (You know you done stepped on it!)
Usually, it’s me triggering him, or him triggering me. Not typically both of us at the same time.
Ka-BOOM!… Boom boom boom…
Owie. It smarts in the heart for both of us.
Nobody warns you about land mines in marriage. When they happen it’s like the world just might end. Or perhaps just everything right in the marriage. Learning to listen with all my exploded bits on the floor has been key. (Examples as follows: not running away, not shooting back, not correcting the spouse, not getting über defensive, etc.) L-i-s-t-e-n-i-n-g.
But, even worse?
Nobody mentions what to do when you and spouse are sobby sad sacks at the same time.
Ooo. Help. /waves hands in the air/ We’re drowning in heavy emotions… together!
Husband and I have experienced “drowning together” before.
Our last miscarriage. Sonogram and everything. Lost painfully. Our son is in heaven. And we’re here without him. Yeah, we drowned for months.
We know there’s really only one thing you can do when this level of triggering or pain occurs…
Hold each other’s butts and meow.
Or wail. Or mourn. Or grieve, sigh, simmer, or hurt. “Meowing” is just our term for all of these things. And “holding each other’s butts” just means helping the other not fall as much as possible. Staying together, holding, in the middle of it all.
So, to sum up. Nobody tells you when you’re getting married that there’ll be moments so real and raw and crazy sad that you’ll both be triggering each other accidentally.
You heard it here first: yeah, it happens. People die, life is hard, and as a couple you’ll fight for peace and joy and contentment within your walls. Don’t give up. Stay planted, trust God, and hang on tight.
Did that make sense?
But I tried.
It is past midnight, and I did cry a lot just a few hours ago…
P.S. Single people: make your married friends talk about land mines and the navigation of them. And consider that being right does not make a happy marriage. Pulling in the same direction, however, definitely helps.