FatherSon Ventures

Building a Relationship through Adventure

Surviving Marital Discord

Written By: Scot Butwell - Jan• 25•13

RSCN1935Recently, my wife got upset with me because she couldn’t find the fabric dryer sheets in the kitchen cabinet under the sink. She demanded I look for them after she briefly looked for and couldn’t find the sheets.

The tone of voice made my nerves cringe, and I did not have the  opportunity to tell her I must have moved the sheets from the right to left side of the cabinet the last time I helped out with the laundry.

It was really simple. Look on both sides of the kitchen cabinet and the dryer sheets would have been found and the situation would not have intensified. However, you are smart enough to know that’s not how it happens.

“What’s THIS?” the Wife screamed in my direction, holding out a plastic bag with Gain detergent and a box of chocolate brownie squares.

“It’s brownies,” I said calmly.  “I must have forgotten to take them out of the bag from my trip to Target.”

My reasonable answer, combined with the absurdity of a conflict over fabric dryer sheets and brownie squares, didn’t make the situation any better.

And it’s probably best to leave out details about what happened next. I will just say it could have been avoided with a much less emotional approach.

We’re both Christians, and we’ve had hundreds of these types of conflicts throughout our 15 years of marriage. We know 1 Corinthians 13: Love is patient, love is kind…it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

You’d think we’d wise up, learn from our bad communication, and talk kindly to one another. And I am sure these arguments do not provide a good model for our son.

So I left the house and went to McDonalds for a cup of coffee. It was quiet and peaceful, and I considered staying a long time, but after a while I checked the time. It was 6:46, and my son’s bedtime story time was inching closer and closer.

My first thought was to let the Wife handle story time (I am not sure if I had retribution in mind), but then I started thinking about how D might feel if I did not show up for his bedtime story.

I had two choices, and I knew I’d be leaving McDonalds soon.

The Wife was video recording D reading his favorite book when I came in. I slid next to him on the sofa and put my arm around his shoulder as he read the story of a little red hen.

When he finished, he ran to get a book from his bedroom for storytime. Sometimes, he comes back with two or three books, but tonight he just brought one: a book about telling time.

We talked about the pictures, and it wasn’t really a story, but we discussed  the pictures as we snuggled on the sofa, and that was fine with me.

I’ve forgotten to say, the Wife textec to apologize while I was at McDonalds.  She said she was wrong, and although she did not ask for forgiveness, it was inferred–yet, I was still was angry.

I was not ready to forgive her as it didn’t feel right to let her wrong be so easily forgiven. I went to bed while she tucked D into bed, and while I never explicitly said “I forgive you,” I did not hold a grudge. I simply chose to let it go.  

Mercy Me, “Spoken For”


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