Arguing with my husband is so exhausting. You’d think I’d build up some stamina, considering, like most married couples, we fight about the same things over and over again. But, no. The man whose kiss can still make me feel like the first time can also inspire the same righteous anger no matter how many times we’ve disagreed.
Prior to our squabble, I’d spent an inordinate amount of time trying to come up with something to write. I laughed out loud when I caught myself thinking, “I wonder if I could make something of our argument?” That’s taking my life’s theme just a little too far. (Or is it?)
I’m not saying that arguing was more fun when we were younger, but it was definitely more productive. When we were first married and needed space after a fight, my husband would mow the yard or go for a drive and end up cleaning the inside of the car. I’d go for a long walk or clean out the junk drawer, while doing 47 loads of laundry. But these days arguing just leaves us tired. I’ve decided that’s because arguing is un-making. While making things feeds us, un-making depletes us. It’s the nail in our tire; the thread we pull and end up unraveling half of our sweater. It’s our kryptonite.
You know how I abhor being idle, so when my hands are able, but my heart is spent, I am beside myself. For the briefest of moments, I was envious of artists who do their best work when they are low. That thought left as quickly as it came, because that kind of inspiration is tragic and leads to a whole other level of unmaking, not to mention that our arguments aren’t nearly dramatic enough to inspire much more than a line drawing. (Hell, they were barely enough to inspire this post.)
But they do inspire much self-reflection (quite apropos during Lent) which paves the way for a more productive conversation, leading to a renegotiation of our relationship, which is one of the best things we’ll ever make.
(And there it is. I did make something out of this!)