Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Whose Fault?

I feel awful, and I know it’s going to get worse before it gets better.  My husband says it’s my own fault.  I say it’s his.  This is the little “discussion” we have, usually 2-3 times each year.

Now, normally, I don’t blame anyone for anything.  Whenever there’s a disagreement, dispute, argument, fight … whatever you want to call it … most people need to say – and hear – that they are right, and the other is wrong.  It’s someone else’s fault, so it absolves us of any responsibility.  Personally, I don’t think that helps. 

Most times, it’s not really anyone’s fault.  I don’t think we go around deliberately doing things to hurt each other.  If we did, surely that would be cause for blame (and would likely lead to major changes in some relationships).  We don’t often get into these battles with random strangers; usually it’s only with those closest to us.  And I’m sure if we pause to think about it, we’ll realize that we care too much about these people (and they care too much about us) to do anything that bad on purpose.

On the contrary, I believe most battles stem from a misunderstanding.  I say one thing, you hear something else, or vice versa.  Let’s take, for example, the expression “I’m fine.”  Now, if you’re laughing before I even go any further, it’s because you know how much more that can mean … and that most of the time, it really means “I am sooooo not fine!”  But occasionally, it actually does mean just that: “I’m fine … not amazingly, excitingly, overwhelmingly super, but not bad, either.  Just fine.”  We expect those who love us to know which word we mean at that particular moment.  When there’s more than one word (as there usually are in most conversations), it gets even harder.

Now this is not a Mars/Venus thing, as it’s not limited to heterosexual couples.  It’s not even limited to “couples,” really.  Think about the people you argue with most.  Yes, that includes your significant other, but it probably also includes a parent, a child, a sibling, and that friend who is really more like family.  As I said before, it’s those who are closest to us: the ones we want to protect from harm, not cause it ourselves.

Still, most of “us” blame “them,” and the battle ensues.  We are so focused on being right that we bring up a dozen other things to prove it.  And then we fight over the dozen things.  And we fight over who’s right.  Sometimes, we don’t even remember what started it all in the first place.  Maybe it wasn’t even that important.  Maybe it was, but it got lost in the crowd.

What we don’t do though, when we’re so focused on who’s right, is to move forward.  Whatever it was that started it all, the fact remains: it happened.  We can’t undo it.  We can't change it.  That's not what matters, though.  What matters now is how we can move on from here.  What matters now is understanding.  We need to understand what the other’s intention was, as clearly we didn’t get it.  We need the other to understand what our intention was.  We need to listen.  We need to hear.  We need to forgive.  And we need to figure out how to avoid having the same misunderstanding again.

But this time is different.  I feel awful.  My head is achy, my nose is stuffed, and my throat is sore.  I’m getting sick, and I know it’s going to get worse before it gets better.  My husband has had this cough/cold thing going on for a week or two, so he says it’s my own fault that I’m getting it now.  “You knew I was sick,” he says, “I warned you to stay away.”  Now that’s just not fair.  If he weren’t so awesome and irresistible, I might just be able to do that.  But he is, so I can’t.  This time, it’s all his fault.

If you like what you read, tell a friend!  Actually, tell me too - post a comment below!!  If not, well ... I'm all for honesty, but please be gentle!

**Note: If you actually thought I was going to spend this post bashing my husband because of some argument that we had, you must not have read my promise from a few days ago!


  1. I agree with you, Kerry! I think people get so wrapped up in being "right" that they never figure out how to get past the initial problem. Plus, as couples get "older" they tend to hash out the same old argument over and over. I think it's partly...the can't get past it thing and partly the being "right" thing, but mostly I think people are creatures of habit and LOVE to do the same things over and over, even if it's not good for us. And you're right...it's Mike's fault...he KNOWS you find him irresistable! ;^D

    Love ya,

    Julie :)

  2. Sorry Julie... I must disagree here...it's all Kerry's fault...the idea of being irresistable is all built up in that freakishly small head of hers.....and here lies the problem...next time I get sick...I guess I'll just have to go all out "Ike Turner" on her...to get the message across!!!! LMAO!!!!

  3. Julie - thanks for the support (as always!)
    Hon - thanks for that - it's so cute when you try* to be tough ... <3

    *For my definition of try, see 7 Words post!