Saturday, December 6, 2008

compromise makes for a superhero

I didn't write about my brush with halloween when it happened, well, I don't know why. I think I forgot that these pictures were taken and I happened upon them today. If you really know me, then you might gasp to see me sitting with my dog, who's wearing a costume, participating in a trunk or treat. And that gasp would be accurate.

There's a lot to this story, so let me back up.

I don't do halloween. I was raised in a family and a church that didn't do halloween. Not at all. It just wasn't a holiday that we participated in, mostly because of the witchcraft elements and all that. We never had pumpkins, didn't dress up, didn't do candy. It just wasn't something we did. And I kept to that for years. When I lived with roommmates after college, sometimes they would give out candy, but I didn't help. It just wasn't my thing.

Then I got married.

Most of you might get the point right then and there. Marriage. The great compromise. The pull of someone else's lives and traditions. And our first big compromise came with halloween the first year, and then with Santa at Christmas (which we didn't do either.) My husband wanted to give out candy, and I did not. It was quite the discussion, but I think ultimately it was a moot point since we were gone that night. In the passing years it has come up again and again. I compromised wtih carving a pumpkin and putting it out, but he gave out the candy and I planned to be elsewhere.

And I can't really explain why halloween irks me so much. I mean, I know it's ingrained in me that it's evil, but I'm an adult, I should be able to make up my own mind. It's probably the candy. And the greedy kids, all hopped up on sugar. And the cold. Just not the best combination.

But this year the church held a trunk or treat thing, called a fall festival. And my husband wanted to do it. I said no. But somehow I ended up out there, freezing my butt off, calming a very nervous dog in a costume, handing out candy to kids. And call me a Scrooge, but it isn't what I called a good time.

Then there was the discussion afterwards, about why I hadn't the best time. And why I couldn't just let kids have fun. And why I had such a closed off mind. You know, you might have had one of those discussions yourself. And I think it came back to one should make you feel stupid because of how you were raised, and that's how I felt. I felt like my beliefs were less important than his beliefs. That's not good. So we talked about it some more and eventually called a truce. Halloween just isn't that important in the scheme of things.

And this post isn't really about halloween, per se. It's more about how we give and take as couples. How two people really have to try to come together and agree on things, or to agree to disagree, which is sometimes how we leave things. Because you shouldn't have to concede defeat if you really believe that something is right or wrong.

Ultimately, all married couples have to figure out how to fight. Do you fight with angry words, or with calm discussions? Or is it somewhere in between? Do you come out the other side feeling better, or worse? Was it productive, or just venting? We try to make sure that we come to some agreement at the end as to how we are going to move forward. It's how we make it work.

How do you make it work?


Karin @ 6ByHisDesign said...

ooooooooooh Sissy! I love your tablescape! Too pretty! And I love those ornaments - what a find! I can see why they are your faves!

And as for arguing, shucks. We're children when it comes to fighting. There are few 'discussions' in this house. I'll blame my hubby's red hair....HA! Or our stubbornness...that's more like it!

Blessings as you continue to maneuver ... just wait til there are kids. Even more to discuss!

Denver Counselor said...

I've enjoyed your blog about relatonship issues. Issues of conflict in the relatonship can be resolved by being patient and loving in your response. I like the communication technique used by Imago marriage therapists: 1) paraphrase what you heard, 2)Validate your partner's position (even if you don't agree), 3)Empathize (walk in your partner's shoes) by giving example of how you "get it" from your own life.

Denver Counselor