My friend and her husband had an argument. In my observation, this is a very rare occurrence because they are both understanding by nature and very much in love with each other. They participate in many activities together and typically agree when it comes to childrearing, financial, employment, and spiritual decisions. Without belaboring the minutiae of what initiated the fight, suffice it to say the two had very different agendas for a weekend, and when they didn't come to an immediate understanding about each other's expectations, the "cold shoulder syndrome" ensued and raged on for an entire weekend.
The silver lining:
They've made up and they're back on track. In my friend's own words -- The moral of the story is "lack of communication and selfishness led to the disagreement. Instead of us talking about it first, he decided to make the decision on his own, and instead of giving him the freedom to [handle the matter in his own way], I was being selfish. He pretty much knows 'if it's not all about me' then I will have a problem with it, but I am also an understanding person and I do have a heart. He just didn't give me the opportunity to demonstrate that. Just sharing the fact that nothing's perfect."
Now I am not going to front and say that I'm always the most understanding person because I'm not. Sometimes I, too, am selfish and uninterested in anyone's agenda other than my own. And to makes matters worse, it's usually during those selfish moments that I am least motivated to verbally communicate my needs. But this instance reminds me yet again that a happy and successful marriage is a work in progress. Two people don't just meet and become cosmically likeminded once the wedding vows are exchanged. Marriage requires, among other things, love, patience and a committment to one another to survive stormy moments in the relationship. I believe couples usually enter a covenant with plenty of love and a necessary amount of patience to start a new life together. However, in my observation, committment is the most difficult to define and use within the context of marriage. Perhaps this is because in the world's eye, most committments come with contingencies where there is always an option to walk away when we do not get our way.
But are we [we being the Generation X'ers] fully equipped and prepared to face marriage with an unwavering resolve to work toward solutions even when we can't get our way? This is the basis of mediation, a skill I thankfully learned in high school. In my training, I learned that mediation means parties agree to find mutual satisfaction and compromise in the event of a disagreement.
I applaud my friend for displaying nobility to forgive her husband when he faltered. What's more, she went beyond finding fault in him. She determined that she, too, played a part in the dissolution of the marital communication lines and ultimately their special weekend. As a woman very interested in discovering these subtle acts of nobility, I'm encouraged to see women born in my era walking in the way of the Proverbs 31 woman, where her husband and children will rise and call her blessed. This gives me hope that the moral fabric of American women has not completely unraveled.