Monday, April 29, 2019

Learning for better or for worse

My husband and I get along really, really well. He is my best friend and I contribute the fact that we were together for a long time before getting married as one of the reasons our marriage is so strong. You see, we had a long time together to figure each other out, and that includes figuring out what we could let go of.

I would like to believe that he and I do not argue very often. Most of the little squabbles we have, we let go of because they are not worth holding onto. The few arguments that we have had over the years didn't last very long, and my son wasn't around to hear them.

Sometimes I wonder if we are setting our son up for disaster here: After all, how will he know how a married couple should resolve differences if his parents don't fight?

I've read all the ways that you are supposed to disagree with your partner in front of your child. Empathy, a willingness to compromise, de-escalate emotions...these are all important steps for everyone to learn. I love my son, but I am not going to stage a fight just for his learning benefit.

So, I've tried taking another tactic. One way is around the dinner table. Since we are already gathered there to talk about our days, we talk about the good and the bad. Because I do want him to hear about my not-so-great moments and help me think of ways things could go better.

I want him to learn to pick his battles, and I don't want him to think that he has to let every argument go.

Movies and shows are another good talking point. He thinks it is a little corny that I ask him how arguments between characters could go better (and I feel a little silly doing it.) But those well-paid actors went to all the trouble to make that fight look convincing, so I am going to make it into a teachable moment when I can.

In the meantime, I think about what my son sees when he watches my husband and I interact. We aren't perfect, but we make it work.

I hope that comes through.

What do you hope your child learns by watching your marriage? Share with me in the comments.

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