The waitress probably thought we were fighting; based simply on the intensity of our words, her assumption was valid. Our date night date night was evolving into a peel-back-the-layers-and-look-deeper discussion. The topic? Our kitchen renovation.
This renovation has been five years in the making. My husband began updating his newly purchased home before we were even engaged, poured sweat equity into the bachelor pad to create a home for his bride, and has promised himself (and me!) an updated kitchen as soon as finances allow.
Pennies saved, Pinterest dreams compiled, colors chosen. Now? An impasse.
We’ve been carefully stepping around the delay each time we work in the kitchen together: cleaning up from supper or packing lunches or grabbing morning coffees all mean we have to ignore the proverbial elephant in the room. The details of our disagreement are irrelevant, but it has already delayed our project enough to be noticeable.
Date night wasn’t a mushy-gushy romantic dinner a la Hollywood, but it was an evening of listen-and-learn that builds a marriage and creates that true romance all the veteran wives talk about.
In between bites of my jambalaya, I listened as John explained his thoughts and concerns and reasoning for standing so staunchly in opposition to my kitchen opinion. While I ate his decadent macaroni and cheese, John listened carefully to my ideas, asked helpful questions, and let me philosophize and theorize and dream of this kitchen to come.
We (finally) communicated.
My husband wasn’t just disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing.
My husband wasn’t making up an opinion just so he could be “better” than the expert kitchen designer we’d hired.
My husband wasn’t making a rash opinion based on illogical set of emotional thoughts.
Oh, I assumed those things. Yes, I did. I admit with shame that I assumed the worst of him. I created a scenario in my head that painted him in the worst possible light, projected all my own worst character traits onto him, and refused to give him grace.
I need to give him the benefit of a doubt instead of jumping to negative conclusions.
As of this writing, we still haven’t decided how we will move forward on our coveted kitchen renovation. That’ll come eventually. But I did finally understand why we seemed in such sharp contrast on this particular issue. Would you believe it? We’re actually not that much opposed! Communication win!
We used two questions to help us jump start conversation and work through our disagreement. Maybe they will help you?
“What are three ways that you appreciate me as a husband/wife?”
“What are two ways I can be a better husband/wife to you?”