Forgiving the Imperfect

“I hate you. You ruin everything.” My niece said this comment this weekend when she didn’t get her way and disapproved how a conversation was going. Nothing like a sucker punch…

Then 5 minutes later we were all in her good graces again like nothing every happened and building a cave out of blankets and pillows.

Seriously we should all have this mentality of forgiveness. Be in the moment and let the past go. We probably shouldn’t go for the sucker punches and hurtful words though. My focus here is the carefree attitude and forgetting past grievances.

This is not always easy for me to do in my quest for independence and a need to be right. I am stubborn to a fault.

My marriage has been a constant reminder about the lessons of humility, not needing to be right ALL the time, and getting past arguments so they don’t impede on the future or our love for each other.

I heard this list on the radio recently.

The 5 dumbest things couples argue about:

5. Laundry

4. Staying out late without telling the other person where you are

3. What to watch on TV

2. Cell phone bills

1. Emptying the dishwasher.

Anything sound familiar?

5. I am not sure if we have had a fight persay about laundry, but I am sure we have nitpicked at each other. We have fought over our laundry machine though…

4. Staying out late…yep that has happened

3. What to watch on TV-you know I am not remembering a time where we have. We razz each other about what we like watching. Sometimes he will watch what he wants and I will read or vice versa. We watch a lot of things together too, so I think this helps stave off any “arguments.” We may have tip-toed around it when I first moved here but we have fallen into a pretty good groove that the anxiety went away. And having a DVR helps.

2. Cell phone bills-I know we have fought over the password, but not the actual bill. This was actually the worst fight we had while he was deployed. So silly.

1. Emptying the dishwasher-um sadly probably once a week this debate continues….Did I mention that both of us are a little bit stubborn and have a little bit of lazy in us? Funny though, that we switch sides and use the same arguments against each other. I also think we each are just waiting out the other to see who will break first. haha the age old gotcha game.

Arguments are inevitable. I don’t think that there is a secret recipe that you can shake at it that will let you avoid tiffs in your relationship. I think people are lying when they say they don’t get into fights with their spouse (or they are ignoring things and bottling them up for the fight of a life time or possibly divorce). You are two individuals living together trying to live in harmony all the time. Things are bound to get stressful, emotions are going to rise, and expectations will not be met. Insert fight scenario here.


You can get past it AND still love each other.

It’s true.

Tom and I could not be more opposite (except when it comes to desserts and all things 90s music) which can be a recipe for disagreements, but we love each other through and through despite his hatred for musicals.

When I asked Tom initially about his thoughts on conflict, he said, “There is one simple step to conflict resolution. Soften up their defenses with a MK-19, wait until nightfall, and overrun their perimeter with a superior force.”

Then we had a real conversation about relationships. We came up with some of our top considerations/tips for confrontation with your significant other:

1. Think about big picture-

Me-Does it really make that big of a difference if Tom wants to stay over at his friends to camp over night? No, I was just being selfish and thought I would never see him again. Long lasting effects of long distance…I will see him again, and I know it’s not because he doesn’t want to hang out with me. In the end is what you are fighting about really worth what you and your spouse have together?

Tom-She is either going to divorce you or she’s going to get over it.

2. Recognize each other’s fighting styles

Me-Tom calls me out all the time because I like to retreat. I call him out because he likes to yell. Maybe those play against each other…Neither of these are helpful, but we know that is how we work so we have to try really hard not to push each other to those points just to get our thoughts across. There is also an element of understanding the right things to say (or not say) in these situations. There are some things that may push the person further into ‘smoke out the ears’ emotions, and that is not a place where harmony can occur. This also does not mean to use this knowledge to “win” arguments. In a marriage there are no winners of arguments.

Tom-When you are married, an argument is like a chess game.

3. Be constructively honest not destructively honest.

Me-I can’t blame Tom for how I reacted, but I can tell him why I felt the need to react the way I did. And when does pointing fingers ever really help the situation? But I feel that you need to be honest about what you are going through.

Tom-Sometimes people need to hear when they are wrong, except for me, I have never been wrong before. I take that back. One time, I thought my shirt was dazzling, but it turns out it was stunning.

(And we can see where number 5 goes into affect here.)

4. Actually listen to what the other person’s concerns are.

Tom-I don’t have a funny or quippy thing to say. That covers it.

Me-How can you apply their concerns to your behavior? Are they grounded? Seriously, did you do that? Which leads to…

5. Take ownership of your own mistakes and be willing to say “I am sorry for what I did.”

Me-Sometimes acknowledging it will make things better. But don’t just sorry to say sorry. You have to mean it and be genuine about your apology. No one is perfect, we should stop trying to be. If you can’t be imperfect in front of your significant other, we have some other things to hammer out.

Tom-If I ever screw up, I assure you I will be the first to admit it. But this generally doesn’t apply to me. (My husband is not confident or anything. I think he stopped taking this seriously after number one.)

7. Understand that saying sorry doesn’t always cut it and smooth things over.

Me-Be ready to offer how the future may be different because of the lessons learned here. What can you do differently? Talk about compromise-where can both of you give in a little? You can learn from this confrontation. Learn to become a stronger unit because of it.

Tom-Sometimes it is a good idea to go down to the shoppette and get her an ICEE just in case. Do something nice.

8. Make each other laugh.

Me-Tom and I are really good at diffusing the situation and making each other giggle. (Can you tell by his responses?) This helps us clear up the angry and get back to the heart of it. And really once you start laughing, everything seems better.

Tom-It doesn’t matter where we are or what we are doing, we can always be happy.

9. Lastly, don’t let arguments linger.

Tom-If the argument goes longer than 20 minutes, I have forgotten what we were arguing about.

Me-This is Tom and I’s style. We don’t fight for days, or really hours. We hash it out and then try to move past it. I think this also goes for a time frame of when an argument is relevant. If you can’t bring up an issue in the designated window, is it really all that big of a deal?  If you draw out a fight, emotions only have time to fester and think about all the things that you thought the person said (that they never said) and reading into the situation and applying it to every encounter under the sun….Stop. This is where forgiveness begins.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:31-32

So just like a kid, say what you need to say, and then become best friends again. Be tenderhearted and forgive each other so you can grow even more in love. Understand that every day won’t be a Disney fairytale, but if you are honest and open and fearfully love each other, I think you’ll be alright (and maybe your next romantic comedy storyline). You didn’t get married because you were perfect, but because you were finally able to be imperfect.


I am still learning and still trying to be a better wife. Creating this list by no means makes me an expert. Just this past weekend, I will admit I did something stupid and hurt Tom with my nasty emotions. But my husband showed me some forgiveness and we talked it through. Always learning.

I am always up for more growth in this area, so what are your tips for confrontation and forgiveness?

Marriage IS Awesome

This last week, I have had several opportunities to ponder on the meaning of marriage.

A week ago, I had the wonderful pleasure of watching two of my dear friends get married. It was a wonderful touching ceremony and a huge celebration of their love. Let’s tip it one more time! It is a beautiful experience to watch two people make such a personal statement of commitment to each other.

Aww, love.

Recently, I was chatting with some friends of mine about the “big” commitment of marriage. We were talking about people’s timelines and needing to be ready to make that promise to someone else. Being the only one in this group who was married, I felt it was my duty to stick up for marriage. So I said that I think it is pretty awesome. (True statement, I do.) To which one of my friends jokingly responded with something along the lines of, “Yeah says the person who doesn’t even live with their spouse.”

I know they were trying to get a laugh and were only poking fun, but the comment kind of shut me up and made me retreat a little bit.

So do people really think my marriage is less real because I don’t live with my husband?

I haven’t really been able to shake this comment all weekend.

So what does marriage mean? Further more, what does MY marriage mean?

And this was my conclusion. Marriage IS awesome.

Every marriage is going to be a little different. We all have our own circumstances. We all have to work at it a little differently. But I believe that the basis is an undying love.

No matter what people think, I believe I have a solid marriage with my husband. Have we spent a lot of time apart? Yes, but that doesn’t make my marriage a sham. I would argue that I know what marriage means more than most. And just because I don’t see him every day, doesn’t make it any less of a marriage. We have had challenges and had to make hard decisions as a couple. These decisions push us every day to be united.

Marriage is more than a wedding. It is more than coming home to someone every day. It is more than having date nights or having someone to share the chores with. It’s more than the physical. Tom is not just my roommate, he is my husband.

C. S. Lewis said, “Being in love is something you do.”

So it’s not just a title, it’s something you have to work at and pay attention to. Marriage is a partnership. It’s a bond between two people that goes beyond the rings that we wear. They are just a really pretty symbol! It’s having a love for someone that is so great you wouldn’t be the same person without it. The partnership makes you a better you. As I watched Noelle and Peter say their vows, I remembered saying them to Tom. A marriage is two people promising to be there for each other no matter what.

I read this quote in my devotional book, “Real love isn’t based on changeable feelings. Instead, it’s an act of the will, a choice to honor your commitment to another person.” Pretty big stuff, huh?

I would say that there are many marriages that can’t say they have that kind of love and commitment. I would call those marriages the shams. (Can anyone say a Kardashian marriage?)

I am fortunate to say I have a great marriage. Is it ideal that we are apart, eh not really. But this marriage is as real as the next. It is the real deal.

Tom is the person I lean on the most. He makes me feel better when no one else can. He cheers me on when I don’t think I am strong enough. He supported me going to places I never thought I could. He has been by my side, and I his. He knows me better than I know myself sometimes.

If anything, this time apart has solidified how strong our marriage is. Even though we may be separated by thousands of miles, Tom and I are connected. This love keeps both of us going. We manage to still be there for each other despite these obstacles.

Here is another song from Tyrone that I think explains it all. I have heard this song a million times, but it hit me differently this weekend as I was baking like crazy, and I started screaming and throwing flour all over my kitchen, “THIS IS IT!”

Through it all, somehow “You Still Love Me.”

(PS. Tyrone comes out with a new CD this week, and you all should get it. He’s voice is like a dream.)

Sometimes, in a marriage, things aren’t easy. Sometimes you have to be apart; sometimes you argue. But you always love that person. Always.

That’s why marriage is awesome. You always have someone.

Anyway, if marriage isn’t like this for others, I feel sorry for them. This is a pretty sweet deal in my opinion!

I still stand by my statement that marriage is awesome. Tom’s my person, even if he is in Afghanistan. No one can take the fact away that he is my person. That’s as real as it gets in my opinion. And if you don’t agree, well maybe you haven’t experienced this love yet to understand.

I also am pretty thankful that I live in a state that believes that everyone should be able to experience this partnership. Marriage with the right person is awesome, no matter if they are the same gender or not. Who cares? It’s their marriage and their love. We should be happy that people have found that big love that makes them better. If people are happy and better than the day before wouldn’t that make the world happier and better than the day before? And I believe that everyone should be able to make that formal commitment to “their someone.” Who am I to say their love isn’t good enough for marriage? Again, we let the Kardashians get married, and we wont let thousands of people who actually would take it seriously? That doesn’t make sense to me. So yay for Iowa supporting all marriages! We are all about the “marriage is awesome for everyone” campaign. Now if we can just get the federal government on our wagon…

And now that my “Marriage IS Awesome” speech is done, here is my craft for the night.

This is the blanket I had almost finished over Thanksgiving, and then finished the week I came back.

Two weeks might be a new record for me making a blanket!

I used yarn that I had left over from other projects that Hobby Lobby wouldn’t take back.


I did a single stitch for the entire blanket, and then a crab stitch for just the edge.