Tuesday, May 31, 2011

When Winning Isn't

My wife is my lifesaver. If you know me at all, you know that I do not say this lightly. She looked at me at my most disgusting and loved me. She showed me grace when she didn't need to. But that is a story for another day.

I begin this way so that you know that what I am about to say is in no way an indictment against my wife. She is a jewel. There is just one thing that bothers me:

The silent treatment. When she is upset she simply "doesn't have anything to say." I hate the silent treatment. I feel trapped because I am so often an ignorant jerk that I don't have a clue what I've done wrong to begin with. Nine times out of ten I have screwed up, but sometimes I just don't know how. The silent treatment doesn't help, at least that is what I thought.

So a little more than a year ago, Ky and I were having one of these fights, one of these I said something stupid but I don't know what fights. We find ourselves sitting on the couch, staring at the wall not saying anything.

And the tension is enough that it is driving me crazy. I decide the silent treatment has to end, so I raise my voice and start getting mad because she won't tell me what is going on.

"I just don't have anything to say to you right now." She responds and my blood boils.

"Fine! Just forget it." I exhale and I leave the couch and walk upstairs. I turn on my PlayStation and I play Madden until I calm down. I thought I would wait her out, that she would see my side of this, that I would convert her to my view of dealing with this conflict.

Then I heard the sound of victory.

It was that gasping for air that comes as you try to calm yourself down while crying.

Ky was crying, and in my prideful anger I had her right in the cross-hairs. I descended the stairs trying to hide my sense of victory, I would show her that she needed to honor me!

I held her as she cried, all the while waiting to unleash the words: This is why you shouldn't use the silent treatment.

But then I made my fatal flaw. I asked her what was wrong, and her words cut.

"you left me."

She was mad, but she still was there, and my moment of pride and anger showed her the one thing I never, ever wanted her to see in my life: faithlessness. A lack of Stand By Me attitude. I could win the battle at the cost of losing my teammate. She was damaged because I wasn't there.

Sometimes winning isn't.

Sometimes its best to sit side by side and lose together, because at least your together.

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