It drives me batshit crazy that he gets mad so easily. It's just a bike.
The truth was, it was just a bike. It was my husband's bike. There was a part that needed to be replaced, and it was going to take more than a week and quite a bit of money for the new part to ship. Instead of enjoying some time with the family, he was busy making phone calls. Was there anyone that could get this part in faster, cheaper, right now? He was pacing around with his forehead squished on top of his eyebrows, in no mood for me to shine some light on his perspective.
The bigger truth was, it was my perspective that needed some light. Thankfully, one of my best friends (also a certified professional coach) was there to ask me an important question regarding my mood towards my husband's mood.
"I'm curious, what's this really about?"
What did she mean? It was about everything my little fast fingers had just texted. He was stubborn. He was apathetic towards the fact that his mood was ruining mine. He was so engrossed in fixing his problem (that wasn't even a problem; it was just a thing) that he was leaving me out to dry/fend for myself in the mix of our kids and a dozen other kids inside the small vicinity that is the Chick Fil A playground. Why aren't their playgrounds bigger?? I needed backup! I needed some QT together! I needed to know I was more important than a bike fork! I needed my husband to understand that life was short and his madness would drive us both mad.
But... I trusted my friend had been led to ask this question for my own good, so I sat with it for a moment. Ok, a long moment. Then it hit me like great ah-ha moments usually do. WAM BAM, thank you, MA'AM.
I was projecting my own judgments and shortcomings onto the hubs. While my anger has been the heart of many family and friend laughs (cue "Don't mess with Jenn when she's mad!" "You won't like her when she's angry!" comments), the Truth was... I didn't allow myself to "get mad" nearly enough. This is why I was infamous for exploding whenever I finally expressed that dense vibe of MAD. That shit builds, you know. I've seen my husband explode with anger maybe twice ever in the 10 years I've known him. Obviously, there was something to be said for venting as needed. It's a thing. Humans get mad. I'm a human. I should get mad when I'm... mad.
*side note- The whole madness/anger duo has a bad reputation. Allow me to say this... It's not about "going there". It's about how long you allow yourself to stay. #workit
The next big AH-HA quickly ensued, flowing all around me like beads at Mardi Gras. This was my husband, the same man who expresses his love just as passionately as he does his frustrations and anger. He was on the phone, calling people who might know people who could help him get what he needed, the same way he uses his amazing ability to network and communicate to figure out how to get me those last minute concert tickets and that car with that black and tan leather interior and that specific package that I just had to have. This was the man I married. The man who doesn't stop at anything once he sets out to do something. The man who gets shit done. The man who taught me how to get shit done- how to stop fearing rejection and start believing in myself and my abilities to succeed... at whatever I do, even if it's trying to find a rare replacement part for a bike. Wow, I have great taste in men.
You see where I'm going with this. What my friend was really asking me was, "How is your husband reflecting how you're showing up in your own life?" I was being presumptuous and judgey AF. Here was my awesome husband, just being himself, and all I could do was sit there and feel like a victim of my circumstances. Victim energy, by the way, vibrates even lower than anger. When you're mad, you are motivated to take action. Win and laugh in the face of the loser. Change your circumstances. I wasn't changing anything (for the better) by sitting there feeling sorry for myself for having married Mr. Mad Man. Nope. I was being the loser.
So, "what is this really about?"
It's about this great opportunity your marriage gives you to truly understand who you are and who you want to be. Your husband/wife shows you who you are every single day. What are we seeing in them and how is that a reflection of who we are?
As for me, I decided to skip being mad at my husband (damn, I'm such a paradox, I know) for being mad about his bike part and instead, I observed him doing his thing with new eyes. I noticed that he's pretty sexy when he's intensely ignoring the rest of the world. When he got finished with what he was doing, I applauded him for being so good at using his anger to fuel his determination and then mentioned that in the future, I would be getting mad instead of sad when appropriate. -And yes, incase you were wondering, he was mad enough about a bike part that he managed to find himself an even greater bike to rent while his was in the bike shop. #winning.
Does he still push my buttons? ABSO-fucking-LUTELY. He knows me well. He knows what my buttons are and he knows where to find them. I love that and hate that about him, but I err on the side of love, always. :) Buttons exist to teach us where our boundaries are or at least where they should be. Buttons also teach us where we have walls that need to come down. Where we should let go. Where we should hang on. Where we should judge less and accept more. Where there are spaces that we should lean into, and where there are spaces we should pull away from. Where our beliefs are serving us and where they're selling us short. Where are values our being honored and where they're being rejected. Where we're giving away our power and at best, where we're owning it.
People are our button pushers. Button pushers are our mirrors.
Look into that mirror and choose to really see yourself- see your self in your spouse. See your self in every situation- from the compliments you give to the disagreements that you have. See your strengths. See where you have room to grow. Admire the beautiful and embrace the ugly. :) <3
And you know, handle the mirror with care. For the love of God, don't break it. No one has time for that.
Wishing you all the good hair days and all the good marriage days under the sun.