Sometimes it is difficult for us to care much about our spouse because of our intense preoccupation with ourselves. Almost every single day for most married people- and for some every hour or more… a “Fork in the Road” appears. Something happens between you two. Someone says something that offends the other, someone doesn’t consider their loved one as much as they should. Human error and carelessness set in and we have in those pivotal moments a choice. Choose love or choose pride. In choosing love, we choose our marriage and ultimately- joy.
Consider this real life example: Your husband says something playful to you that’s smeared with a bit of sarcasm. He is kidding but there is a little bit of truth to it so you jab back. Your words, in your mind, feel evenly matched to the tone of his. Suddenly you get a reaction of a very offended man, disgusted by your hurtful comment. You are bewildered at his reaction. “Are you seriously mad? I was just kidding!” He is very upset and walks away from you. You are now at the Fork in the Road. You can go down the path that begins to justify why you said what you did- he started it afterall. Or minimize what you said- man what a sensitive baby. Or quickly take offense at his reaction and rudeness to you when you were merely playing around. Or you can choose the path that helps make things right.
So you go to him. Apologize sincerely. But what’s this? He is still upset with you? He doesn’t want to let you off the hook. He replies, “You know how rude that was, you know I hate that.” Whaaaattttt? But I am being so kind and owning my stuff? But I didn’t even MEAN to hurt your feelings, YOU’RE being cruel by kicking me while I am down groveling for forgiveness. Again: a Fork.
You CHOOSE to see how much what you said must have hurt him for him to be holding your hand over the fire. You must have really had bad taste in your joke or what’s more, you’ve got a man who is sensitive and human and gets hurt regardless of if you intended it or not. Now you really feel sorry. You almost want to cry that you said something so careless or that you did anything (knowing or not knowing) that would make him feel so badly. You reach out to him again. He feels your sincere nature. He feels safer. He softens. He makes the right move now at his FORK in the ROAD.
Life is a billion moments like this- with every relationship. Like a seasoned traveler you learn which way to head towards happiness.