It’s the end of the week and time for a “marriage situation” post. Here’s how they will work: Paul and I will post a real-life situation or *ahem* discussion we’ve had in the past. These will be posted on Friday. On Saturday, we will slow down the situation and try to give some practical, bibilical wisdom for resolving this type of situation (which is not necessarily what we did : ). My comments will be normal shading and Paul’s will be bolded. So without further ado…
Question of the day: “What should you do if your wife is freaking out over something insignificant?”
Roll your eyes and walk out the door. Bam. Done. Next question.
Ok. No. Only do that in your head. Outwardly, look concerned. At least for a few minutes… while you try to decide whether or not this situation is going to last longer than…a few minutes.
And with this snarky intro, we’ll describe the situation. This happened about four weeks ago.
After 9 years, our mattress developed a severe valley down the center. This made sleeping ratheruncomfortable and even painful. After reading many online reviews and several salesman later, we purchased what we thought would be the supreme sleeping device; a cure to all our back pain and insomnia. The day it arrived was a happy day. That night was not. We tried to fall asleep on this new acquisition. After tossing and turning all night (I think I might have elbowed her in the back once or twice) I woke up in a despondent mood (despondent and just a little bit emotional) and proceeded to “freak out.”
From my perspective, the thoughts in my head were hardly coherent and very negative. I had been working extra hours at the hospital so that we could buy this mattress sooner rather than later and when I woke up in pain my brain started screaming a few choice thoughts at me. Would I have to work additional hours in order to buy ANOTHER mattress? Did we just lose all that money we spent? Would I have to sleep on this monstrosity for 9 years before Paul would let us buy another one? Did I throw out my back after just one night? Would I have to start going to the chiropractor every week? How would I pay for that? Would I be able to function at work (I was working at the hospital this day) on only four hours of fretful sleep? Did the mattress just need to “break in?” What would happen if we bought another one before we’d saved up the money and then we had an emergency and didn’t have enough money in the saving account to cover it and we lost our car and got kicked out of our house and had to beg on the street corner?? I ended up sitting on the evil mattress and sobbing out all of these fears to an equally groggy husband. Speaking of whom:
“Huh? What? It’s morning? My back feels MUCH better after sleeping on this great new mattress! But you look distressed. Hmmmm…crying wife…not good.” From my perspective, Liz seemed to be overreacting to one single night of insomnia. I began to give her some well used platitudes about “needs to break in,” “it will be ok,” and “maybe it’s all in your head?” (NOTE: that last one should not be used by the faint of heart.) My goal in saying these things was to convince her not to assume the worse, to get her to stop crying, and to convince her that she was being irrational (and I didn’t want to spend money on another mattress that afternoon). I couldn’t believe that she was acting so melodramatic at 6:00 in the morning.
Most of you can probably relate to this type of situation. And either party could be doing the freaking out—women don’t have the corner on melodrama. A situation arises out of normal circumstances and one party reacts very emotionally and expects the other person to help them.
So, what is the right way to handle this type of situation? What is the biblical method? Is there a biblical method? And what does it look like on a practical level?