The Dinner Napkin
Have you ever seen a mole hill grow into a mountain? It’s an amazing thing to observe first hand. I once saw a dinner napkin almost lead to a divorce. The husband left a used napkin on the table after dinner. He intended to get it after he had put his dirty dishes away. However, before he had the opportunity, and while he was still loading the dishwasher, his wife snatched it up from the table and stormed off, muttering some unintelligible criticism aimed at him under her breath.
“I was coming back to get that honey,” he said. “Sure you were,” she replied. The sarcasm was obvious. “You were going to walk off and leave it for me to pick up just like you do everything else. If I didn’t pick up after you we would be waist deep in filth.” “That’s not true,” he replied. “You’re just so quick to pick things up I don’t have a chance.” And the argument escalated from there.
I have learned that if we are not careful, we can become stuck on an issue. If not addressed that issue, whether large or small, can simmer and eventually boil over if we don’t learn how to dial down the heat. Before we move on, let me congratulate you on wanting to learn more about building a happy marriage. My husband and I began our journey with our counselor 8 years ago. Jeremiah and I had been married for 4 years. While we were dating, things were great. There were flowers, romantic dinners and two hour phone conversations, but after we were married, things changed drastically and where communication between the two of us was concerned, things did not change for the better. Picture, if you will, a stereotypical Italian family dinner. The family is gathered around the table in loud conversation, laughing and talking, seemingly all at the same time, and you will have a general idea of how Jeremiah was raised.
In my family, reverence and respect were at the top of the list, and you showed it by not interrupting each other. Meals were quiet and so was our family. So here we have the beginnings of a mole hill, and that was only the beginning. As you have probably already surmised, we were also dealing with the fact that one of us was an extrovert who wanted to fix everything immediately, and the other was an introvert who wanted to take time to think everything over and consider a course of action before moving forward.
Did I mention becoming stuck on an issue? Because of our differences, conflicts were not being resolved, trust issues were beginning to arise, and of course we knew beyond any doubt that the other one was wrong, constantly. We were much more comfortable talking to someone else about our day rather than talk to each other. We were building a mountain between us.
Fast forward 8 years and 8 plus counseling “Check- Ups” later, and we literally cannot wait to talk to each other. Sometimes we have to text before we see each other because we are so excited to share in each other’s lives! We are each other’s biggest fan and encourager. Yes, we have a ways to go yet, but because of the techniques we have learned, and the investment we have made in our marriage, we are looking forward to hiking the road of life together, arm in arm taking in the scenery as we go. Now Jeremiah and I are equipped to stomp out those irritating little mole hills before they become mountains.
The big take away here is: A marriage “Check- Up” / counseling session is a good thing.
“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.”
Some of our favorite Counselors:
- Anthony Thomas, LCSW, M.Div. (Individual and Couples Counseling)
- Ashley McIIwain, MA, LMFT (Individual and Couples Counseling)
- Carole Cullen, MA, LMFT (Individual and Couples Counseling)
- Elizabeth Winehold, LPC (Individual and Trauma Counseling)
- Dr. Mike PhD, Dmin, LPC and Rhonda Garrett MA, LPCA (Individual and Couples Counseling)
- Tabitha Westbrook, MA, LMFT, LPCA, CCPT (Individual and Couples Counseling)
Local & National Therapists: