Mama Vick would come home tired from work. Pops would be grousing about some general flaw of society or some specific pissy detail, and she would light into him, and sometimes, away they'd go. But you know what? They made it forty five and a half years, and filled far more of those moments with love and companionship. Heck, even ill companionship is company, when you get down to it. And when people get hungry AND sore, all bets are off!
I might've thought of trying to referee a couple of times, but wisdom suggested (let's face it, my wife) that they had been at this since they were teenagers. It was unpleasant...but things never failed to blow over. Before long, her laughter would come sailing down the hallway. I miss that laugh. It was a good belly laugh that told you she, for the moment, had not a care in the world. He used to enjoy riling her up in their younger days: it was his sense of humor. But he made her smile for a lifetime, and she, him.
Relationships. People spend so much time building them, but they can tear one apart, so quickly, it seems.
Yet...stormy pronouncements and terse words are only a stress reaction. Where do they fit in the greater context? That's the contingency against which all good times are had, the storehouse in which all survival and sanity build the attractions that make our trust worthy relationships last.
Listen, your body may not yield you a greater bounty of patience to fill your cohort of wisdom, even if you
try your best to take care of your self. Sometimes, the overload on the next available nervous system will
cause a circuit of irritation. When people feel tired and sick, they will use a fight to stimulate energy.
The reactions people make out of compounded ill feelings and resentment can expand the space between two people. Let me say from experience, I've never stormed out for a walk where I didn't end up missing my wife, no matter how wronged I felt. Maybe you go home and pick up the fight, maybe the need for the last word vanishes. But if you want things to last, never go out on an extended tour of duty, reacting to your frustrations. Someone has to say no to that.
Someone has to give up on the chance for mutual happiness to ever wear the other one out. A show of mutual respect and good humor- not overloading on snark, here, I mean, laughs you can both have, even over each one's silly foibles- is a daily investment towards building the reservoir of good will on both sides.
Extended grudges and a lack of affection every time you meet up erode any relationship. So here's my take
on what actually happens every time the ill meets the grill!
Honestly, two people can put an end to almost any blow-up in under 20 minutes, 95% of the time, I'd say from experience. You don't really want to put the other person through that- empathy can be a powder keg, but the whole time, the sane part of both people is saying "we don't really want to do this..." and you just try to get the nerves to stop reacting, you know?
Mama Vick came up with this saying she passed to her children. "I'd rather be with your daddy in bad times than with anyone else in good times." She was known for her truthfulnesss.
No one wants memories like that..so hey...be sweet every day, y'all.