Pause Before You Speak

Before Miss M was born I remember reading that “having a baby is like throwing a hand grenade into a marriage”. Nonsense! Said I. Not my marriage! We have endured long distance separation, migration, 7 whole months of 24/7 togetherness in often arduous physical and emotional conditions while backpacking in Southeast Asia! We have our moments of course, but we’re a rock solid team! Oh, how the mighty have fallen…It’s been quite a rough ride, particularly recently, and I think we’re both still adjusting to the change in pace and priorities that parenthood brings, especially coming from a background of such freedom and being a little later in life and therefore perhaps more set in our ways that we had imagined.

So it was with great hope and high expectations that I finally reached Chapter 7: Living with Partners in Sarah Napthali’s Buddhism for Mothers, yesterday morning. I was inspired! Loved it! We are not alone in our marital struggles as we adjust to the changes the past 2 years have brought us. I saw clearly where I might try and improve things and to my enormous surprise and delight my husband, who is not a reader, scanned all 20 pages and paid attention to the summary. We were on the same page!! We were moving forward!!

Until 10pm last night when he made the mistake of questioning a credit card payment in relation to my party planning business, which sent me into a spiral of rage stemming from a) I was too bloody knackered to look at numbers and how dare he be so inconsiderate as to bring this stuff up so late on; and b) ohmygod have I overcharged one of my very first customers and  messed up my very first order ohmygod! And all our shared Buddhist learning from that day went straight out the window. Big time. Especially the part about skilful speech, I am ashamed to say…

We pulled it back together, but not until a lot of mean things had been said. However, as my gran always advised, we did not let the sun go down on our anger (well, it had already gone down, but you get my drift). And this morning I awoke to a cup of tea and a little bit of Me Time in bed before the day began. We don’t do Valentine’s Day, but I think this an appropriate day to start over and resolve to work much harder on my marriage, beginning with being constantly mindful of this powerful little piece of advice: pause before you speak.

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