Time for a trip down memory lane. Pack up the details of your last squabble with your husband and let’s go!
Where were you?
What were you doing?
Was anyone else there?
Were you sitting? Standing? Lying down?
Was there food there? Music? Any other notable features?
Close your eyes and really be there. How’d things turn out for you?
Did you yell? Call names? Slam doors? Storm out? Give the cold shoulder?
Any other childish behavior you aren’t particularly proud of?
Well good news…
Here’s some childish behavior you can really get behind. Works like a charm to diffuse a scuffle whenever you want to.
All you gotta do is channel a drooly-mouthed, shiny-eyed toddler.
Toddlers LIVE by the 3 Fs:
Frank: You always know where you stand with a toddler. There’s no confusion over whether the red or yellow cup is preferred. Not ever.
Forgiving: If you have more than one kid, you know that you can count on a toddler to be cuddling on the couch watching cartoons with a sibling she was screaming at just moments before. Toddlers typically aren’t grudge holders. Ain’t no baby got time for that.
Fun: If something looks fun, you can count on a toddler to jump right in. No regard for messiness. No attention paid to how “cool” she looks or whether the other guy has “learned his lesson”. Doesn’t even occur to her to sit out. Even if she might have had a “point to prove” just a moment before.
Now go back to that scuffle you were thinking about when you started reading this message. Notice how he said something, then you said something, then he did something, then you did something and so on and so on – swirling round and round from you to him and back to you following the pattern of an infinity sign (which I’m guessing is how long it seems like some of those fights last).
Now here’s the trick – draw little ear pieces off each side of that infinity fight and what’ve you got?
A gentle reminder that it’s an option to see your relationship through frankness, forgiveness and fun.
Just look at your next fight and ask yourself:
1. Did I say exactly what I wanted here? If not, what’s stopping me from being FRANK?
2. Am I willing to let any of this slide? If not, what’s blocking me from being willing to FORGIVE?
3. If I didn’t do steps 1 or 2, why am I willing to deny myself the chance to have FUN with the guy I chose?
I get that sometimes you won’t be into toddler goggles. Sometimes you want to be mad or sad or hurt. Totally fine. Just make sure that’s what you really want.
And if it isn’t?
Consider how: Life is short. Marriage can be tough.
And also: A lot of things won’t matter past Friday.
For those that don’t: Toddler goggles are always an option.
Have fun out there!