How to End an Argument with Laughter

This weekend my Husband and I had a misunderstanding.

I run, sometimes. I am trying to make it a habit but it’s hard starting a new …well, a lifestyle really. I had intended on going 3 times a week, around my 2 times a week Karate class. I just started so it’s really just ten minutes of prep (dressing, stretching, shoes, music ) and then a half hour of running. ( I always shout in my head “Half Hour Of POWER!” before heading out and inevitably start humming a Sum 41 song from that album).

My intentions were good but in actuality it’s been hard. With two toddlers in the house and no jogging stroller (and really, I don’t want one. I use my running as alone time, not “take the kids and hear them crab at me while I try to exercise time”), I am limited to evenings once Josh gets home. Which means early evenings once the kids are tucked in. And sometimes it comes up that Josh has to work, or I have to go out, or he has to go out, or Izzy won’t settle and it’s dark now so it doesn’t feel that safe to go….etc.  Sometimes I just don’t feel like it. Sometimes I know that I won’t push myself if I go or I’m really sore from the last week of exercising and I don’t want to risk pulling or ripping something. Occasionally I am just out-and-out, truly and honestly, being lazy. But I was doing really really good. Until I took an almost month-long break because we  were away in BC. When I returned I only ran once…

So last week was really hard. It was exhausting and the kids were out of sorts alllll damn week. There was also a lot of running around. So I was tired and cranky by the end of it. On Friday I fell on to the couch, so happy to see it. Oh hello old friend, you dear sweet broken in couch. I was daydreaming about whether I would crochet, draw, watch something  or just sink in to the cushions while hugging a blanket. Then The Husband turns to me.

“Going for a run?”

Horrified at the thought, I shuddered and said I would start fiercely next week. I suggested we tidy the kitchen and then hang out…maybe watch a movie.

He balked. “But you should go tonight. It’s on the schedule you made for yourself. How many times have you gone since you have come back?”
And on and on. I would not be swayed. He didn’t drop it . He started out being supportive and it turned in to,

“Well you might as well erase Couch25K since you’ll never get to 5K.”

Cue my freak out. (Me: “I wanna run cuz I want to, not cuz you told me to!!!!” etc all in scary Disney witch yell-y voice). Mostly because it sounded like something my Dad would say and I am estranged from my Dad currently cuz he’s an asshole. All my life he would dash my hopes. I bought a guitar in Japan and when I brought it home he laughed at me, saying, “Why? You’re never gonna finish learning how to play it.” Which became true. I used to internalize what my Dad said and believe in it so intensely it would become true. I’m not much of a “going gets tough, the tough get going”/”prove em wrong” kind of girl. Sadly.

So I freaked and said he sounded like my Dad. Which made Josh mad cuz he would never intentionally want to make me feel like that. Hurt, we parted ways. I bathed (a bubble bath fixes everything. Even mad at me, Josh brought me a drink, trying to bridge the gap), and Josh ended up cleaning the kitchen.

Turns out our communication skills suck. What he meant earlier is that he just needed some down time to play some PlayStation and relax before cleaning the kitchen and doing stuff as a couple. I didn’t think of that of course. So in his head he thought, “I’ll relax while she runs. Then I won’t feel like I’m ignoring her… and then we’ll tidy and relax together”. What I thought is, “The week is over! i can cuddle on the couch with Josh all night and watch movies and eat over-buttered popcorn”. So we failed and fought then avoided each other for hours, then apologized finally. Sigh. A tale as old as time…..

Thank goodness we talk well once we calm down and we can be brutally honest with each other to fully understand the other person’s point of view and come to an understanding or compromise. I was never taught to communicate in a relationship(or is anyone ever?). Instead I bottle it up, make passive aggressive hints that you’d have to be a magician mind-reader to catch; and when you don’t I blow up on you. It’s my crappy super-power. I am working on obliterating that trait – my biggest character flaw.
The Husband, meanwhile, is super stubborn and thinks things without voicing them. He’s too quiet or speaks in sentences that don’t quite explain his point since they’re so short. He’s also working on it.


(Some of our makeup talk had Josh telling me, “You just pile on too much and try to do too much. You don’t need to do everything every day.” and had me whispering back, “I just want everything to be perfect for you all the time.” To which he replied, “That’s stupid. I don’t need everything to be perfect. It can’t be, that’s an unattainable goal. So stop being stupid.” …cue me laughing.)

That’s the very definition of marriage I think. Constantly working on things to understand each other; to work with each other rather than against each other.

Well, our stupid fight may have wrecked Friday but our Saturday was awesome and we were extra attentive and amazing with each other.

Still in love….


  • Amy September 25, 2012 at 21:27

    I love that at the end of it all, you two can sit and talk it out and figure out what went wrong and how to prevent it from happening again. Most people forget that part of it and it builds slow blocks of resentment.

    As for the running, it will come! It’s nice to have a little push out the door, but I agree, it’s hard when someone else is telling you to go do it.

    Hang in there girl, you’ll make it to 5km!

    • caffeinefueledfool September 26, 2012 at 19:18

      yes, yes i will. and yah, josh and i are pretty awesome at working it out. i can’t stay mad at him!

  • tania Dube October 11, 2012 at 20:26

    your story is touching ….. yes running will come with time.
    I know what you mean in trying to get everything done and be the perfect mom., but true … we put that pressure on ourselves, they don’t expect that from us.
    You are a good writer tiana!

    • caffeinefueledfool October 15, 2012 at 01:41

      thanks tania!! i have kind of quit running but I want to start again!


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