Some of the richest life lessons my husband and I have experienced have happened as a direct result of parenting. One of the most useful and valuable tricks that has come in so handy in our marriage came directly from our son. He’s a teacher at heart, and his father and I are his willing pupils.
I can’t remember exactly when he first introduced this lesson to us…it must have been at least a year ago. We were intrigued by his insight and amazed at our willingness to comply with his direction. And most importantly, it was very effective.
He was three years old at the time & I was getting onto him for something….can’t remember what it was for the life of me, but I was highly unhappy with his behavior at the moment and boy, he knew it.
So, he asked me if we could “start over”. I reluctantly agreed, and we hit the “rewind button”.
It worked. We started the conversation off on a different foot….we both made a decision to change our attitude. It was so amazing that my husband and I started implementing this strategy as a discipline tool. This part was easy because our son began giving us friendly reminders by asking for a do-over whenever he knew he was in trouble. It’s kind of like a “get out of trouble free” pass.
He plays along nicely because he can avoid t-r-o-u-b-l-e just by asking for a second chance.
Before long, my husband and I were using this strategy in our marriage, with equally great success. It took a little bit of practice at first because the two of us are very hard headed, but now we’ve perfected it to the point that we do it without even asking for a do-over. It has pretty much become automatic.
We must be getting really good at it because we just can’t stay mad at each other for very long now. We’ve shortened our disagreements from dragging over a matter of days, down to minutes and even seconds on a few occasions. Simply amazing, considering how hard headed we both are.
Hitting the rewind button requires participation on both parts, but it might require one person doing all the participation the first few times. It’s easy to treat others how they treat us…so if other people are rude to us, it’s easy to be rude back. It’s easy to smile at someone who is smiling at us.
Marriages are no different. When you’re disappointed or hurt by your spouse, it’s hard to have “nice” feelings toward them and it’s even harder to smile and say nice things to them.
At first, if I could actually remember to hit the rewind button and start over by acting very nice myself, then I learned that my hubby would eventually get the idea and recipricate.
The hard part is remembering to forget what you’re mad about. So, a short memory about the problem is required for the rewind button.
That’s no problem for me since I already suffer from “mommy brain”!!
I think it’s easy for MEN to forgive and forget because, well, they are men. Usually when women hurt each other (even unintentionally), it can drag out over a looooooong time because we are sensitive and have “feelings”!! But men are different. They can fight it out and promptly resume their friendship with no problem….like nothing ever happened. We women need to be more like men in that sense.
So what I’ve learned most since having children is that life is just too short to argue about little things. I haven’t been too good at holding grudges lately because of my kids.
It takes a lot of energy to be mad…I really need to conserve all my energy so my kids can suck it out of me…they have first priority for my energy usage! There just isn’t enough left over to contribute to marital disputes.
So, this strategy has been very helpful in restoring love and happiness to those moments that could have otherwise been ruined by hurt feelings.
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