“Growability” is Nathan’s invented word. I like it – it fits. Essentially, don’t just admit when you’re wrong…grow from it. One of the lines from our family creed states:
“We believe in the power of forgiveness to heal, and in love to carry us through.”
It may sound trite, but there are two parts to humility – admitting when you are wrong, and admitting when you are hurt. Don’t be a brick wall. Don’t deny the negative feelings any more than you do the positive. Humble yourself to learn something. Be vulnerable. It’s amazing what it does for opening up the lines of communication and trust in a relationship.
I remember a moment in our marriage a few years back where we were having an argument about something. He was interested in going to a shooting range and I have an intense hatred of guns. However, I love him and saw a Groupon for it. I shot a snide email over with the link; my distaste pretty apparent. Instead of firing back with something, PapaGray called me out on it:
Me: I do NOT like this, and I do NOT agree that it is a good thing to do. However, if you are going to push it, I don’t want to pay $100 when we could pay $50. [insert groupon for $50 class at a gunshooting range].
PG: I would like to you start being a bit more intentional about your criticism of things. This is not a healthy way for you to express your distaste for this process nor is it one that promotes open dialog between us. I would rather you approach something like this, or anything else in our lives, with a bit less confrontation and a bit more respect and tact. To send me an email like this at 6:11 with me sitting 20 feet away from you is a bit frustrating to me and turns me off from wanting to have any reasonable debate around how valid, or poignant your point is on this issue. You have put me on the defensive and that is not a way to express your opinion to me or anyone else for that matter.I love you, and I know you are stressed out right now, but this is a wonderful opportunity for you to check your personality style and see how you can become a better communicator with others rather then irrationally reacting to anything that pushes your buttons.Respectfully,Nathan
I want to thank you for loving me enough to challenge me to be a better person. You are right. I almost said something this morning, and just sent it instead. Basically I know it’s something you want and I want nothing more than to give you everything you want in life (seriously). But…I hate it – so my punk way of handing it is to pass something off to you that would be helpful but be bitchy about it. I’m sorry. We can talk about this tonight in person. I am stressed right now, and my mood is HORRIBLE. I’m trying, trying, trying. Today is like a freakin terrible horrible no good very bad day, and yet it’s not. It’s a beautiful day with my sweet girls, a perfect little home, and the best husband I could ever, ever, ever, EVER ask for. I need a major attitude change – my mood is going haywire right now – from being furious to on the verge of tears today – so sorry. Keep me in check. Keep challenging me, and don’t let me be the bitch I can be. I don’t like myself then, either. I love you more than I can ever express.