I sometimes wonder if people assume that pastors and their wives don’t fight with each other. I know there have been times that I’ve assumed that about other couples. The truth is, we fight. In fact, one of the prime times for fights is Sunday morning on the way to church. After all, he’s focused on the upcoming service(s), I am stressing about being around crowds of people, and the atmosphere is ripe for misunderstanding. I tend to fight if I feel like I’m being ignored or not listened to. Then I’m surprised when, on the way to a worship service that my husband is leading, he doesn’t pay attention to me. Hm, that might be a problem.
On the reverse, I tend to upset him when I don’t jump on board with church stuff that he wants help with NOW. He’s a get-it-done-immediately kind of guy, while I would rather wait and see. So when he calls me with an issue from the office, he’s looking for ideas and/or solutions that are immediate. And I usually can’t accomodate.
I think the hardest part, besides the fact that everyone assumes our marriage must be perfect, is that so much of our fights revolve around church. It’s gotten much better now that we don’t work together any more, but then again we fought about different things when we worked together. Then it was me being frustrated over my responsibilities and him wanting to assign me tasks (never a good idea for spouses to do). Now, I’m out of the loop with our schedule and frustrated that I can’t always get ahold of him when I need to.
The weird thing about this is that I don’t mind the fights. We don’t fight that often any more (but we sure did when we were first married, as I think almost all newlyweds do). When we do fight, it’s over quickly, and we’ve learned to make up much better. I just think it’s funny that we’re not “supposed” to fight. Ever. And we wonder why people go into marriage with such impossible expectations? Maybe if all of us, including the pastor’s families, got real about the struggles and the joys of marriage, those entering into this union would have a more realistic picture.
It’s funny that the description I have running through my head is a t.v. theme song: “You take the good, you take the bad, you take ’em both, and there you have the facts of life.” While the show was about growing up and boarding school, the song is more about marriage than anything. There are ups and downs in every relationship, especially when you are part of a life-long bond, and in order to grow together it’s about accepting them for who they are.
I love you, honey. Even when I’m annoyed with you.