Unforgiveness vs. Keeping Short Account
When our unspoken expectations are not met, it is very easy to develop resentment. We take it personally. It’s an affront! But that really isn’t fair, is it? How can our husbands know they did something wrong if they don’t know the rules?
Years ago when Brent was working swing shift, he’d normally get off around midnight. One night in particular, he called me from the office to say that he had to write some reports and wouldn’t be home for awhile. About two thirty a.m., I woke up and discovered he wasn’t there yet. So I called the office. They told me he’d left about a half hour earlier. Because I assumed he’d be there any minute, I waited up for him. In the meantime Brent stopped to fuel up on the way home and struck up a conversation with the gas attendant. They had a very deep, meaningful conversation that lasted about two hours. By the time Brent drove up, I was convinced he was dead and then decided he was having an affair. Either way he would need a funeral! And, of course, I’d planned it all out.
After I unleashed my full fury on him, he told me what happened. He apologized, and I forgave him. Now we laugh about the string of obscenities that flowed from my mouth when I rarely cuss. And that is that.
Unforgiveness will not only kill communication, it will kill your relationship and could eventually kill your soul. No matter how you look at it, you lose. The thing that will keep communication flowing is keeping a short account. Let the anger go.
Brent calls this the emotional bank account. When we spend time together, do favors for each other, have good sex, etc., we are making deposits into the relationship. Arguments, harsh words, unspoken or demanding expectations, slamming doors, etc., are withdrawals from your relationship. Just like money, you look at your account at the end of each month, and hopefully your account is in the black. But too many withdrawals will cause it to fall into the red.
The currency of your relationship isn’t cash; it’s trust. When there isn’t enough give for the take, you run into problems. When Brent was unaccounted for late into the night, fear consumed me. It was a big withdrawal. But when we decided he would phone home if a situation like this came up again (and it did), we made a deposit into our account. When I decided to let it go by forgiving him, we were in the black again. He learned from it too and never made that type of mistake again.