I’m going to tell you a story from when your dad and I were just married. We were in our first apartment and had only been married for a couple of months. We were talking one night and got into an argument. I don’t even remember what we were fighting about, but I know I was getting really angry. We were standing in the kitchen and I think I was just finishing the dishes. I remember swinging the dish towel over my shoulder, raising my voice, and seeing him swim through my tear-filled eyes. His hands kept combing through his hair as he continually met my eyes with his. As our words fired back and forth, the issue remained unsolved. Right as I was winding up to strike once again with three more points of my argument, he held his hands up, stilling my words, and a seriousness settled into the room. He made his way over to me and wrapped me in his arms and hugged me so tightly I gasped.
As he pressed himself against me, he whispered, “I don’t want you to think for a second that I don’t love you.”
He pulled back and looked at me for a moment and then returned to his fighting position, rolling up his sleeves along the way. Our eyes met again but this time his were filled with a determination not to be right but to fight right. To listen hard. To love well. Then we fought and we fleshed out every problem within the issue. Once we landed on a compromise, he walked over to me again and hugged me. This time, he whispered, “Good fighting, love. Until next time,” and he kissed me on the cheek and then grabbed our coats and his keys so we could go get ice cream. That became our little tradition. After you fight well, you just need some ice cream.