Nadine and I have a wonderful relationship, but the relationship is not free of conflict. I can tell you unreservedly that there isn’t a single issue that hasn’t been resolved. We at this second are free from any disconnect, but I can’t guarantee that there won’t be a conflict in the near future. We have been single focused to deal with and resolve any and every issue that causes us to emotionally or relationally separate.
I’m saying all this to set the stage of a conflict we had last night, and to give you a new insight that might be helpful to those who are reading this jlog (Jim’s log). I won’t get into the details of the issue, but Nadine said something that was hurtful to me and caused me to emotionally disconnect. She became aware of my distance and asked me what was wrong. I told her that what she said was hurtful and for a little while she sought to justify her actions and bring up other issues that were never part of issues that caused my hurt. (You may be thinking that the title of the jlog centers on this issue. I am hurt and that I need to get over myself. Be a bigger man and don’t let what she says hurt me. You might see that I need to just move on and don’t make mountains out of mole hills. That is not the gist of the jlog. This is the farthest from the truth. When someone says something that hurts you, you have a right to be hurt. There is nothing wrong with being hurt by words or actions of another person. It’s how you process that hurt that is important and that is what I want to discuss.)
After a bit of discussion, she got what she had said and why it hurt me and apologized for hurting me. There are two forks that I could go down at this point in seeking to resolve the problem. Unfortunately, I hate to admit this first fork that I have used in the past and am admitting it. Mind you, I haven’t used this fork always, but I have used it more than I should have. This fork involves getting the other person to feel the pain that they caused me. In the past I have used silence and not given forgiveness to allow them to wallow in their remorse. This is not a healthy way of dealing with someone who is asking for forgiveness, but unfortunately I have used this tool. Getting over yourself is releasing your hurt WHEN the person who has hurt you admits their wrong and is willing to ask forgiveness for it.
Rather than taking the first fork, I chose the second fork and immediately accepted her forgiveness. I told her that I understood what her motive was in saying what she did. (Nadine rarely has a motive or intention to hurt me or anyone else. In fact, I can’t think of a time when her motive has been to hurt me.) We immediately reconnected and the issue was resolved, causing us to grow closer to one another. We had a great day and are still connected as I write this jlog.
On this journey, forks will be a part of our decision making skills. Choose wisely the right fork to stay connected to those you love.