The words “slice of humble pie” ring in my ear as something I would happily, easily and willingly take a bite of. It sounds yummy, right? But it is the total opposite. So what is it? It is when there is a bone of contention, disagreement, argument or heated conversation (whatever you want to call it) between you and your spouse, and one or the other has to give in to defuse it. It is when hands are waving in the air with complaints that there is no food prepared and your wife, who’s been so busy with the children and the home, meekly says, “what do you feel like honey?”. It is when hormones and voices are rising and your husband quickly pulls you towards him and whispers, I’m sorry.
In all truthfulness, it takes much effort and a pulling down of pride to humble ourselves and turn away, admit we are wrong or simply say sorry. When my husband and I get into our bickering (that’s what I like to call it) moments, I am in for the win, I have the last say of “I told you so” and my husband is left to wave the white flag and apologize. Sometimes I feel like patting myself on the back when he apologizes. But reality is, my husband deserves the pat down. A marriage is a team sport not a one player sport.
Competing and keeping scores with your spouse is the worst thing you can do. I’ve never thought of myself to be “competitive” in my marriage. I always thought of that word as being too excessive, unrealistic and well… does not apply to marriage, our marriage. But it does! It’s presence is not always transparent. But through everyday conversations we can unknowingly be competitive.
Like, being a repetitious parrot in his ear saying “you need to do this BECAUSE I’ve done that”, that’s being competitive. I call it the gladiator mode. I constantly have to put myself into a mind rehabilitation session when I am in gladiator mode, no joke. I identify my competitive behavior and remind myself of all the work he has been doing to help me. He does A LOT! Then I move towards completing the task myself.
It is in that moment I take a slice out of the pie and you know what? It sure does have a good after taste. I say it has a good after taste because while eating the slice, it can taste very sour and bitter. So a lot of the time I have to forcefully shove it down my throat. BUT the good news is, it eventually becomes sweet to the taste. The after taste will always be sweet because when we give in we are more accepting of each other’s differing views, we negotiate and learn to understand each other.
There are couples who experience the sweet taste from the beginning, they are the professional pie eaters. They are the ones who are patient, forgiving and always trying to make things right first. Trying to get to this stage of pie eating sometimes feel out of my reach, huh!. I look forward to being a professional pie eater and staying on that level permanently!
We don’t always rush to munch on that humble pie. But we continue to try. One thing we know for sure is that humbling ourselves can nourish and grow our relationship to greater love and respect. A marriage is happier when both parties are willing to make each other happy, even if that means waving the white flag when you are clearly right.