When Hubby and I fight…

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Tampo queen? (Tampo is sulky in Tagalog) Sumbong queen? (Sumbong is Tagalog word for complain or report) Balat-sibuyas fragile cry-baby? (Balat-sibuyas is Tagalog term for onion-skin or thin skinned, easily offended, easily hurt, sensitive to criticism.) That’s how my fleshy human nature wanna do at times when hubby and I had our arguments. I often had to ‘chuah chu khi’ (Hokkien for stomping out of the house) to drive around to vent my anger, frustration, grief etc. I wanted to go pour it on someone – to vent on a ‘sounding board.’

The last time I had such an episode, I was tempted to check myself in a hotel and not go home that night. I also searched my mind who to go to – to cry and gripe about the incident. Sadly, I could not think of anyone I wanted to tell it to. Not even to my one and only sister. I did not want to bother her, she might be having her bible study at home.

And so I drove and drove, not knowing where to go, I parked the car and went into a restaurant to sit in the corner by myself. So alone even in a crowd of people. I ordered food and remembered a couple friends thousand of miles away. This couple is our pastor friends – hubby’s and mine. I sent them a what’s app message to tell them to pray for me. I told them how sad I felt. I narrated not the details of our conversation but the context of my hurt and why I was sad. The lady friend responded to me in understanding with kind words of encouragement. Most of all she prayed. She told me they both prayed for me right at that moment when I needed their prayers. And through the tears and the pouring of sadness and outpouring of prayers, the Holy Spirit worked in such wonderful ways that I felt peace beyond understanding… I felt better. I ate my food, paid the bill and went out and walked some more. Then I went home.

Another time, similar incident happened, again i got in my car feeling the same thing… wanted to not go home… thought of going to someone to gripe… same thing.. could not bring myself to go to anyone.. what did I do? I went to watch a chick-flick movie. After watching, I felt better coz I laughed and cried in the movie. I even learned something from the movie. “Even though our love is not perfect, it is real.” See, there is something to learn even in a romantic comedy-drama, chick-flick! And I applied it to our love story – mine and hubby’s…

What’s the point of these stories of mine – of conflicts and arguments, of being tampo-drama-crying queen?
First, this is my way of coping with the trials of marital journey. It is a reality of life. No marriage is pure bliss and no conflict. It is also human nature and woman instinct to want to get out of it asap, to make tampo (sulk), to make sumbong (gripe/complain), and to cry. It’s either to be angry and sulk/complain how wrong he was or to be sad and cry, indulging in self-pity how wronged I was.

Second, it is good to go out or get out of the situation to clear my head. It is good to watch a movie whether to cry or to laugh – that is how it often works for me. It is my self-therapy. It is also good to sound it out to a friend who prays for me. Prayer works. It amazes me always how God sends his angels to my rescue at times when I felt like crying or even while I was crying. Either He sent them to me or He let me find them.

Third, for all the friends that I found, I am thankful that none added fuel to the fire. None of them sided with me to comfort me to make me more right and hubby more wrong. Yes, they acknowledged my sadness, they encouraged me and comforted me with prayers. Prayers work!

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Bottom line… I know God works out ALL things (good and bad) for my good… so that I learn how to be more Christ-like – humble and patient…. I’m so far from perfecting it – being the submissive wife.. it is not easy. But one thing I know, God called me for his purpose – his purpose to sanctify me and show people how good He is – to glorify Him.

Today the world is in pandemic. Many are sick, dying, grieving and dead. The numbers are getting closer to home. These are no longer strangers but friends and their families who are sick, in pain and suffering. I can no longer go out to watch movies. Movie theaters are closed. Going out to drive around might be possible but I do not want to risk bringing home the virus to infect my family.

Today, I need to reflect and think objectively instead of sulk, complain and cry. Perhaps I was wrong. Maybe I need to change. God wants me to listen and learn patience. Everyday, it’s a lesson in humility and seeing things from God’s perspective. I need to pray more, read the Bible and apply truths in my life. Love God and love my neighbor. Forgive more and ask for forgiveness too. May the Spirit be my teacher and counsellor.

So dear reader-friend, next time you and your hubby have a fight, you can sound it to me… I will listen with no judgement… only prayers. May the Spirit be your guide and comforter too.

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