My sweet baby girl is teething today. Two molars and two eyeteeth all at once. She wants me to hold her, but she also pushes against me as I do. Today, as I tried to rock her to sleep, she tried to pull my hair and scratch my face. She screamed even louder if I set her down.
As a mom, my heart goes out to her. I know she doesn’t hate me. I know she really doesn’t want to hurt me. She’s just miserable and she doesn’t know how to respond. After a bath (for distraction) and Motrin and Orajel for the pain she felt a little better, and when she did finally calm down I didn’t hold any grudges for her screams and tears. I was simply happy to see her smile.
This made me think of marriage. The truth is, sometimes the anger and harsh words–the lashing out–that our spouse does has nothing to do with us. There is pain they’re experiencing and they don’t know how to cope.
When I’m stressed I snap at John. When he’s tired he snaps at me. When we first asds married these little things turned into big conflict, but we’re both learned that sometimes pain and stress comes out with those we love most.
Alyssa wanted me, because she’s most comfortable with me. In her miserableness she wanted, “Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma.”
Sometimes our spouses lash out because they’re most comfortable with us, too. While it doesn’t make dealing with the outbursts any easier, it can help us take a deep breath, step back, and focus on the real problem.