Excerpts from Andrea Bishop’s “Happy Marriages” Audio Book.
Excerpt – John and Barbara –
Barbara: One of the things that we’re good at doing is letting things go, and not throwing things back up at each other. To the point where I remember one day — I don’t know what was going on. I think I was in school and John was working. He came home one night, came in the door, and very unusually, we ended up quickly in an argument. And that’s not something that we do. We don’t argue. So all of a sudden he said, “You know, I don’t want to do this.” And he turned around, got in his car, and he drove out this long country driveway we lived on, went around the block, and came back in again as if nothing had happened. And we were both able to start fresh and have a completely new experience, letting go of everything that had happened 15 minutes earlier. And I think that’s one thing that we are really good at is letting go of the past, whether it’s a second ago or 10 years ago, and staying right here in this now moment.
Andrea: Wonderful. That’s a cool idea. That might come in handy for someone, that they can do a redo. They can leave and erase what just happened for the last 5 or 10 minutes, and pull back into the driveway, and try “Hi Honey,” and a fresh start.
John: And you know, you really don’t — I mean, in a sense you release it because you’re not holding on to continuing it. But in another sense, what you’ve just done is demonstrated one way to interact. And by saying, “Ok, we tried that and it got me to a point where I didn’t want to play anymore,” so we retreat, and we come back together with the knowledge of what had just happened.
John: And with the absolute intention of not doing that and starting over. And it’s a great motivator to say, “Oh, let’s do this a different way because that’ll be more fun.” And then what happens is, it gets so sweet because you’re so conscious now. Every time you get into an argument it’s a state of not being conscious. Being less than conscious of what’s happening pulls you into that. Where you’re disturbed by something, you’re distracted by something. And when both people are in that, suddenly you find yourself in the midst of this disagreement, this argument, this angst.
And what we saw was that it’s not required that that be continued and by trying it again, we were very cognizant of where we had been and we didn’t want to be there again. So we did it differently and it was sweet. I mean, it was sweeter than it had been if we had just done that the first time because we were so conscious in choosing the way we wanted to interact. And there’s always a choice point. Most people think, “No, I’m on this path and I have to play it out.” No, you don’t. Back away and do something different.