I don't always fight fair.
I admit it. I'm not proud of it, but I admit it.
Sometimes when I'm trying to make a point, get the Husband's attention or get my way I say something below the belt and totally off topic.
I know all the rules of "fighting". I just don't always follow them, although as soon as the words are out and I see they've definitely hit their mark I feel awful. Winning the battle really loses appeal when I see the hurt in the Husband's eyes.
Several years ago our pastor did a children's sermon about how words can hurt. He showed the children a blank and smooth piece of paper. Then he told them that when we say something unkind or hurtful it's like crumpling up that piece of paper. Even though we say we're sorry and we smooth out the paper, the wrinkles are still there. The wrinkles are the hurt that's there. We can apologize and be forgiven but once something is said, the wrinkle of the hurt will always be there.
I wish that I thought about that sermon today before I said something hurtful to the Husband. Instead, it all came flashing back as soon as I uttered the words and saw the Husband's face. It is completely to his credit that he didn't respond in kind. He never does. He is much better at following rules of all kinds, I guess.
Later, I apologized for saying something hurtful, uncalled for and completely off topic. He forgave me. He forgave me but said he was still angry. I don't blame him. He should be angry. But even though he's angry, when he left for baseball he said, "I love you." Once again, the Husband is an example of Christian love while I seem to be batting 1000 at the human brokenness part. (No, I do not think he's perfect or saintly, but when I fall short I seem to do it in an epic way.)
So, the moral of the story is play nice, fight fair and always remember that words have power long after they pass your lips.