When David and I married we were both in school and I had a blue bicycle that I rode to and from class. I am not the most physically balanced person in the world and I had to try a lot of bikes before I found one I was comfortable riding. This bike was lightweight and it was like an extension of my own body, especially on turns. I loved it. It was like Goldilocks’ chair– just right.
Then we moved to a place where I could easily walk to school, and I stored the bike in a shed. Within a few months it was stolen. I had insurance on it, and planned to replace the bike. David went ballistic. “You can’t do that!” he exploded. “We have to use the money for two bikes, one for you and one for me!”
This was a complete shock. I had no warning of his reaction, no idea he would feel this way. I was dumbfounded, and could find no words to respond. I had no skills for maneuvering through the conflict. The outcome? We went to a bike store and bought two bicycles for the price of one. They were clunky and hard to maneuver. I could not take curves comfortably. I stopped riding a bike.
Why did I let this happen? Did I not see the huge danger sign? I would never let it pass now. What I wish I could have done is to think abundantly, and refuse to budge from that. I could have said “NO! If you want a bike, let’s find a way to get one for you too.” If that didn’t work I could have left the marriage. But at that time these options didn’t occur to me. I had no experience with negotiation: The word wasn’t even in my vocabulary. What I did know was that underneath the erupting volcano was a heart of gold, a person who loved me and wanted me to follow my dreams. I stayed.
We didn’t fight much, and we laughed a lot. So the next big challenge was a shock:
Copyright 2016 Carolyn Kahlke. All Rights Reserved.