We were driving to dinner after a long day together when my husband made a comment about my driving. It was the kind of thing that on any other day I would have just ignored or perhaps even found helpful. Today I made some cranky comment and kept driving. Did I mention it was a really long day of togetherness for all four of us?
The brunette twin said, "Are you two getting a divorce?"
I said, "Baby, what makes you think that?"
She replied, "You're fighting. Doesn't that mean you're going to get a divorce?"
Let me just say that a cranky exchange in the car is all the fighting she ever hears. It's not like we're screaming in the house and happy outside. We're pretty much always stable and happy.
I explained to her that one little cranky comment didn't mean we were getting a divorce. The brunette twin brought up the fact that three years ago I broke the mirror on Daddy's car and he was really mad. (True story, but that's for another day.) Did I ever mention the girl has a really good memory?
I said, "Does this mean that every time you're mad at Sissy you're going to leave her and not love her?"
The brunette twin said, "She's my twinny We'll always be together. It's not the same."
I sighed and turned it over to Daddy who said, "Nope. You're doing just fine on your own." Then he grinned and looked out the window.
A few years ago a girlfriend told me that she thought it was time she started having more conversations with her husband in front of her daughter. They had gotten into a disagreement about something simple like the groceries or some similar errand. Her daughter was upset and thought they were going to get a divorce because they were disagreeing.
She and her husband decided they needed to work through more problems in front of their daughter. They wanted her to understand that two people can disagree and still love each other. They weren't discussing anything ultra-personal or high stress. Things like chores and what to have for dinner, etc. were now on the table for them to discuss with her, rather than having those conversations after she went to bed. They realized they needed to be better models for a long-term relationship.
I think they have something. I think we'll start working through little problems in front of the girls. This might help them understand that we can disagree and still work it out so that we're still a family. Of course, this is something I need to convince my husband is a good idea. Other than the time that I broke his car mirror, I'm not sure I've ever seen him really mad. As much as I want to teach them this lesson, I'm not interested in breaking another mirror to do it.