ERNIE AND ERNESTINA: Searching
Book Two, Chapter 227: Conflict Resolution
One hot summer evening Ernie and I tried, unsuccessfully, to put back window screens taken down months before for painters.
In the midst of it all, we lost patience with each other. Hot words were exchanged. Ernie looked at me and said: “Why are we even together? What’s the point?”
Why are two people together?
In their book The Meaning of Marriage, Timothy and Kathy Keller give advice on choosing a partner. Don’t choose based on looks or money, they say. Looks fade and money goes up and down. Marry your best friend, and have something both of you commit to and are passionate about besides each other.
The Kellers describe friendship, too: “Real friends let you in, and they never let you down.”
Partners who respect each other and are kind to each other find healthy ways to resolve conflict. The Kellers give an example of honest, assertive talk. “That hurt me. I’m going to tell you exactly how it felt until you learn what words do to people. I’m not going to clam up on you and just withdraw, and I’m not going to fight you back. I’m going to accept you in love but not allow us to destroy ourselves.”
Not allow us to destroy ourselves.