In every deployment and every relationship there comes a frustrated day when you cannot resist tearing into your man with the ferocity of one bad-a mama lion. It will come, I promise. You will stay up all night and write a 4,000 word email telling him of your complete dislike for him, every thing he's ever done and ever hopes to do. You will lose it. You will be The Crazy Lady.
Early on in our deployment, maybe the third month or so....actually it might've even been earlier than that, which is a little embarrassing to admit -- anyway, I did this. How dare he do or say whatever it was that was so abominable that I couldn't remember it now if my life depended on it. Must have been a real doozy, right?!
After I finished my "let me tell you a thing or two mister!!!!" letter I started getting the feeling that maybe I had overreached just a tad. So I put the letter in the Drafts folder and let it sit over night. By the next morning the entire letter just seemed completely unnecessary to me and I realized it would only serve to hurt our relationship. I never sent the letter. That day I learned an important lesson that would serve me again and again in the coming months. Let fiesty letters sit in the Drafts folder overnight and just see how you feel in a few hours.
I will tell you that there has been once, maybe twice at most in a year when I felt completely fine sending an arse-kicking of a message, no matter how long I consider it - and I sent them. But that has been the very, very rare occasion, not a regular occurrence.
So I pass that little tip along to you. Let the "look here Buddy!" letters and emails and phone calls go and see how you feel about it later. Usually things will blow over naturally, or he'll call back and apologize for being a jerk on his own. I always get a LOT more satisfaction from owning his stupid moves on his own and asking me for forgiveness than me trying to take him to the woodshed about them. Way more!
Having said that, another big lesson I have learned this year is how to apologize. I don't know how many time I have written, "Hi. Please forgive me for being _______ (fill in the blank with words like: impatient, short with you, disrespectful, a bad listener, etc. etc. etc.)" I have learned a lot about asking for forgiveness this year too. I think being apart gives you more time to think about your actions without constant distraction and it also reminds you how fragile life is and how important it is to enjoy every moment and not leave things badly between you.
I guess learning to put my "woodshed' letters in the Drafts folder overnight is all about forgiveness. Forgiving him when he is less than perfect and avoiding yet another opportunity where I will have to ask for it by avoiding making a arse of myself in a nasty, mean, unhelpful letter. It may be good therapy to get it all out of your head and down on paper, but throwing that gasoline on the fire is rarely helpful in a healthy relationship. The Drafts folder is our friend, that is for sure!