The war started long before Mary Beth and I met.
I grew up in a home buzzing with open, honest, spill-your-guts conversations. And when there was an argument, we talked it out—even yelled it out—till, by golly, we reached a resolution no matter how long it took.
They did things a little differently in Mary Beth's family. They seldom talked about much more than the superficial, and arguments were rarely resolved. Instead, they swept conflicts under the rug, woke up the next day, and pretended nothing ever happened.
So it's no surprise that when we got married, we had decidedly different ideas about how to approach a spat.
I remember one heated discussion early in our marriage. I don't remember what we were arguing about, but I told Mary Beth, "Scripture says we can't let the sun go down on our anger." I took that verse literally. I was determined to resolve it before the sun went down.
Mary Beth apparently felt differently. She just sat there on the bed looking at me while I kept yapping away. I said, "We can't let the sun go down on our anger!" And she said, "Yes, we can. Just watch."
Then she fell asleep, just when I was making my final point. I was enraged!
I'm ashamed to say this, but our first apartment ended up with a perfectly round, fist-sized hole in the drywall of our bedroom. Later, Mary Beth told me she was praying I'd hit a stud.
It wasn't the last time Mary Beth fell asleep during one of my soliloquies. She says it's a coping mechanism. All I know is that it drives me crazy.1