Elaine finally met the perfect man, as she does every now and then. When she came home from work, the apartment was cleaned up and dinner was on the stove. He even wrote down the messages that were on her answering machine – long before everyone had a cell phone.
Anyway, that’s where the problems began. You see, one of the messages merely stated that Elaine’s friend, I’ll call her Maureen, had had her baby, but the boyfriend failed to write an exclamation point at the end of that message.
It wasn’t enough that he wrote down the message; no, he needed to write down the message with an exclamation point to indicate his enthusiasm for the event.
After a heated discussion punctuated by many exclamation points, the otherwise perfect boyfriend walks out of the apartment and seemingly out of her life forever. Good-bye and good riddance.
While this sounds like a silly exchange that could only be pulled off on Seinfeld, how many of your heated exchanges are over something just as minute or unimportant? How many times do you get in a huff because someone didn’t live up to your expectations in something that doesn’t really matter anyway?
Before your response to a missing exclamation point causes irreparable damage, stop and consider whether it’s important to your marriage or relationship, or if it’s just a silly expectation that has nothing to do with the status of your relationship.
Don’t let a missing exclamation point add a question mark to your marriage.
Yours for the celebration of life,
For tips on resolving conflicet in your marrige, read 13 Ground Rules for Resolving Conflict in Marriage