Our Rhythm…Our Sanity

4 Dec

So, I’m reading a new book about the “science” behind marriage, and one very interesting chapter talked a lot about “rhythm.” Specifically, the author was describing how we all fall into a “rhythm” in our relationships, which keep many conflicts at bay. She also talked about how even communities have a certain “rhythm” which keeps its citizens in homeostasis.

You may know what I’m talking about. If you’ve ever been in a long-term relationship. you may have found yourself settling into a pattern in which each person can predict the behaviors of the other. The author of this book would say this ability to predict the other’s behaviors can actually decrease the amount of conflict in a relationship. After all, if I can “predict” that my husband’s Sunday will be spent watching football all day, I’m much less likely to have a problem with it.imagesZLMJYYVY

So, too, in families–I recently discovered. Not only did my Dad and Step-Mom visit us during Thanksgiving Break this year, we also volunteered to “pet-sit” a 12 week-old puppy for six days during the same time. You would think a bomb had dropped on our house! Our “predicted” rhythmic behaviors were up-ended, and the house was in complete chaos!

Arguments over who would clean-up after the dog happened about every 15 minutes. My husband and I couldn’t stop bickering about mundane matters. And, my kids couldn’t stop whining over taking the puppy out to relieve himself.

It didn’t take me long to realize our “rhythm” was gone, and, in it’s place, came a LOT of conflict.

However, something else happened, too. About five days into Thanksgiving Break, we seemed to create a “new” rhythm. Miraculously, everyone seemed to get along better, be less argumentative, and stop complaining about the puppy responsibilities. It was as if we all needed time to adjust to our new normal, and we did.

Anyway, the visitors are gone–the puppy is, too. And, the conflicts have subsided. But, now that I know the connection between “rhythm” and conflict, I’ll be sure to be prepared the next time our world is turned upside-down!



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