I recall this one time, when my husband and I were dating, I went to see him at his office. The security guard at the gate would not let me in. He said that no member of staff was expecting any guests as he had no prior instructions to let anyone in. I was furious. Fortunately, a few minutes had only gone by when I saw one of his colleagues going in. I asked him to kindly inform my fiancé that I was there to see him. Though I finally saw him, I felt upset still. His response? “As much as lies within you, live at peace with ALL men”.
A few months into our marriage, a much older neighbour and I could not seem to agree on the technicalities involved in the cleaning of the driveway where we once lived. I thought standing up to her would prove that I was not only right but unafraid to stand for what I believed to be sensible. I could have sworn that I did great at maintaining civil conversations with her – void of insults or any other kind of offense. Unfortunately, things escalated. When my husband got involved, he had very little to say. Again he counseled “As much as lies within you, live at peace with ALL men”. I’m sure you don’t want to know how that made me feel.
Over the years, a number of situations have presented themselves and before he steps in with any advice, I would pre-empt him by echoing those exact words of his (most times with a tinge of sarcasm). More recently, I had an episode at the hospital when I took my son for his check-up. I thought they needed to improve on their customer care at specific touch points. I simply told them so. Things didn’t go as planned. “Why would anyone mistake assertiveness for aggression”, I thought. Then a small voice whispered – I swear it was my husband’s. (The voice said: “As much as lies within you, live at peace with ALL men”). He was at work though, so yeah, it wasn’t him. He was in my head! That does it! I smiled and left.