We had a spate of thunderstorms here in L.A. last week, and it reminded me of flying formation in thunderstorms. We always tried to avoid them whenever we could but sometimes the only way to get where we were going was to fly though them. The turbulence was so rough that you had to work doubly hard moving the stick and throttle to stay in position. If the clouds got so dense that it was hard to see the leader’s airplane, you had to move in closer and overlap the wings just so you didn’t lose sight of him.
If you did lose sight of the flight leader, it was even more dangerous because you might run into him before you could turn away. As they used to say, “A mid-air collision can ruin your whole day.” So the only alternative was to break away or tuck it in closer and fly for all you’re worth. Nobody wanted to be the candy-ass who broke away. Our fighter pilot pride was at stake. An interesting thing would happen. As you got closer in to the leader, you began to go through the turbulence as one unit and the flying actually got a little easier.
Relationships can be like that sometimes. You try to avoid the rough spots but sometimes you just have to go through them. If you move in closer to your partner you may find the going actually gets a little easier. Turning away is a last resort situation.
When Judith does something that really upsets me, my instinctive reaction is to turn away from her or retaliate. When I can take a minute and breathe, I remember that I’m not going to make things better by breaking away. I’ve found that when I can get me ego out of the way and ask myself that most important question, “Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?” things seem to smooth out a lot quicker.
Hang in there and do the work and you’ll come out the other side feeling proud of yourself.