Fighting Fair

0 comments Posted on April 27, 2012

Never Throw Meatloaf Spirals!

by Dannah Gresh, author of And the Bride Wore White

I couldn’t believe it. Moments ago I was sitting at the kitchen table ready to sink my teeth into a huge plate of PMS-magic–cheese-stuffed meatloaf glazed in bar-b-cue sauce, mashed potatoes, corn and a freshly baked blueberry muffin! I had been on the road for almost a week and came home extra tired, but feeling like I owed my family some great food! Somewhere between –Amen– and my first bite, Bob casually asked me about–brace yourself–the laundry! Now, in his defense, I think he was wondering if he needed to do it. It seemed to be stacked as high as Mt. Everest. It was a neutral comment to him. But I hate doing laundry. And I was tired. And I had just gotten home. AND I HAD PMS!

I lost it big time. Before I had time to consider my actions, I’d flipped my plate into the air and felt like I was watching it soar toward my husband in slow-mo. I immediately wanted to take it back, but it was beyond too late. Just about the time the meatloaf cleared Bob’s left shoulder and the mashed potatoes landed with a thump on the table, I burst into tears. Lexi just sat staring at me with her eyes wide as saucers. Robby, a middle schooler, was trying to hold back a smirk. I’d surely just scarred my children for life. I ran to my bedroom.

Had I actually just thrown a plate of meatloaf and mashed potatoes at my husband?

Now, in my defense, this happened many years ago. (Not “many” as in–”I was too young to know better” or “Like ten years ago.” But still, I can say with integrity that “many” is not a stretch. It didn’t happen last week!)

What happened next is the stuff that years of counseling, couple mentoring, and marriage seminars are made of–and Bob and I have had it all! My husband calmly followed me to our bedroom. He pulled my hands from my eyes and he looked into them with a playful smile.

“Honey, we have two choices,” he said. “We can stay here and hide and make this a horrible memory for our kids or we can go down there and turn it into one of the most hilarious moments ever. I’m game for number two. What do you think?”

Through my tears, I followed him as he took me downstairs by the hand. He sat me quietly at my spot. Lexi was still wide-eyed and Robby was still smirking. I quietly apologized. Then, my husband began a comedy routine that to this day I say deserves a date on Letterman. He was at his best when I was at my worst.

“Do you want another plate of mashed potatoes and meatloaf?” asked Lexi through her laughter. “I’ll get it for you if you just don’t throw it at me!”

Most married couples fight. (Most women don’t usually throw meatloaf when they fight, I admit!) Not fighting isn’t always evidence of a good marriage. Learning to fight fair and showing your children that you can survive and apologize is healthy. Here are three of Bob and Dannah Gresh’s Fighting Fair Family Rules!
1.) Don’t bring up difficult issues late at night. We never fight fair after 9pm. So, we just don’t fight then. We save it for daylight when we are apt to respond better to each other.

2.) Never argue in the bedroom (especially in bed.) Reserve this part of your home for passion and tenderness as well as just private laughter or intimate silence.

3.) When one person is out of control; the other person must give him or her room and stay in control. This rule came in pretty hand for me the day I threw my first (and only) meatloaf spiral. For the record, I’ve returned that favor to my heroic husband!

Just to be on the safe side, I’ve added one to my own personal list. “Never throw meatloaf spirals!”


Dannah Gresh has been married to Bob for nearly twenty years. She has sold over half a million copies of her books–including And the Bride Wore White and Lies Young Women Believe (co-authored with Nancy Leigh DeMoss). Her newest line-up of Secret Keeper Girl products is for tweens and creates ways for moms and daughters to connect. You can learn more at or by visiting your local Christian bookstore.


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