Ed: During our engagement, I decided to treat Leonor to a surprise dinner date. I’d heard of a restaurant on top of a tall building. It was special because your view of downtown would change as the floor spun slowly. I knew Leonor would love it.
Leonor: We stepped into the elevator and Ed pressed the top floor. Whoa! It was an outdoor glass elevator; I saw the street falling away as we went higher and higher. Tears began streaming down my face.
Ed: I said, “You’re going to love this restaurant; we’ll have an incredible view!” I noticed she was quiet, still and crying. Was she overwhelmed by my grand gesture?
Leonor: We stepped out of the elevator; I felt so angry. I said, “Don’t you know I’m very afraid of heights? How could you bring me up here, in a glass elevator, no less? I thought you knew me!” I sat and said, “I don’t care what we order.” Ed ordered for us. I didn’t talk or eat much.
Ed: I said “Hey, I’m sorry, I didn’t know how afraid of heights you were.” She gave me the silent treatment during dinner and barely looked at me. I tried to hold her hand and she pulled away. It took us a long time to work through this fight.
Leonor: It wasn’t until years later on our Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend that we were introduced to the Guidelines for Fighting Fair. We learned that fighting is OK as long as we’re fighting FOR our relationship and not to win. When we fight, we try to remember that it’s not us against each other, it’s the two of us against the problem, and, “If I ‘win’ a fight, then I’m sleeping with a loser,” and nobody wants that.
Leonor “Leo” and Ed Rivera are members of the local Worldwide Marriage Encounter community. To learn more about Worldwide Marriage Encounter, visit www.wwme.org. The next Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend is Nov. 20-22 at Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua. To read more of Leo and Ed’s blogs, visit https://catholiccourier.com/viewpoints/blogs/to-have-and-to-hold.