Monday, May 17, 2010

Man Monday

My husband does the dishes after dinner.  Please, don't be envious, and yes, I know how blessed I am.  There are exceptions, but generally I cook and he cleans; this has been our pattern.  He loves a neat and tidy home.  I do too, at least in theory.  Sometimes I wish I could walk into the house and see it with his eyes.  If I could, maybe I would "see" the clutter that drives him crazy!
This problem of differing levels of "comfortable clutter" is one that a lot of people face. Just to take a poll, I placed a question on my facebook status. I was astounded at the number of comments.  Typically you marry someone who is not identical to you in every way.  Though mostly this is very good, sometimes it can lead to frustration.

So what can we do about it?

1. Check on it.  If you are like my husband and I, the conversation comes up naturally about every 2-3 months. (And when I say naturally I mean it's a part of our "communication cycle"! more on that later...)  I will make mention though that letting it come up naturally is not the best option because the topic is usually brought up from a frustration.  If I've learned anything from our 8 years of marriage it's this: in order to avoid a major conflict, we need to have routine "check ups".  Take time to discuss what you appreciate about one another and what you would like to see improve.  It can be difficult, but very worthwhile.

2.  Learn the language.  The love language is important, but also learn the language they speak. 
  Figure out ways to say what you mean in an uplifting and encouraging way. 
  Use I statements rather than You statements so that in the difficulty blame is not placed. 
  Knowing how to say what you need is almost as important as knowing what to say in the first place!

3. Be Honest.  This may be the hardest and though it has it's own bullet point, it's very much intertwined with the two above points.  When you are communicating with you spouse it's imperative that you use discretion.  However there are times when truth and honesty will hurt.  It's in these times that you wrap truth in love and gently communicate with honest words.

4. Break it up.  Take note of your patterns of communication.  (He says this, so you respond that way, which makes him do such and such and then you both, you know...)  These negative patterns occur naturally and CAN be broken at any point in the cycle.  If you are aware of the cycle, YOU can change it. Take the initiative to respond differently.  Imagine his surprise when you don't react in the normal way!

Each day is an opportunity to learn.  Today as I give my husband a kiss for the gleaming kitchen I pray that you not only find a reason to kiss your man, but an opportunity to learn together.

No comments:

Next previous home