What Really Matters In Relationships

Marital Lesson #2

I learned that no matter how “I preferred” he do things, hubby is entitled and will do things the way he chooses to.

Being brutally honest with yourself about your good, your bad, and your ugly personality traits will promote inner growth and will help to foster healthier relationships. Umpteen years ago, I was unaware that I was cursed with the classic “Type A” personality.

Rigidly organized, highly status-conscious, impatient, proactive, wanting other people to get to the point and obsessed with time management.  A classic  high achieving workaholic, multi-tasking nut who hated delays and ambivalence

I always knew (felt)  that there was a “correct” and “more “efficient” way to do everything.  Sheets and towels “should” be folded neatly and stacked orderly in the linen closet. If they are folded the “right” way, more can fit in the closet.  Besides they look pretty like they door in the store when they’re folded my way “correctly.”

This way of thinking carried into everything I did and I mean everything.  Crazy right!!  Poor hubby.  Since his momma didn’t show him the proper what to do everything, it was my responsibility to school him on life101

Fortunately, I don’t recall ever telling him that his momma taught him wrong and mine taught me right.  I may have thought it, but don’t think I said it.  Nut case right!!  I know. Lol!

Starting out I just went about correcting and showing him how to do everything.  Eventually that mess got old and the calm, reserved loving man of mine, would occasionally go off.   Lol!  Back then, the immature little fire cracker that I was, defended my ground and was ready to go a few rounds in the ring at the drop of a hat. OMG!  I was stupid!  For real.

Most often though, hubby would just look at me with a blank expression.  What I didn’t know then was he thoughts…

Girlfriend, I don’t wanna hear that ish!  Blah..blah… Shut up!  I’m gonna do what I wanna do, when I choose to do it, and how I wanna do it.  I don’t care what you say!

After my “instructions” or ranting, he’d go about doing whatever, the way he decided was best.  At 21, that would trip me out and mess with my head.  My blood pressure should have been high back then.

Oh and let’s not talk about time management.  That also would put me in a tizzy.  He was and still is all laid bad and chill about getting anywhere, except for a fire.  Weddings, funerals, parties, and just about anyplace we arrived late.  All the way to the function my bone head would be swaying with attitude.  Why?  Because we were late and the world was going to stop evolving.  Ha!!

With all the uptightness, for sure I was headed to an early grave.

I observed others outside our marriage handle things differently.  When I complained to my girlfriends, they told me that they didn’t “trip” over the small stuff because it wasn’t worth it and, a man is gonna do what he wants to do… period.

I wasn’t his momma and had no right telling him what, when, and how to do anything. A few “Ah-Ha” moments snapped me to reality and eventually I leaned to cope.

While many of the Type A personality characteristics are very much embedded in me, I’ve learned better coping skills and my perspective on life has greatly changed.

I don’t think we can change personality, but I am convinced that being aware of attitude can lead to behavior modification.

I saw the need to change.  Once that occurred, I began this slow process of responding differently.  It hasn’t been easy.  Occasionally, the impulse to “correct” hits me but my response is very different.

I ask myself,

Does it really matter how he washes the dishes, folds, the towels, or hangs his clothes in his closet?

The answer is heck no!!  That’s dumb crap!  He’s a grown ass man.  Ladies! Weren’t born to control men; that’s ridiculous.  Some of it is learned behavior but, if willing, can be unlearned.

Often couples argue over pointless stuff.

What really matters is that the love, mutual respect, and commitment is present in every day, hour, and minute of the marriage.

Have a fabulous day!

 

 

 

 

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Think Before You Speak

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Last week we celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary. Considering how young we were when we married, it is an amazing milestone. A follower of this blog suggested I expand on the lessons learned.  So in addition to my regular posts, I will further elaborate on each lesson.

The goal is not to exploit our personal experiences but instead to prevent others from making the same mistakes. Dr. Maya Angelo said it best, “When you get, give. When you learn, teach.”

“I learned that speaking my raw opinion, without considering hubby’s feelings was inconsiderate and to think before I speak.”

As a child I carefully observed the adults around me give tongue lashings (deserving or not) to one another. Only the children were expected to bite their tongue.

Occasionally I tried to express my opinion but mom wasn’t having any of that nonsense. A quick backhand to the lips stifled further opinions from exiting my mouth. Adulthood and freedom of speech wouldn’t come soon enough.

At 17, hubby and I hooked up. From the outside looking in, I appeared to be a thin, innocent and harmless girl, but cross me in smallest way and I exploded like a match to gasoline. Boom! 🔥

We rarely argued, but I remember our first one well. I just didn’t know when to shut up. He was upset with me for offering the use of his new engine red Toyota 4 x 4 pick up.

Instead of letting the conversation end as he did, I continued to push the envelope and pointlessly rant and rave about how I felt. The world revolved around me (so I thought) and that’s all that mattered.

My rant and rave led to a physical altercation. No, he’s too much of a man to hit me. He slightly pushed me and I ridiculously went off. Swinging and punching, calling him and his family outrageous names and threatening bodily harm. Absolutely out of control and for no valid reason.

His feelings were hurt and I was too self-absorbed to recognize that I hurt his feelings. Today we laugh about the incident and several others where my mouth escalated situations unnecessarily.

Words can cut deeper than a knife. In some cases, they leave permanent scars. Apologizing doesn’t always take the pain away.

My displaced anger and a lack of self-control was damaging.

When you have something to say to your significant other, especially when you’re angry, stop. Breath. I mean really take a deep breath and slowly let it out of your mouth.

Then ask yourself, if you really mean what you are about to say and how you would feel if your partner mouthed your words to you. You probably wouldn’t like it, so don’t go there. Sometimes it is best to say absolutely nothing that than to mouth words you’ll later regret.

Sweet dreams!