Monday, March 8, 2010

Natter, Natter, Natter

Does your husband have little habits that make you crazy? Small things that, when added up, grate on your nerves? Things like leaving his dirty dishes in the sink when the dishwasher is RIGHT BESIDE the sink... Or squeezing the toothpaste tube from the middle... Have you tried asking him, telling him, begging him, and nagging him a million different ways, to no avail?

For women - especially those of us who show our love by doing acts of service - a bunch of little thoughtless things can add up to a big blow-out. After all, we've have asked them to change their habits before, and by continuing to do that thing they are obviously communicating to us that they really doesn't care about what's important to us. Right?

If you've read this blog a while, you know that I am not about to go on a big man-bashing trip here. (So sorry if I got anyone's hopes up.) All of the above was said just a little tongue-in-cheek.

One of the things I've discovered about my husband (and it's probably true of yours, too) is that he simply doesn't hear nagging. It's not that he's ignoring me, exactly. It's more like his brain hears a certain tone of voice and certain words that he's heard before, and the brain just shuts down. No matter how long I nattered and nagged, those annoying little habits did not seem to change! (Ahem - the laundry continued to land randomly on the floor and not in the dirty clothes hamper - cough, cough.)

Eventually, and quite by accident, I stumbled across the secret to getting through to him.

First, I had to work out my own "issues" of not being heard, and choose to believe that he was not intentionally trying to irritate me. I needed to decide that, no matter what my emotions were trying to tell me, I would believe that Pat had only good will and good intentions toward me (and any actions that didn't fit with his good will were accidental).

Once I got over myself, I would often find myself chuckling and shaking my head as I gathered up the laundry strewn about our bedroom floor. It was kinda funny, when I wasn't feeling defensive about it. It occurred to me that maybe he would find it funny, too. So the next morning, rather than nag yet again, I tried humour.

I very solemnly approached my man and said, "Sweetheart. I owe you an apology." He looked at me with a mixture of question and shock in his eyes (apparently hearing me apologize was not a frequent occurrence). I continued, "I have recently realized how very selfish I am. You see, I just like to have things my way all the time. And I am continually putting that darn laundry hamper at least three feet away from where you really want to put your dirty laundry." By the end of it, I was giggling (I've never been able to deliver a punch line straight-faced). Pat laughed, too.

You know, now that I think of it, I haven't had to pick up his dirty laundry off the floor even once since then.

This post was written as a contribution to Marriage Monday.


  1. Cute!

    When my husband does things that bother me even after I've asked him not to(and I try to only ask once), I try to think of how I would miss that annoying thing if he wasn't here anymore. Helps me with perspective.

  2. Good for you! Nagging never seems to help, does it? And so glad you resisted the urge to go "man bashing." Your husband was honored and so was the Lord! Now I have to think of something cute to say about taking the hamper back up our stairs ... :)

    Thanks for linking to Marriage Mondays!
    ~ Julie


I am so glad you stopped by! My hope is that we can engage in a conversation together. I love to reply to your comments, but I need your help to make that happen.

If you have a blogger profile, would you consider editing your profile to "show my email address?" Then, when I receive your comment in my email inbox, I can reply directly to you.

Alternately, you can check the box "email follow up comments to..." so that I can reply to you right here. (You will also receive other readers' comments using this method.)

I'm excited to get to know you better!