February 10, 2015

Does Your Spouse Make Mistakes?

In a blog post called "I Wasn't Treating My Husband Fairly", a woman describes how she realized that her extreme criticism of her husband had damaged their relationship.

Her husband had done the grocery shopping and had brought home the wrong kind of hamburger. Instead of seeing this as a simple mistake, the wife interpreted it as a sign of his carelessness and stupidity, and his failure to pay attention to her and the way she did things. She gave him a huge, angry lecture about it.

And then she realized just how wrong she was.

She remembered other incidents, in which she had criticized and scolded him for being careless, negligent, lazy, and just plain wrong. She also realized that he had begun to hide things from her in order to avoid her anger and criticism.

None of the husband's mistakes were serious. Some of them could hardly be called mistakes at all. Every one was just a normal occurrence of the sort that happens to nearly everyone on a regular basis. A broken glass. A white sock in the colored laundry. But in her desire to have everything done "right" (i.e., her way), the wife had focused on all the negatives and none of the positives in her husband's behavior.

She had stopped treating him as a partner and an individual who might sometimes do things differently from her, or who might make mistakes now and then, or who might not place the same importance on the same small details that she did. Instead, she had been treating him as an incompetent employee, or an adversary who was undermining her efforts at perfection.

This story made me think of something that recently happened to a friend of mine.

My friend had asked her husband to pick up a particular brand of sausage at the store. He came home with that brand, but in a style and flavor she wasn't expecting. So she tried it in her recipe, and it was delicious.

Some people are satisfied only when things are done exactly to their specifications. They want what they want, and anything else is a problem. The wrong kind of meat? Dinner is ruined!

On the other hand when my friend didn't get exactly what she wanted, she got creative, and the results were fabulous.

Who would you rather be? Who would your spouse rather be married to?

Image courtesy of Chris Sharp and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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February 6, 2015

Things I Do That Annoy My Husband

[This is the first entry in a series.]

Sometimes I watch TV with the sound off.

The mute button makes TV better. Not all the time, of course. But some programs are just fine without words.

Imagine a nature show about lions chasing gazelles. They catch them or they don't. Nobody needs to explain that to me. Or an old TV rerun that I've come across halfway through and don't care what it's about. I can guess at the story, without hearing the corny dialogue.

Or a basketball game. I can see exactly what is going on.

Sometimes I'm in transition, waiting for the start of something I want to see, and I don't want to be irritated by the chatter and sound effects of whatever is on in the meantime.

I have been known to watch the news with the sound off, because the ticker at the bottom of the screen is often much more informative than the trivial blah-blah of the talking heads.

Sometimes it's just the visual equivalent of "white noise" while I think about other things.

This doesn't always make sense to Hubby, who wants the full experience of both pictures and sound. He wants to know exactly what's going on. When he sees me sitting in front of a silent TV he just shakes his head with a bemused expression. When he asks, "What is this?" and I tell him I'm not sure, he is baffled. I indulge him by turning the sound on.

One night, I started watching a symphony orchestra with the sound off. He knew I was just teasing him, and we both had a good laugh.

To say this "annoys" my husband may be putting it too strongly. It just isn't his style, and he doesn't quite understand why it appeals to me. But there is no real problem here. I don't demand that he watch the muted TV. If he isn't planning to join me, he just chuckles and moves on. Otherwise, I'm happy to bring back the sound so we can be entertained together.

Accepting each other's little habits supports the friendship that is the foundation of a happy marriage.

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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February 2, 2015

Valentine Flowers Are Too Expensive!

Just like restaurant dinners, flowers (especially roses) are overpriced for the holiday.

Not only that, but because so many more bouquets than normal are being delivered, there is a good chance that yours will be loaded onto the delivery truck at 4:00 am, ride around all day, and finally be delivered, dehydrated and limp, at 10:00 pm. (Yes, this has happened to me.) The thrill is gone.

Try this alternative.

Check your local nursery or home store for pots of flowering plants. You may be surprised at what's beautiful and available, at a price that is significantly less than a dozen red roses. One big advantage is that a potted plant will outlast cut flowers, and may even end up with a permanent spot in the living room or garden. Your sweetheart will be reminded of your thoughtfulness for a long time.

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January 30, 2015

Guys - Make Valentine's Day Easier on Yourself

If you are a man who looks forward to Valentine's Day with feelings of dread, you are not alone. Many men say that they feel pressured to satisfy their partners' expectations, and that doing so seems impossible.

The situation is not hopeless. As I wrote in a guest post for Digital Romance, it is possible to Relieve Valentine's Day Pressure in 3 Steps. (Follow the link to see the article.)

Although this article is aimed at guys experiencing their first Valentine's Day with a new love, the same basic principles apply to relationships of any length, and can be used by both men and women. A little understanding and common sense go a long way!

January 26, 2015

Valentine's Dinner Costs Too Much!

Perhaps you would like to take your sweetheart out for a special dinner on Valentine’s Day.

The first problem is that you need to make your reservation early. The good restaurants are fully booked for February 14. Those that don’t take reservations are crowded, with a long line of people waiting to get in. Even lower-tier diners may be jammed.

The second problem is the expense. Most upscale and mid-level restaurants have special Valentine’s Day menus. These have far fewer choices than the regular menu, at a much higher price.

Here's the solution.

Go out on February 13th. It's quieter, it's easier to get a table, you can choose anything from the menu, and the price is within reason. In fact, for the same amount of money you’d spend on the special V-Day menu, you can probably go out on both the 13th and the 15th.

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