"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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