Another favorite story or example.
Everyone dreams of a mate or spouse that is their best friend. Many declare they married their best friend. They can tell their spouse anything. Anything? Really? I wonder how many discovered that their best friend ceased to be when they got involved in a very close, intensely emotional relationship.
I started my marriage absolutely firm that we would be different than every other couple. Every or any problem would be confronted immediately, peacefully, lovingly. What a laugh. I even had a clear cut, precise method which I still stand behind, but in order to have it work, you have to maintain it. Once a relationship gets into a delicate balance involving hurt or hidden feelings, it becomes very hard to remain logical.
I call this taking out the garbage. The shortest example first: The way my mate did something small and truly insignificant that really bothered me, it was most likely a one time issue, but it bothered me. I am not even sure why. Instead of harbouring the negativity, it is my job to get rid of it. Quickly, easily, finally. Mentally, look at it and let it go. Really let it go. That doesn't work? Write it down on a piece of paper, read it and throw the paper away or burn it. Walk outside, alone, verbalize your objection out loud, toss it to the winds, let go of it and go back inside. Call a friend: I just need to get this out, you will never believe what so and so just did, ok, its over, ignore me, thanks for listening. Tell your mate about it, at a good time, smiling, without needing a response, "You know, that was really weird." Include a hug, kiss or compliment. Move on. The small ones are easy.
Let's say you and your spouse have agreed that his job is to take out the garbage, yours is to bring in the mail.
Let's say you have a hard time with the fact that your spouse takes out the garbage just before they come to take it away, meaning that because he pushes the envelope so tightly, you can easily see the day he doesn't make it in time. You are the no-nonsense type of person about getting chores done. Do it now, get it over and done with right away and you don't have it in the front of your mind any longer, it's taken care of, you can move on to something else. Even though he has not yet missed the garbage truck, it drives you batty.
You have, at this point in time, four basic choices about dealing with
1. Ask him to change his system of taking out garbage.
2. Learn to accept his method of taking out the garbage.
3. Take the garbage out yourself.
4. Do nothing and let it drive you crazy, and stew about it.
Let's say you approach him about changing the way he takes out the garbage.
You have to approach him at the right time, and we all really do know when
that is, and when it isn't.
You have to present your problem in such a way that, if you are into blame, and I hope not, it is your attitude that started the problem.
Present him with solutions, opposed to simply transferring the problem to him.
At that point in time, he has three basic options:
1. Changing the way he takes out the garbage
2. Refusing to change the way he takes out the garbage and/or ignoring the issue
3. Come up with a compromise that works for both of you.
If he opts for the choice to change, hurrah! Not only do you have a spouse willing to work on an improve situations, you must have presented the problem in a truly logical, soothing manner, thusly causing little to no upset in your relationship.
If he opts to not change the way he takes out the garbage, the game is back in your lap.
At that point in time, you have four basic options:
1. Learn to accept his method of taking out the garbage.
2. Take the garbage out yourself.
3. Do nothing and let it drive you crazy /continue to fight about it and stew about it.
Let's say you are not in the mood to settle this one. He is firm on his stand. You are firm on yours. It's not a cleared issue.
More garbage rears its head, and again, remains unsettled. Another issue, and another, all unsettled because you did not bring it up, or it, too, was not resolved.
One day, when you two have made plans for a picnic, just the two of you, you have purchased new picnic basket goodies, you are all ready to go, the phone rings. His brother is in severe trouble and needs your husband right away. Not exactly life or death, but serious business. Your husband says "Oops, no picnic." You explode.
If this event had happened right about honeymoon time, no problem. You most likely would have understanding, patient and loving. Upon his return, he might have found you and the picnic basket set up romantically in the bedroom, candles and soft music. But, because you have sooo much garbage piled on the relationship from all those unsolved issues......guess what? It really wasn't the picnic that caused you to explode. That was just the little piece of straw. The explosion was a direct result from the pile of garbage, the growing, oozing, slithering, creeping collection of uncleared issues.
Time to clean up the garbage!!!!!!!
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