Nuances need not be trouble
How we approach these little differences makes all the difference in the world. I love driving a stick shift, my wife doesn’t see why the technology even exists. Our family car is not stick shift. Why stress her out just for me to have some fun on the weekend? My wife feels I should wear a hat whenever she thinks it’s cold out. I don’t agree with her definition of cold. However, it doesn’t cost me much to throw on a hat every now and again. It makes everyone live a happier life.
Same can be said for the toilet seat. It doesn’t hurt me to put it down whenever I’m done doing my business. Just the same as it doesn’t hurt her any to check to make sure it’s down before sitting. For the record, I’m well raised and have always known to lower the seat… even if I’ve forgotten a time or two. With our little ones, they’ve yet to fully understand the concept. So, her checking has helped her out a lot… and helped me avoid getting yelled at for leaving a seat up that I didn’t touch.
In some academic circles, this means seeing things from your partner’s point of view… ie… empathy.
Whenever there is a rise in friction in a relationship around these subtle little nuances, understand that it’s not the nuance that’s the issue, it’s the fact that communication about and around these values needs a little tune up.
A great relationship doesn’t get into a big fight over where the toothpaste was placed. But a relationship that is in need of a tune up will find the toothpaste location a highly upsetting situation requiring a very intense debate.
Therefore, work on the relationship, get it tuned up, restore empathy, that way… no one will get bent out of shape if the umbrella is not placed in the exact precise corner it lives in. The umbrella will be returned… with or without having a gentle conversation about it. And life moves on.
I can’t do anything about what was done. What’s done is done. My wife made her decision, acted on it, and now I can address the results and move forward. She now has learned something new about me. Because she’s a smart one, I don’t have to worry about her repeating the same exact choice without consideration of my thoughts… the next time around.
The give and take of relationship means we are always learning new things about each other. There will never be a time when we know it all about our partners. Values change. Opinions change. There will always be a choice that doesn’t line up with our values. But we can keep our partners aware enough so that the mismatch will not be so great that a fight has to result.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. I feel motivated to write a better guide styled post about this topic… but we’ll see. Feel free to share this and click like. All comments welcomed.
Have a great rest of day on purpose.
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