Monday, October 31, 2011

Don't Fight By Yourself

Yes, that's what my husband told me to tell you over cheesecake last week. And I was totally confused just like you are right now. "How can a woman fight by herself?" I asked, reminding him of the saying, "It takes two to fight."

He went on to explain that the biggest misunderstandings usually come when a woman (I wonder who he was thinking of?) begins the argument in her own mind without her husband present. Since he's not there, she just imagines what he might say or do and replies to it in her thoughts. By the time she actually gets around to discussing it with her husband, she is angry with him for things he hasn't even said or done! Not a good way to start a discussion that she wants resolved!

Yeah, my husband said that (although I paraphrased a bit). And you thought I made things complicated! I'll give you an example.

Preliminary Disclaimer: The following scenario is exaggerated to make a point. All similarities to persons alive or dead are purely coincidental and not to be construed as a peek into our life, or as a peek into yours.

It is your birthday. Your husband walks out the door without a word about it. You're a little hurt by it, but assume that he was just trying to get to work and he'll call you on his lunch break. You wait for noon, but the whole day goes by and you don't get one phone call from him. Not even a "how are the kids doing today?" phone call. You start to get aggravated and the dialogue monologue begins.
"I can't believe he won't even take the time to wish me a happy birthday! But if I told him so, he would just say that he is busy and there's a deadline coming up at work. I can't believe his job is more important than his wife's birthday! I mean Jane's husband took off work for her birthday just so they could spend it together. If I told him that, he'd just roll his eyes and ask who was supposed to pay the bills. But that's not the point! I mean just because I stay home all day doesn't mean I don't contribute to the bills. I work just as hard as he does! Of course, he wouldn't believe that if I told him. He must think I putter around all day. Taking care of kids and housework is a lot of work! But he just doesn't understand that. It's not like he would ever watch the kids or anything. He just expects me to do it all. I can't believe he takes me so for I'm just the servant or something. Well, I'm done. I'm not going to just be like hired help around here! I..."

This is when you hear your husband's key in the door two hours earlier than usual. You rush in the room with a sarcastic, "Oh, you're home! I'll have you know I did mop the kitchen today, but Johnny spilled milk all over and while I was cleaning that up, Mary came in with her finger paints and dropped them. It's not like I have help with the mopping or anything. Then you come home early so you can check up on me!"

Your bewildered husband, scratches his head. "I'm not sure what you're talking about. I just came home early to see if you wanted me to take you out for your birthday. And to give you these." He pulls a dozen roses out from behind his back and hands them to you. And to his credit he does not add, like a woman might, "But if you'd rather me stay home and mop the floor for you, that would be fine, too!"

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