This is a story of how one woman came to understand, through reflection, something that may be a challenge many marriages and relationships face. While this story is of a woman realizing how she was treating a man, this can be applied in any case to both genders.
I truly believe we are in a very transformative time when it comes to relationships. It seems deep inside many are longing for a “different” experience when it comes to relationships. I believe stories like this, even though not incredibly profound or anything, touch on that growing awareness within us that is challenging us to question how we operate in our relationships.
She begins by explaining what happened:
“My “Aha Moment” happened because of a package of hamburger meat. I asked my husband to stop by the store to pick up a few things for dinner, and when he got home, he plopped the bag on the counter. I started pulling things out of the bag, and realized he’d gotten the 70/30 hamburger meat – which means it’s 70% lean and 30% fat.
I asked, “What’s this?”
“Hamburger meat,” he replied, slightly confused.
“You didn’t get the right kind,” I said.
“I didn’t?” he replied with his brow furrowed.” Was there some other brand you wanted or something?”
“No. You’re missing the point, ” I said. “You got the 70/30. I always get at least the 80/20.”
He laughed. “Oh. That’s all? I thought I’d really messed up or something.”
This might be a conversation, experience or situation many of us can relate to. One partner does something with good intention but unknowingly didn’t do entirely what the other had asked. What can happen next is where we realize our unconsciousness in certain situations.
Her story continues:
“That’s how it started. I launched into him. I berated him for not being smarter. Why would he not get the more healthy option? Did he even read the labels? Why can’t I trust him? Do I need to spell out every little thing for him in minute detail so he gets it right? Also, and the thing I was probably most offended by, why wasn’t he more observant? How could he not have noticed over the years what I always get? Does he not pay attention to anything I do?
As he sat there, bearing the brunt of my righteous indignation and muttering responses like, “I never noticed,” “I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” and “I’ll get it right next time,” I saw his face gradually take on an expression that I’d seen on him a lot in recent years. It was a combination of resignation and demoralization. He looked eerily like our son does when he gets chastised. That’s when it hit me. “Why am I doing this? I’m not his mom.”
I suddenly felt terrible. And embarrassed for myself. He was right. It really wasn’t anything to get bent out of shape over. And there I was doing just that. Over a silly package of hamburger meat that he dutifully picked up from the grocery store just like I asked. If I had specific requirements, I should have been clearer. I didn’t know how to gracefully extract myself from the conversation without coming across like I have some kind of split personality, so I just mumbled something like, “Yeah. I guess we’ll make do with this. I’m going to start dinner.”
She goes on to explain how she realized her nagging was over something very small and that she was putting her partner in a number of different negative lights that were not accurate to his true character. Why do we do these things so often? We assume that our partner should know exactly what is in our heads and when they don’t, or they get something wrong, we pick them apart for it.
She later goes on to realize:
“In my case it’s my husband of 12+ years I’m talking about. The same man who thanklessly changed my car tire in the rain. The guy who taught our kids to ride bikes. The person who stayed with me at the hospital all night when my mom was sick. The man who has always worked hard to make a decent living and support his family.
He knows how to change the oil in the car. He can re-install my computer’s operating system. He lifts things for me that are too heavy and opens stuck jar lids. He shovels the sidewalk. He can put up a ceiling fan. He fixes the toilet when it won’t stop running. I can’t (or don’t) do any of those things. And yet I give him grief about a dish out of place. He’s a good man who does a lot for me, and doesn’t deserve to be harassed over little things that really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.”
I can say from my own experience that this exact thing has happened to me a number of times. I have my things that I do and am good at and my partner will have things that she does. Yet it isn’t very welcoming to get torn up about what I’m not doing without getting recognition for all of the things that I am doing in a day. It’s really not the greatest feeling. So why does this happen in relationships so frequently?
We often hear that relationships are very difficult and very difficult to manage. To a certain extent, I agree with this, but most of the time we can simply be connected to the wrong person or not have the basics of a relationship – tools that we have never learned in the past. life but are essential to maintaining a healthy partnership.
Lack of communication
Communication is probably one of the most important, if not the most important, factors that lead to situations like the one above. Imagine, when she discovered that the meat was fake – all that had to happen was simply to ask a simple question: “Why did you have meat 70/30?” The other partner responds like him. “Oh, okay, do not worry, but usually I take 80/20 because it’s a healthier option.” It just depends on us not writing stories about the person’s why. Instead, simply use our words in a friendly way to understand the full nature of the situation. Communication is the key!
Fighting Over The Small Details
This is another important point in many relationships, and it can often be something that we are fighting completely inside ourselves. We sweat a lot too much. It is impossible to see how each of us perceives or feels a particular situation. Therefore, what is small for one person can be very big for another person. However, a situation like the one above is usually a meal, an example that can be settled very quickly. Is it worth it to get angry and react to something that, if you step back, really means very little? It is always good, in the heat of the action or at the height of the intense emotions, to simply enter and discover what is really happening. Take a step back and ask yourself if this particular example is really a big problem.
We Don’t Put Ourselves In Each Other’s Shoes
Understanding where our partner comes from is another great thing we forget or forget. In this case, one partner thought he was doing everything right while the other just assumed he was not listening, not paying attention, and not doing things well. When we return to communication, one of the steps leading to communication is asking what could have caused the other person to do what he did, to say what he did, and so on.
This does not have to come from a judgment room, condescending or angry, but only from a neutral consideration, wondering why things have developed as they have been. Why does our partner feel this? Why did you say that? What makes them react or take some action? Instead of making your own judgment or chatting with friends, contact your partner and find out what’s going on. It will make a big difference.
I believe that incorporating these three basic strategies into each relationship would radically change everyday life. We would not judge aliens the same way, we would work more effectively with colleagues, we would have a lot easier with family and friends and we could even achieve our personal growth faster. In fact, much of what we do not recognize about ourselves keeps us having the same problems again and again. We can not easily switch to new experiences if we do not know what is happening.
In the end she said:
“It takes two to make a partnership. No one is always right and no one is always wrong. And you’re not always going to see eye-to-eye on every little thing. It doesn’t make you smarter, or superior, or more right to point out every little thing he does that’s not to your liking. Ladies, remember, it’s just hamburger meat.“