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Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

Did you ever have an argument with your spouse where you both insist that you are right.

 

But really, all the while, as you ping pong back and forth to make your case, you know that YOU are the one who is right?  And then, at the end of the debate, you both walk away feeling like you’ve “won”.

 

Well, to be honest, you probably didn’t win.  There are really no winners when you both think you’ve won… there are just delusions… because sometimes (heck, most times) one of you is actually wrong (GASP! – who ME?  Wrong?  NO WAY!!!)

 

But on occasion, you sometimes feel that you’ve made such a firm stance on your correctness, that you’ve swayed the other person just enough. so that they’ve teetered towards your side of right from their side of wrong.

 

And there you have it.  A stalemate of rightness.

 

As with most debates, the crux of the argument is oftentimes your perception of something, or your recollection of something, or perhaps even something you heard or saw.  Therefore, there’s virtually no way whatsoever to prove your “rightness”.  And, that’s where the debate ends.  You can’t settle the argument because you can’t go back in time to replay what someone may have or may not have said.  You can’t always agree on how you heard something or what someone was feeling.  BUT, on the rarest of occasions… you do in fact have proof that you are right.  And those days, well those days, are magical days.  The “I told you so” days that every relationship thrives on (or perhaps dies on – but let’s not go there today!).

 

Too many debates end without an actual end.  No closure.  And, I’m here to tell you, there’s no closure more sweet than the closure of proven correctness (insert evil laugh here - muahahahahaha)

 

And that folks is the story I’d like to tell today.  So… here it goes:

 

security lightWe have motion sensor security lights outside of our garage.  For a really long time one of the lights wasn’t working, I asked hubby about it and he told me that the bulb wasn’t making a proper connection.   So, the fixture sat there.. only ½ working for quite some time.

 

A couple of weeks ago when I arrived home after dark, I realized that the other light bulb was out.

 

So I say to hubby…. “Hon, I think we need to buy a new light bulb for outside”

He replies: “No. I told you, that light doesn’t work anymore.”

So I say: “Well, I know you mentioned that the one side wasn’t making a connection, but the other one is now out – so we should buy some new bulbs”

Visibly aggravated he says:  “No, the entire light is broken and hasn’t worked for quite some time”

And I say: “No….. one bulb has been out for as long as I can remember but the other side has been lighting up until today”

 

And the debate has begun.

 

Me:  “Hon, I’m absolutely positive that one light bulb has been working”

Hubby:  “No it hasn’t”

Me:  “Yes, it has”

Hubby:  “No, you’re wrong… that light hasn’t worked for weeks”

 

I feel the need to pause in this story to remind you (or to direct you to some old posts – just click on the following links) about hubby’s Selective Vision and his inability to notice basic things around him (HERE or HERE).  So, now that I’ve put that out there back to our debate.

 

Me:  “The left side of the light has been working.. I’m pretty sure we just need a new bulb”

Hubby:  “You are completely wrong.  The light’s broken.  It’s been broken for a while.  It hasn’t been lighting up at all.  We just need to buy a whole new light fixture”

Me: “Uhm… I know the one side has been broken… you told me about the problem months ago, but I’m still pretty sure the left side has been working.”

Hubby:  “Nope, you are wrong.”

 

I can see this is going nowhere.  We have hit a stalemate of correctness.  We’re both right, neither of us is budging, and that’s it.

 

So I say:  “Hmmppff… ok, I guess we need to buy a new light”  and then I walk away.  Now, this is that moment I spoke about above.  The walk away moment where I still know that I am right.

 

A day or 2 go by.  I go to the store.  I buy a new light fixture AND a new light bulb.  When I get home, I wait until it’s dark and I replace the left light bulb.   HELLLOOOOOOOOO…. Let There Be Light!    So, just for the hell of it (I’m on a roll now).   I decide to take that brand new light blub out of the left socket and I put it into the right socket (remember – the one that’s totally broken and has been for months).  And, lo and behold…… Let There Be Light!   Now I’m aggravated that I have to go back to the store because not only do I need to return the new fixture BUT I also didn’t have the foresight to buy 2 light bulbs.  So, a day and 2 new light bulbs later, I have a fully functioning light fixture outside.  Imagine that!!

 

What a "broken" light looks like  - Oh, WAIT, that's not broken!

What a “broken” light looks like – Oh, WAIT, that’s not broken!

I say nothing.   There’s no need for “I told you so’s”.  The illuminated driveway will speak for itself…. Or, so I think.

 

Now, I’ll refer you back to hubby’s inability to actually notice things around him.

It’s been 5 full days since I “fixed” the light.  7 full days since our original debate.  And, there’s been no mention from a certain someone about the ray of light that has magically appeared outside our garage.  So, maybe, just maybe, he hasn’t actually noticed it yet. Perhaps folks, you are now joining me in my “I told you so” moment because if he really hasn’t seen it, this blog is what’s going to give it away!

 

There are really no words necessary.. I know I was right.    Somebody else will eventually (at least after reading this blog!) know I was right.  And, we’re back to having light on our driveway.  Did everybody win…… well yes, in this particular debate, I do think so!

 

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When I first started this blog I made a list of “Marriage Truths” that have truly stood the test of time.

Today I’ve decided to add some new things to my list… this is probably also a good “Things I Wish I’d known Before I Got Married” List!

 

  1. Marriage is fun… but fun doesn’t always come easy.
  2. Men & women almost never, ever, see things through the same eyes
  3. “Clean” is not always clean.  This becomes even more apparent as your family begins to grow
  4. The TV is never big enough
  5. Bright lights, bells and whistles make just about anything better (and new electronics/technology can sometimes please even the grumpiest man!)
  6. Nagging & talking can sometimes be synonymous
  7. A man cave can be a lifesaver (for both of you!)
  8. Sometimes a hug can go a long way
  9. Communication only works when you are both listening………..
  10. Laughing together is important. And, being able to laugh at yourself can be even more important
  11. Dividing up chores and keeping a tally is a horrible idea.  Feeling that what you contribute is acknowledged and appreciated can almost always provide “balance”
  12. Being in love doesn’t necessarily mean you love everything about your partner.  Sometimes loving someone is accepting the parts you don’t love (like dirty socks all over the house!)
  13. You will get mad…. Sometimes incredibly mad.  It’s ok. Everybody gets mad sometimes.  It’s what you do afterwards that matters
  14. Never going to bed angry is bad advice.  Sometimes, what you really need, is some space and some perspective (if this needs to come overnight –that’s ok!)
  15. Always trust your gut…. It usually comes to pretty accurate conclusions far quicker than your heart or your mind
  16. Apologize when you’re wrong.  And mean it.
  17. You will make mistakes.  You will hurt someone you love.  You will learn from it.
  18. Holding hands and staying physically connected can help you weather even the harshest storm
  19. Learning to forgive isn’t easy… but nothing worthwhile ever is.
  20. The amount of laundry you can do in any given week will far exceed your expectations!
  21. The amount of laundry you will have to pick up from the living room, from under beds, crumbled in corners and dropped on bathroom floors will also far exceed your expectations!
  22. The refrigerator can be completely full…. but somehow, there will be nothing to eat!
  23. There are fairies that will live in your house who replace things like toilet paper, tissues, soap and toothpaste (eventually, maybe, he will realize that YOU are the magical fairy!)
  24. Alone time is just as important as together time.  Remember marriage isn’t Two Becoming One…. It’s Two Becoming Too”
  25. Your “To Do” list will probably never get shorter… as one thing gets completed another thing will get added.  So, don’t stress about not getting it all done!
  26. There are some arguments that will quite simply never be resolved…. Agree to disagree.
  27. Sharing your life with someone is quite the journey….. always remember to enjoy the ride!

 

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Did you ever wonder how one area of your home slowly gets taken over by so much stuff that it eventually assumes the responsibility for the new stuff more than the old stuff?

 

And then one day, you realize that you don’t know what has happened to your house.  And you wonder how your sewing room became the exercise room, or your exercise room became the laundry/ironing room.  Or perhaps you had a great den where you used to snuggle up and watch movies and now it’s become the kid’s playroom and is constantly littered with toys.  I’m sure many of you can relate.  And, you probably think that this post is about to outline all the ways our house has been overcome by baby crap (which it has) or that my family room no longer resembles an adult space (which it doesn’t) or that my office has become the staging area for baby baths… and the permanent home of a bath tub (why wouldn’t you keep a bath tub in your office??).  Anyhow, this post is about none of those things.  And, it’s NOT about how the baby has impacted our space.  It’s all about how hubby likes to “re-locate” items to places where they don’t belong and leave them there so long that they adopt the new-found space as their permanent (inappropriate) home.

 

You may recall THIS POST where I first started talking about this phenomenon and how it impacts every-day life and the relocation of items around my kitchen .. over .. and over… and over… and over…  That post is worth a read if for no other reason than to commiserate, if you find yourself constantly wishing that items would be Put Away at your home.

 

Well, be careful what you wish for… because sometimes, Put Away, doesn’t necessarily solve the problem.

 

I present to you Exhibit A:

Closet Upstairs

This is one of our closets.  In all honesty, it would probably be defined a “catch all” closet.  Hubby keeps some suits in here.  I keep extra purses, some hats, some of our travel items and other misc stuff.   It’s a closet filled with things we don’t really use regularly……………………including, apparently, a good deal of our “regular-use” tools.

 

Hmmmmm, you may be thinking……  Screwdrivers and drills in your suit closet……. Interesting use of space.

Ahhhhhhh, you may say…… easy access tools upstairs for quick repairs……. Smart storage.

Oooohhh, you may utter…. That’s a mighty nice vest hubby has…… He’s quite stylish.

Yikes, you may be judging…. They REALLY need some professional closest storage help…. That’s quite a disaster.

 

And to pretty much all of these…. I would say you are correct…………… well, sort of.

 

Until you think deeper about it.  And realize.. we have a full basement at our house.  We have a 2 car garage at the house.  Read this as:  MANY other, BETTER, permanent home locations for all the tools.  But alas, they are living happily in my upstairs closet.  I suppose there’s a part of me that’s happy they are not sitting in the hallway (which is likely where they started) … They were probably relocated to the closet when I forced hubby to pre-clean for the cleaning ladies, or maybe when we were having house guests, or quite possibly after I tripped over them with the baby so many times that I BEGGED him to move them out of a regular walking path.  To be totally honest, I don’t actually remember how they wound up in this closet…. Because it’s been THAT LONG that they’ve been living there.

 

Out of sight, out of mind for hubby…. So I’m pretty sure these items could stay in this closet until the baby leaves for college or until hubby needs his drill for something.  At which time, he will undoubtedly scour the house for tools that he cannot locate only to declare that he’s “looked everywhere” and they must be “gone” and he now needs to go buy everything new.   And, then of course, as we wives always do… I will ask him to re-confirm that he has indeed looked “everywhere” and then I will promptly go to this closet, pull them all out and remind him that the reason he cannot find anything, EVER, is because he never puts things back in their proper place…………   and the cycle will continues, as it always does………….

 

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My hubby is a smart guy.  Very intelligent, good common sense, analytical and generally a good problem solver.  So, when he does stuff that makes no sense, I have to wonder….. what happened?!   But, as some women tell me, it seems to be a male trait.  One that is innate, that molds them into who they are, one that seems to be recurring throughout life and seems to be shared among men.

 

One of these traits is the inability to find things.  I’ve actually blogged about this before (HERE and HERE) but it happened again recently AND this time, I had a witness (which doesn’t usually happen).

 

Two weekends ago our AC stopped working on a nice sticky 95 degree day (it was perfect timing actually.. since it was the weekend before I went away for work!).  So, during our first step of assessing the problem, we start with the thermostat.   We reset it and we change the batteries but nothing seems to get the AC running.  So, hubby goes to the drawer in our kitchen that holds all the instruction manuals… you know this drawer, the one men don’t ever visit?!  Well, he spends 5 minutes rifling through the papers.  I watch from across the kitchen.  His friend (who happens to be over) watches him from 2 feet away.  He slams the drawer… “it’s not in here”  he declares.   I quietly stand up, walk to the drawer, open the drawer, pick up the instruction book from the very front and hand it to him.   His friend then says “didn’t you once blog about this?” and I reply “yes, and I’m glad you were here to see just how bad it really is!”.  Needless to say, the instruction book didn’t help us and we had to call a professional.  And, thankfully hubby got everything fixed before I returned from my trip….. trust me, the last thing you want, is to deal with a 6 month pregnant women with no AC on a 100 degree day!

 

Another one of these traits that just happened yesterday is a man’s inability to properly utilize a list.   I’ve blogged before that I’m a list maker and that hubby has an aversion to my lists.  I’ve also blogged before about his grocery store excursions and how it becomes excruciating obvious to me that it’s just easier to go myself.

 

Well yesterday, hubby wanted to run out to get himself some soda (he has a sick Diet Pepsi addiction – it’s one of the few things that will actually drive him to visit a food store).  So he says to me, “I’m gonna run out and grab some soda, do you want anything?”.  So, after some contemplation, I think to myself… there are probably a few things he could buy for me without much extra work and without much confusion….. So, out loud, I respond “Where are you gonna go?  If it’s the grocery store, I could use a few things.”  And then, I run to grab a piece of paper to make a list.  I actually put thought into it and I only right down stuff that I’ll need this week and that’s easy to find in the store(remember I’ve been away for work, so our food stash is depleted to very little… and since I’m pregnant there are a few necessities).  I come up with 6 items:

 

Frozen Bagels

Grape Jelly

Milk

Cream Cheese

Dannon Yogurt

Toilet Paper

 

So off he goes… and with only 1 phone call home to confirm the # of yogurts, he makes it back quickly and puts away all the items in the kitchen – SUCCESS! (or so I thought).

 

Fast forward to this morning.

 

I toast my bagel and I go into the fridge to find the cream cheese.   Hmmmmm… it’s not in the drawer where it usually is.  So I think maybe he put it on one of the shelves.   I move the milk… no cream cheese.  I shift around the leftovers to see in the back….. no cream cheese.  I open the drawer again (maybe I missed it), I move the butter, then the American cheese… still no cream cheese.  So I give up and I call hubby at work.   “Hi Hon, did you buy cream cheese?”….. silence…… “Oh crap, no.”  “But it was on the list?”.   “Yeah, I know, but I didn’t get any”.

 

May I take a moment to remind everyone right now that there were 6 items on the list!

 

“Ok, thanks babe… I guess I’ll put butter on my bagel…………..”

 

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One of the best (cough, cough) things about being pregnant is all of the things you get to give up.  I mean really, who needs a drink every now and then, or a ham sandwich, or a tasty piece of sushi.  Not this pregnant lady!    (lies… all lies…..)

 

I’m actually convinced that you are only forced to give up so much for the time you are pregnant so that when the baby actually arrives, all the additional things you need to give up come as less of a shock, since you’ve already been living without a ton of things that you really want.

 

Your husband on the other hand, needs to give up nothing.  And, if you have a wonderfully supportive and loving husband, like I do, he will sneak in opportunities to remind you of this.

 

Take for example, the kegerator we have in the basement.  Hubby and I have debated buying “better” beer for the kegerator for years and we almost always wind up settling for a middle-of-the-road type that is “appealing to the masses”.  This way we don’t have friends come over, pour themselves a way-too-expensive pint of beer, and then pour it down the sink since they don’t like it.   Hubby & I tend to lean towards craft beers and we like to try new things but we pretty much always wind up with something like Yuengling due to cost and general appeal…. that is of course…..UNTIL I got pregnant.

 

We announce we’re expecting then, as if on cue, we need a new keg.  To my surprise hubby comes skipping into the house after a trip to the liquor store… he’s singing some sort of song about brown dogs or something.  So, I have to stop and ask..”What are you singing about?”  “Oh, I’m just excited because I bought a keg of Smuttynose Old Brown Dog!” he replies, grinning ear-to-ear.  “WHAT??   You waited for me to get knocked up to fill the kegerator with something special??”  Then the grin begins to fade as he realizes what’s he’s done… but hey, the damage is already done. “BASTARD!”  I lovingly reply, with my own grin on my face.   “I hope you realize you’ll be sleeping in the basement…………….” :-)

 

So, after this horrible mishap, or perhaps well orchestrated father-to-be reward he gave himself (I’m still not sure which), you’d think he’d be automatically attuned to making sure he’s more sensitive to my current state.  BUT, you’d be incredibly wrong, remember this is MY hubby we’re talking about.

 

So one night, not long after the keg incident, he’s out to dinner with a bunch of our friends (I wasn’t able to be there ).  And, this is the picture message he sends me.

 

Now, in case you can’t quite make out what that is…. it’s a scrumptious plate of swordfish.   And, just in case you are wondering, swordfish is my FAVORITE meal when we are out to dinner.  And, in case you don’t know the rules of pregnancy… swordfish is an absolute No, No.   

 

My smart ass hubby thinks he’s funny, sending me pictures of food items that I cannot eat. Yes, my ever sympathetic husband… rather than sneaking food items that I can’t have, in order to make me feel better, is rubbing it in my face via text messages.   He’s awesome isnt’ he?!   He really is lucky that I’m a good natured person and can appreciate the humor in his ridiculous behavior (even in the midst of my pregnancy hormones). And, rather than cry and accuse him of not being supportive I can just shrug it off and put tiny little pins in his toothbrush, or fill up his car with all his empty soda cans (DANG IT!  – I’ve just given myself away………… )

 

Yes folks, our lives are a laugh a minute…. that is of course, until I stab him in the eye.  What on earth will I do if I wind up with two of him??? :-)

 

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I think I may have stumbled on something today.   I can’t begin to count the # of posts I’ve written about listening.

Every few months this communication challenge rears it’s ugly head in our home…..

BUT this week, I think I may have just realized something I didn’t know before.  Something that men all over the universe have been hiding from us.   Something so simple and yet so telling.  Did you know that LISTEN is actually an acronym?    It was by accident that I stumbled on this but ladies, I feel compelled to tell the world.     I’m just now starting to realize why we seem to have such different expectations of the concept of listening……..

So ladies…  now that you are armed with new knowledge…… go out there and make those men really LISTEN!

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Hubby ordered sausage & pepper pizza 2 nights ago.

 

Now for a normal person, this wouldn’t be worth blogging about BUT since it was hubby and it goes against virtually everything he believes in, I had to put it out there into the blogosphere to try to solicit some sympathy.  Because, for my life, I cannot figure this man out.

 

If you don’t understand why this would matter, you should read this post:  You’re Gonna Ruin It.

 

It’s in that post where I first shared hubby’s aversion to “contaminating” his cheese pizza with anything but cheese.   This has been an on-going battle since the day I met hubby.  I like toppings on my pizza and he doesn’t.   As I mentioned in that last post, we haven’t been able to find a happy medium without ordering separate pizzas, because the minute I add any toppings to half the pizza, I have “ruined his plain cheese half with flavor & smells from my toppings”.  And, my dear blog readers, apparently this is just plain unacceptable!

 

BUT… just when you think you have him figured out, he likes to change things up on you.

 

So, we’re out to dinner with friends and he decides he wants a pizza.  The waiter comes over and he orders just that… a cheese pizza.  Then the waiter starts prodding him.  “Just cheese??” he says.   To which I reply, “He won’t eat anything but plain cheese….. everything else ruins his pizza!”  But the waiter isn’t letting this one pass, he says “wouldn’t you want some peppers, or maybe some onions, or how about some sausage?”.   And hubby looks at him, as if he’s contemplating these offerings.  I, on the other hand, am steadfast in my opinion of his pizza order.  I KNOW that hubby won’t contaminate his pizza.  I’ve had to have this debate for the last 10 years.  It always ends the same way…. nothing but cheese.

 

But hubby seems to waver.

 

The waiter presses on….. “We make a fantastic sausage & pepper pizza”.   Our friends join in… “They do make a great sausage & pepper pizza”.   I chime in… “What’s going on with you?  Are you about to be pressured into pizza with toppings????  You and I have argued this very topic for years and if you change you mind, right here, right now….. I may just have to kill you.”   

 

“OK” he says…. “sausage & peppers it is!”.   And then, I fainted, fell out of my chair, and they had to rush me to the hospital.     Did MY husband just order toppings on his pizza?  It couldn’t be?  We’ve discussed this ad nauseum,  I’ve begged, I’ve pleaded.  I’ve rationalized with him about the fact that separately, he likes sausage and he likes peppers.  All to no avail.  I must always eat just plain cheese unless I want to get my own personal pizza.  And now, here we are, and he’s succumbing to peer pressure at the restaurant.  WHERE WAS THIS WAITER 10 YEARS AGO???????????????

 

After he orders, again, I have to say to him… “Are you sure?  What’s going on with you?  Did you just cave in and order something you don’t really want?  Cause, we can still change this and put the universe back on it’s axis!”.   And, he looks at me and smugly replies…. “Nope, I’m totally happy.  I want sausage & peppers”.    And that moment folks, was when I realized that I wanted smack him right upside the head.    But instead, I gave him the reply that always seems to follow any ridiculous or impossible to understand behavior…….  “You know, you really are EXHAUSTING…………”

 

Now, I have no idea if this was an isolated incident (likely).  And, I’m having trouble celebrating that he’s finally opened his eyes to a new form of pizza since it was only once (probably).   And beyond all of that, sometimes I wonder if he chooses to be difficult just to test me……. and now, after 10 years of toying with me, he’s deemed it time to shake things up a bit.    And everyone wonders why I started a blog…………………………………

 

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