It’s no secret that men and women ‘see’ things differently, and we react differently to pretty much everything. A man will tell you we’re too emotional and read too much into a situation. A woman will say he’s insensitive. At the end of the day the woman will take the heat for two reasons; we simply want to see an end to the conflict (cause there’s another bone we have to pick and this is taking too much time) or, we’ve guilted ourselves into believing we really are at fault here….and therein lies the real issue. Women are too quick to take the blame when things go south in a relationship.
Now take my husband for example. I tell him he should vacuum, the floors are a mess,,,,so he does. The next day I notice the same dead bug on the floor behind the door, the feathers from the throw pillows, still on the floor by the couch, so I say again….”you should vacuum”. He looks affronted and says “I did vacuum, yesterday”. So I take him by the hand and show him….the dead bug…..the feathers,,,,and he takes a stand. How could I not show him where the dirt was? “You said vacuum,,,,you didn’t say where or what?….You should’ve told me”, and he looks at me accusatorily. So, I throw up my hands and say, ‘you’re right! How could I ask you to vacuum and not have the sense to tell you where the dirt was?’ (shame on me) But is it really just MY responsibility to ‘see’ the dirt?
Ok, so maybe it is you,,,,,, and me? (whoa, there’s a sobering thought…..me wrong? Could it be?) Perhaps, perhaps, being wrong is a collective effort.
I’m heading out to get groceries and run errands so I ask my husband to help me by folding the laundry. (sounds simple enough, yes?) Well, first off, he takes no notice of the fact that the dryer never seems to stop. I return home, a good 3 hours later, exhausted, with a trunk full of food (having hit every discount food store I could to save money) and he’s still in his lazy-boy watching a golf tournament. I ask why the dryer is still on and he replies, innocently, ‘it didn’t beep’. Annoyed with him, and, dare I say it, the dryer manufacturer for building a dryer that fries clothes, I open the dryer only to find the whites and sheets I put in are so hot to the touch you could fry an egg on them, and you could smell the ‘burn’ in the fabric. Realizing he’d dropped the ball (but it really was a good tournament….) he scrambles to pull the clothes out and into the laundry basket while I haul in the groceries. (Because he can continue to watch the tournament while he ‘folds’ laundry, and I can carry in the 300 pounds of groceries…yes, this works) And you know what? I do it….because it’s easier than explaining why he should…and that’s my mistake.
He, on the other hand, folds my favourite camisole into the corners of our bed sheets (so I wouldn’t find it for a week), mistakes the foam cup of my sports bra for a kitchen sponge, filing it accordingly in the utility drawer, then complains that his golf cap ‘shouldn’t have seen bleach’ because it could smear the logo (Now I could at this point, note that it was HE who tossed his NAVY BLUE cap into my load of whites….but I won’t) Suffice it to say, I should know better….ya think? So I ruminate on this and ok, maybe lose it a little. I lay into him about everything I do, and everything he doesn’t,,,,,,and he ‘shushes’ me. This is a critical shot in this tournament…it’s where the win happens, and he holds up a hand for emphasis. And that, is his mistake.
Time for me to take a long hard look at myself. Did I overreact? Did I miss something vital? So I embark on a mission to evaluate the situation. I review in detail (ok I analyze to death) my criticism, my reaction, my judgement of him and his reactions, and after careful analysis I’ve come to the only rational conclusion.
It is you.