Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Mars & Venus.

Eric and I had an argument talk last night. Car maintenance didn’t even come up. Because really? It’s not the issue.

Eric and I lived together for more than a year before we were married. So you wouldn’t think that things would change that much when we tied the knot. But things did. Not big things. Just a whole bunch of little things. In fact, it seems to be all in the perception.

It’s hard to explain. But I think that now that I’m a "wife" I feel like there’s expectations and duties that have been thrust upon me. Even though I do the same things that I did before we were married, I feel like it’s gone from "doing my part" to "being my responsibility".

Eric and I have different timelines. Last night we talked about timing expectations. Example: when I ask for him to clean the dishes up. He cheerily agrees. But then the dishes continue to sit there. I usually get fed up and do it myself. He gets peeved with me for this, and last night he asked, "Why can’t you just wait 2 minutes? Why does it have to be done right away?"

I thought about that. The answer I came up with is that it's because I have already been waiting. If I have to ask him to do something it means that I’ve already waited the 2 minutes or 20 minutes or the whole day for him to notice that something needs to be done. I’ve already bided my time. When he asks why I can’t wait for 2 minutes it’s because I’ve already waited for 20.

We both became a little enlightened at that revelation. It’s all in the perception.

Another thing that I’m trying to wrap my head around is Asking.

I want him to see things that need to be done without my asking him or reminding him. To me, that just makes it my responsibility. No matter if he’s the one to do the task or not. If I have to identify that it needs doing and ask for it to be done, it’s my task to track. He wants me to point these things out. He needs me to point these things out. But our perception of asking and being asked is different. He’s usually more than happy to do what I ask but I hate having to ask.

So maybe now that we’ve figured some of this stuff out we’ll be able to understand where the other is coming from a little better. It's all in the perception.

The Buzz:

At 1:08 p.m., Blogger Iona declared...

Wow! It was like reading my own words! Hubby and I have the EXACT SAME PROBLEM! We also had some 'talks' about it and came to the same conclusion: we are (like you put it) on different timelines.

Hubby also needs me to point things out rather than that he spots them! I always have to ask everything and when he agrees to do something, it will happen later, while I wait... And yes, sometimes I get aggravated and do it myself.

We haven't really figured out why that is, but Hubby says it's just a personality thing. It's the way he is and he (or I) can't change it. Perhaps it's also because women have higher standards of 'clean', he says.

The solution we created; We made a compromise. I hate asking him, but I ask him anyway, because that what he wants. I try to be more patient and trust that he will do the things. I ask myself: Does it really matter if things get done half and hour later? Does it really have to happen immediately?Hubby tries to spot things a bit faster and also will do the things I ask him sooner rather than later. He learnt to understand my point of view.
But he will likely never spot anything by himself. I've learned to live with that. It seems to works... 95% of the time.

Good luck!

At 3:11 p.m., Blogger John B. declared...

Have pity on us men folk...

We just have different priorities. Reading your posting was like I was reliving daily conversations around our house...

Dishes are never as important as a ballgame, computer game, etc.

At 3:28 p.m., Blogger Clark declared...

I don't know how to put this so it doesn't sound blunt, but chances are if he's not noticing it's because he's doing something else. Maybe you should find something that you'd rather be doing, and if you find that keeping house is what you'd prefer most to be doing then why are you complaining that he's not doing it? Is this symptomatic of a larger problem?

At 3:46 p.m., Blogger Butterfly declared...

I think that you missed my point Joe. That was not a post about blame. That was not a complaint. That was a post about perception and the differences between men and women. And how marriage is a work in progress.

When two people get married and buy a house together it's time to grow up and take on some responsibility. Do you think that anybody truly enjoys scrubbing toilets? No. But we do it because it needs to be done. Believe me, I'd rather be doing other things too.

Just because I am a woman and I see that it needs to be done does not make it exclusively my job. If we both sat and watched TV all day or blogged or played games as opposed to pitching in, we'd be living in a pigsty. Is that the right answer? Because we'd rather not be doing what needs to be done?

I don't think so.

At 7:20 p.m., Blogger writersblock declared...

Well said Butterfly.

When I first got married, I used to put the vaccuum cleaner right in front of the television as a reminder to the hubby that he was asked to vaccuum. W would step right over the vaccuum cleaner to get the remote and then he'd go sit down. I didn't know I knew so many swear words.

The list of chores increased with kids and I got more and more frustrated. W now folds laundry as he watches the television, but I still have to put the laundry in his usual sitting place. We've come a long ways.

At 7:21 p.m., Blogger writersblock declared...

Love the changes, by the way.

At 8:27 p.m., Blogger happyandblue2 declared...

It's a common battle when two people live together. Hope talking it out helps.

At 2:52 a.m., Blogger mrhaney declared...

well sha i have to say on this one that i know i miss things that my wife would want me to do. i don't mind doing the things really but i forget or i do not think like my wife. we overlook a lot of things but all in all they are not really that important when you really think about it. although when some thing bothers you for whatever reason it is your feelings that are coming out. it is like when you feel sad and you say i am not going to cry and you cry any way. you may have to do like my lovely wife of 40 years does and that is stay after me. as women all know and the man upstairs does also, they are the smarter and the stronger of the sexes. thats why the women have the babies.

At 9:02 a.m., Blogger John B. declared...


That just proves that we are trainable.

Don't claim a victory just yet, ladies.

At 9:44 a.m., Blogger Zulu declared...

Oh I can so relate. SP and I have had similar conversations.

At 11:26 a.m., Blogger David declared...


Well, I'm begining to think I spend to much time online. I can't seem to read a post without thinking of some e-mail forward or article, or something that I've seen online that seem applicable. So, without further ado, Mens' Responses to Women's Complaints. Please pay especial attention to the ninth bullet. Anyhow, please take it with a grain of salt.



At 11:58 p.m., Blogger Jennefer declared...

Hee hee... need I even go into how Jane and I divy up the chores? It's a beautiful thing Sha... but I think it's also possible for a man and a woman to work things out in this arena. It may take time.... but it's possible.
I look back on my struggles with D and getting him to pitch in, and when Jane and I moved in together and someone else was doing the dishes without being asked (nagged) to do so... well I thought I'd plum dropped dead and walked past the pearly gates! lol I remember thinking, "I could get used to this!"
You'll be fine Sha... especially if you can both talk it out.


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