Same old same old:
According to Marriage and Family counselor Dr. John Gottman, 69% of the conflicts in marriage will never be solved. That means we are having the same argument over and over again.
The little things
My husband and I have been married a long time. Nearly 42 years. We’ve learned to work most things out without any hair-pulling or foot-stomping.
For example, I hate that, before he puts jars away in the fridge, he’s compelled to tighten the lids so darned hard that I can’t unscrew them. He says if the lids aren’t on tight, and the jar tips over, you have a mess in the fridge. True. To help me out, he bought me a jar opener. Isn’t that sweet?
He’s an early riser, but he has to hit the snooze button on his alarm three times, waking and snoozing me, too. I starting using ear plugs. I don’t hear anything now. Luckily I don’t need an alarm to get up at 8.
Who gets the last cupcake? We split it.
In marriage, you either adapt or you get out.
My husband was working in Poland for a year. When he returned home a few weeks ago, it was clear some issues between us remain a little sticky:
How to load the dishwasher.
Who gets the leftovers for lunch.
How we ended up with two opened jars of the same thing in the refrigerator.
Who has to get up to let the dog out.
Which one of us snores more (likely will never be settled without evidence).
Do we need dinner reservations, and who will make them.
Which lane to be in. What defines tailgating. When to use a turn signal. Why even pass.
Whether or not Tom Cruise’s weird personality overshadows his acting.
Why watch a movie you’ve seen at least six times already (“Battleship” again? Really?)
The last word.
A most egregious omission, forgiven
My stomach was rumbling unhappily one morning at work. I feared a sudden onslaught of the flu, that soon I’d be running to find a pail to vomit in. M]When I told my coworker how I felt, she shared my fear as she inched away from me. By mid afternoon, luckily, the queasiness faded.
That evening, my husband said to me, “By the way, you left your soy creamer out of the fridge yesterday after dinner. I found it on the counter this morning and put it back.”
“It was out all night and you just put in back in the fridge? You didn’t think to tell me this?” I asked.
“Well, I’m sure it was fine…” he said.
“No. It’s not fine. Don’t ever do that again.” I told him about my upset stomach, but he didn’t believe it could’ve come from the creamer. I didn’t really care whether or not he thought it made me sick. “Don’t ever do that again. Throw it out.”
“I was going to,” he said. “But I was afraid you’d get mad.”
Most of these things are not worth the energy arguing over. Like someone in her late 60s said about her husband: “John and I don’t fight or argue much anymore– we need that energy for other things like climbing stairs, chewing, and getting off the toilet.”
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of the award-winning novel In the Context of Love, a story about one woman’s need to tell her truth without shame.
2017 New Apple Book Awards Official Selection
2016 Sarton Women’s Fiction Finalist
2016 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist
2016 Readers’ Favorite Finalist
2016 USA Book News Best Book Finalist
“…at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey.” ~ Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage, and critically acclaimed Once Upon a River,and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters