Sometimes it’s hard to understand how your spouse, someone who lives with you, loves you and knows you better than anyone else has a hard time understanding you.
“What fresh hell is this?” I’ve often muttered to myself. “How in the world can he know me this long and not understand what I just said.”
“What is wrong with this woman?” I’m sure my husband has wondered, “That’s not what I said at all.”
I’ll tell you what the problem is. Men are weird and women are odd and that’s what’s just what that it is. The best way I can describe the difference between how my husband and I conduct business, is that he thinks like a laser beam and I think in photon bursts. Consequently, I contend he has tunnel vision and he believes I’m a ping pong ball.
I see how everything I do effects everyone in the house. I pay attention to the emotional and physical well being of everyone around me. To me, this whole ball of wax we call a family is inextricably interconnected. I think it’s weird that he can’t pick up on disparate clues from different places and figure out how someone feels. If I didn’t manage this all male household no one would have the faintest clue when they needed to go to the doctor.
On the other hand, my husband thinks I am odd because I talk so much about extraneous stuff. My desire to manage everyone’s emotions is a hindrance to him. I clutter up his time and mind with emotional details that don’t really affect what we need to do at the time. “What are you asking him for?” he says to me when I am talking to my son. “Tell him what to do and tell him to do it now.” He wants to establish authority. He knows how important that is. I want to have a conversation, one they have no interest in at all. I have to say I stood back and let him take that one on whole when any one of the boys turned 15. Those people would have had me for lunch had I not listened to him.
The beauty of this joint bewilderment is that we are both right. He is weird and I am odd. Moreover, that’s the way it is supposed to be and neither one of us is wrong. Between us we have it all covered. I may not understand why he thinks something or other but I do have enough sense to know when his way of doing business makes more sense. Likewise Big Man has figured out when my point of view is the best way to go.
I’m not going to lie, it took us a while to get to here and it’s still not all smooth sailing. It still drives me crazy when he’s riding around the parking lot looking for just the right spot. And his eyes still glaze over a few minutes into 1/3 of the conversations we have. But I bite my tongue even on the third trip around parking garage and he hangs in there for the fourth story.
Love doesn’t mean never having to say you’re sorry. You have to say it all the time. Sometimes it’s just knowing when to suck something up or leave something else alone.
for more see Making Marriage Work Chapter 6.