Look for the Positive
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
On the way home from the Black Bear Century, my friends (2 married; 1 single) and I began talking about how we had met our spouses. From there, the conversation drifted into what drove us crazy in our marriages, and of course, that included our moaning and groaning of how husbands don’t carry their fair share of housework, or when they do, it’s not done to our standards. Yes, they do the laundry, but maybe they don’t separate the colors or they do too large of a load. Or they’ll dust the tops of the furniture, but don’t catch the legs or move the lamps to get the entire end table. Or they’ll run the vacuum, but not get under the edge of the rugs where all the debris tends to accumulate. Or they don’t do it on their own, but only when asked (or nagged depending on your perspective). I imagine men have similar conversations about their wives and girlfriends.
I was right in there with the rest of them telling about my pet peeve: when I go away for a weekend or few days, I make sure that the dishes are done. And most of the time, when I come back, the dishes are stacked in the sink or on the counter. It drives me crazy!! Early in my marriage (we’ve been married 11 years), I would immediately begin complaining (that’s the nice word for it) and bang pots and pans around as I did the dishes, making sure DH knew how VERY displeased I was with him. And it worked, because when I’d come home from a trip, DH’s first words to me were often an explanation of why he didn’t get the dishes done.
I ended the story by saying that somewhere along the years, I realized that dirty dishes aren’t important. Dirty dishes are little stuff, and I only want to sweat the big stuff. And I have a wonderful, supportive, and loving husband—that’s the big stuff. I no longer even mention the dirty dishes, but instead tell DH how happy I am to be home and to see him. And guess what—now when I come home the first words out of his mouth are usually, “I missed you; glad you’re home,” followed by a hug and a kiss.
I didn’t think anything of our car talk until yesterday when my friend (the single one) sent me a nice email. She was listening to a talk radio show on a Christian station and the speaker’s message was that we see in others what we want to see. And that others respond to what we see in them. My friend’s note said that when she gets married, she hopes that she, too, will remember to focus on why she fell in love with her husband, and not on his faults. I was truly touched by her note.
And it reminded me that we would live in a much nicer, safer, and happier world if we always remembered to find what’s good in each and every person we meet. If I want to live in that nicer, happier world (and I do), then it has to start with me.