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day 3 – crazy little thing called love

November 3, 2013

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Not even two years into our marriage and Joe and I have found ourselves in the all-too familiar toxic terrain of most married couples– Nagville. That place where one is so hell bent on focusing on the boxer shorts lying on the bathroom floor (are they going to walk themselves to the hamper?) or that sucking sound he does with his teeth (must you do that?) or how he spends too much time on his bloody phone (seriously?).

We all do it, don’t we ladies?

I recently read about a study,Β which found that wives spend “7,920 minutes a year nagging their husbands about household chores, their drinking and their health. That’s the equivalent of five and a half days.” Crickey! I don’t know about you but I’m pretty sure I have better things to do with those five and a half days than nagging my husband.

This toxic habit is something that absolutely must be nipped in the bud before it becomes the thing that breaks you. A nasty little parasite that slowly eats away at your marriage, leaving both partners feeling depleted. It’s hypercritical, disrespectful, manipulative, and, quite frankly, it’s not very nice.

And so, Joe and I decided for the month of October to write something every night that we were grateful for in the other. Directing our focus on the small things that we do for each other doesn’t negate the annoying sucking sound or the iPhone addiction but it does make me realise that the good far outweighs the bad.

Sure, I’m manic about the domestic chores because I care about having a clean house. It’s just not as important to him. But what he is good at, is taking me into his arms when I’m a hormonal lunatic and saying “What’s going on here? Talk me through it?” followed by some ridiculous invented-on-the-spot nickname or an endearing “You are a very silly person”, which always has the desired effect of calming me down. And that is worth way more than a pair of boxer shorts in a hamper.

There will always be wet towels on the bed and those towels will never sprout legs and walk themselves to the towel rack. But picking up the towel for him is a small price to pay for being with a man who not only puts up with my emotional outbursts but also plays along with me when we do our Sunday shopping and I say that our bikes simply must be chained together because they are having a secret love affair and who are we to deny them their crazy bicycle romance?

Little blessings. It’s all about the little blessings.

And there really are so many when you start to focus on them.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2013 6:51 pm

    Very nice post and thoughts…check in after 45 years and let me know how your doing with that?? It can be done.

  2. November 3, 2013 8:20 pm

    Oh wow, so familiar. And I’m not even married πŸ˜‰ Reading your post made me smile, laugh out loud even. I recognise so much, and indeed towels will never walk themselves to the hamper. But I can do that, takes way less energy and time than to nag about it. Must remember that when I once again fall asleep in his arms, after spilling my guts about whatever deep thoughts or silly things were on my mind.

    Thanks you!

  3. Sue permalink
    November 3, 2013 8:25 pm

    33 years married for us this year and counting! If you want it to work, it will πŸ™‚

  4. November 3, 2013 9:03 pm

    Its sad but I know I am a nagger. Maybe my boyfriend and I should start trying the same thing you all are doing.

  5. November 3, 2013 9:21 pm

    Oh, this is good. So. Good. I don’t really nag, but I also don’t focus on those little good things. That is important. That is a great place to start. Thank you!

  6. November 3, 2013 10:15 pm

    Oh, this sounds very familiar. I turned into a terrible nag after moving to the UK and into the Englishman’s house. I used to say “Well, don’t give me reasons to nag you (i.e. be more tidy, more attentive, more interested in the things I like) then I won’t be a nag.” But with hindsight I know that this was not so much about his annoying little habits but much more about the unhappiness I was feeling within. The nagging was my way of asking to be seen by him because I couldn’t see myself, I was too lost during those years. Nagging is definitely a toxic habit and in my case it was a contributor to the eventual demise of my relationship with the Englishman. On the upside my American husband nowadays benefits from this because I have learned my lessons and whenever I feel a nag coming on I ask myself: “What is REALLY bugging you?” And the answer is never about the boxer shorts on the floor πŸ™‚

  7. Christina permalink
    November 3, 2013 11:34 pm

    I love the idea of you two saying something you like about one another everyday !!

  8. Alison permalink
    November 4, 2013 1:26 am

    Ah going with the flow. So much more calming than paddling against the current. As for the iphone you might have to ask Christina’s advise about Monsieur Minute. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  9. November 6, 2013 1:04 pm

    Great post! And yes… It can be done. I grew up with a nagger… And promised myself I wouldn’t be that way… And yet… :-). But focusing on all the good stuff is a great way to do it! 19 years in.. And we keep working on it πŸ™‚

  10. November 6, 2013 6:43 pm

    you. quite. simply. rock.

    thanks for the encouragement to get out of nagville. krikey. yes.

  11. Naomi Hattaway permalink
    November 6, 2013 6:50 pm

    After our almost 11 years, we are TOTALLY naggers, but at each other and in love and jest. It’s gotten to the point though where we DO the things we’re about to be nagged about JUST to save the energy spent on the nag! Win-win πŸ™‚

  12. November 8, 2013 9:26 pm

    I love the idea of writing down something your grateful for about the other person. That so great and so beautiful. πŸ™‚

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