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Have You Been Accidentally Abusing Your Husband?

May 27, 2015 4 min read

Think carefully before you answer. Imagine this: You call your husband and ask him to pick up some things on the way home from work. Bread, coffee cream, eggs. Simple trip. When he gets home, you unload the bag and find that he bought half and half and not the light cream you normally buy. You look at him and say "what's this?" He looks back and you and says "cream." You proceed to tell him he didn't get the right kind. He looks confused, inquires as to whether there was a brand you preferred over that one. You tell him he's missing the point and that you had wanted the kind with less fat. He laughs it off and says "oh, I thought I had really screwed up or something." And that's the last straw for you. You berate him for not being smart enough to get the right kind, do you have to spell it out for him? Why wouldn't he choose the lower fat option? Does he not know you are on a diet? You asked him to do one little thing.... He mutters he's sorry and you just brush that off. No real resolution is found. But you do notice that he looks relieved when it is over. Sound familiar? There is a reason that nagging wife is a stereotype. That desire to change the way he does every little thing can cause some messes. But when you think about it, it is just a lack of communication. Are you really upset that he bought the wrong cream or are you upset that he didn't notice the kind you always buy? If you ask him to do something and he does it differently than you would have or differently than you wanted it done, is he wrong? No. How can he know you have specific requirements if you don't tell him? We all make mistakes, we all have accidents. Maybe you find a shard of glass on the floor. When you ask about it, he says he broke a glass and cleaned it up. You immediately want to know why he didn't tell you. He didn't tell you because he didn't want you to get upset. Now, you've pointed out that he is clumsy and, in a round about way, you've pointed to his poor cleaning skills. You have now also been made aware that he is trying to avoid you. Think about what this behaviour says to him. It can't be good to his sense of self. It will get so that he wakes up every day thinking "I wonder what I will screw up today." You tell him, through your actions, that you don't respect him or think he is very intelligent. If you actually thought that, you likely wouldn't have married him. Treating him like he's an idiot will only breed resentment and destroy your marriage. If you get bent out of shape over the tiniest things, you need think about why. Is it because you think his making mistakes means he's too lazy to really care about your happiness? Do you think he isn't paying attention to you? Think before you speak. Would he have agreed to run the errand (or whatever it is) if he didn't care about you? It is so hard to escape gender stereotypes in our society. Women nag. Men are hapless fools. You see in it in advertising, movies, television. My father has a friend who calls his wife "she who must be obeyed." It is offered as a joke but is it really? You shouldn't marry someone with the hopes of changing them. If he does something differently than the way you do, than he does something differently than the way you do. Full stop. You load the dish washer one way, he does another. As long as the dishes get clean, who the hell cares? It isn't worth losing your mind over. Maybe you just need to take time to appreciate your man. Plan a special night, just the two of you. Engage his intellect, talk about his interests. Rediscover why you love him in the first place. Men are not idiots. Don't belittle him. Don't berate him. Talk to him. If he buys the wrong cream, say "thanks for grabbing the cream. I prefer the lower fat variety but your stopping to get it really made my day much easier." And guess what, next time, he'll get the right one, you avoided a fight and you didn't make him feel like a complete ass. You told the truth. His running the errand was a help. If you have been sweeping larger issues under the rug and they are manifesting in a nag, it might be time to address those. Don't let your relationship go to ruin over nothing. Your nagging implies you expect more from your man. Time to drop that, expect more from yourself. Think before you speak and treat your husband like the man you married. You know he's worth it.

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