I forget my husband is not a child anymore


Unless you hang out a lot with us at home, you are not likely to know this. I forget my husband is not a child anymore.

“Please don’t drop any crumbs on the floor.” “Please lock the door when you come in.” “Please don’t slam the fridge door.” “Please dry your feet after showering.” “Please turn down the fan.”

The do’s and don’ts I spell out will put off the toughest disciplinarian, but the biggest frustration for my husband is to be controlled by my rules in the house we share over some of the things that he’s been doing (or not) for 25 years of his life!

Besides the obvious restriction (we all know what’s it like to ditch a habit), I suspect the frustration’s also because I’m not showing him much respect by reminding him of his boundaries all the time.

My motives are equally mixed. On one hand, these are fairly normal things you do to keep a house running; on the other hand, I nag because I’m just unwilling to do more work than what I think is fair.

In other words, my attitude is something like: I’ve done enough work around here. Now stay out of trouble and don’t create more work for me. (Optional grunt for emphasis)

Hardly the stuff of love and sacrifice!

My loving husband will gladly do all those things that I ask him; and when he doesn’t, it’s only because he’s human and he forgets. He is not intentionally adding to my chores.

However when I’m scolding, I’m only focusing on the outward behavior (which takes time to change) and not looking at his heart (which is willing to change). What a complete lack of grace — no wonder he’s discouraged to try to do those things which helps me!

I’m still learning to curb my tongue and give grace to my husband.


4 responses »

  1. Hmmm. This really struck a note with me. I can’t help but feel that your husband sounds a lot like my 17 year old. She isn’t intentionally adding to our chores, but she is definitely taking us for granted. As I am sure you know, I do not see my role as keeper of the house–a keeper of the home, yes, but we all must share the responsibilities for the house.

  2. hey laura! now that you put it that way, i think that probably would describe my behaviour if I were still staying with my parents today – taking them for granted. 😦 What do you do when you feel that skye’s taking you for granted?

    graham and i are still working out what are our expectations when it comes to sharing responsibilities for the house, i guess. our main source of conflict is that our standards for what’s normal and acceptable are so different! he grew up with 4 boys in the house (you can imagine the chaos at home) and i was the only girl. Need to REFORM his standards! Muahaha.

  3. my husband grew up with two brothers in a posh condo on Park Avenue in Manhattan. When we first started living together, he complained bitterly because I was such a slob. He said his mother, who entertained frequently, never had people over unless the place was immaculate. I said that we never had people over; they just dropped in. Very different socio-economic backgrounds.

    We worked in the same office, and I remember protesting: you saw my desk! what did you think I would be like at home?

    The truth of the matter was quite simple: he was raised to care, and I wasn’t. My mother *worked*. I was taught to care about other things. I simply did not see the mess. I didn’t expect him to pick it up, and I didn’t expect him to expect me to do it either. I did things when I had to, not before.

    Eventually, I changed. He changed. My standards rose; his dropped. And now we have the best housekeeper on the planet. She is the glue that keeps our *house*, not our home, together.

    Skye definitely takes us for granted. But she too is learning, because we have learned to cut her off. If she wants to enjoy her creature comforts, then she has to demonstrate her appreciation of those creature comforts in her *home* a bit more than she does.

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