You know what I need to avoid? Stuff that makes me feel all resentful and annoyed.
You know what makes me feel all resentful and annoyed? Keeping score.
But yet, sometimes, I JUST CAN’T HELP MYSELF.
GAH! Why can’t my husband just put his dirty glass in the sink instead of right. near. the. sink? Why did he walk across this floor with his dirty shoes when I just cleaned the floor? LIKE, I JUST CLEANED THE FLOOR, YO. Oh? Do clean towels grow on trees? NO. NO, THEY DON’T. But someone around here thinks they do. This is not a hotel, sir. I do not replace the towels after every use. But you, my selfish friend, are forcing me to do so. These are just a sprinkling of the things that my soul mate, my life partner, and best friend do to completely piss me off. And they fuel the who-does-what-around-here fire.
Strangely to some, I enjoy cleaning. Most of the time. But I want my cleaning to be respected. You know what I mean? And when I need to clean something that I just cleaned … well, my brain goes haywire and I start grumbling as I REclean and I start KEEPING SCORE. And I start to feel like I do everything around here. And I start to feel like this sucks and I want to go on strike. And I get resentful and angry. I list off all of the stuff that I do; I focus on how stressed out it makes me and how mad I get. I get passive aggressive and make comments. I point out all of the wonderful things that I do.
And most times my husband takes all of this in stride; he doesn’t always snap back or show his frustration. But sometimes he does. And we’ve had a couple of doozies when I’ve felt it necessary to push the subject. What I’ve discovered is that he really doesn’t care about cleaning like I do. He doesn’t stress about putting dishes in the dishwasher or picking up wet towels. And I’ve also discovered why, but only when my chore tallying reaches a tipping point.
It’s because he worries about other things: work, bills, our financial future. In most relationships, each partner usually naturally assume responsibility for certain tasks. The duties that I concern myself with just happen to be the ones that are easier for me to list off. But by no means does this mean that they are more important, in the same way that because he silently stresses about his important responsibilities that they are more vital than mine.
One of the many things that I need to remain aware of and try to find balance with is appreciating both sides of this partnership, and not just my own. Don’t get me wrong – I am very grateful for everything that my husband does. And he doesn’t even need to constantly remind me of things that he does or how it makes my life easier, although I have been guilty of forgetting. I guess everyone wins when we combine our scores.
I think that it’s important to find a better way to communicate what is important to me, as well as why it’s important to me, and understand that he might not be able to relate to all of it. And I need to remember that I don’t need to beat him over the head with how much I do around here.
But he does need to RESPECT MY CLEANING!