Woman to Women
Never say Never
Words that won’t get you far in an argument
By: Jennifer Canzoneri
I recently came across a realization about myself and my relationship that was eye opening and jaw dropping. Telling your husband (or partner) that he “never” does something or “always” does something isn’t the most effective way to get a point across, regardless of how valid that point may be.
My husband has never (no, really) folded his own clothes since the day I met him. It’s been a little agreement of ours-he’ll do this or that, and I’ll wash, dry and fold the laundry.
But, halfway through the ninth load on a given day I begin to resent him for these roles we fell into, long ago. These roles I agreed to. And I’ll stomp over to him, while he watches Mythbusters or Family Guy and list every grievance I have with him, from laundry to the type of flowers he bought me more than a year ago. And I will say to him, usually without fail, “You NEVER do the dishes. And you ALWAYS ignore me when I’m talking to you. And you NEVER cuddle me anymore.”
It’s easy to make such blanket statements, as in that moment he’s literally doing NOTHING for me, and it’s causing me to forget all the good in him. And, of course, my husband is brimming with good.
One day, on the tail end of a fight, he said to me, “It just doesn’t help when you’re Negative Nancy and you claim I never do things. Even if I don’t do something often, there’s nothing I’ve never done. And nothing I always do.”
And while, he’s NEVER done the laundry, he had a point about everything else. He’ll never do a load of laundry if I continue to ask him to help by blaming and accusing; if I continue to ask him to help without asking for help at all.
Tell us: What is one piece of marriage advice you would offer up, if asked?