Have you ever asked your husband to do something, like the dishes? So he does the dishes and you get upset because he didn’t do them correctly? And by correctly I mean the way you would do it.
This is something I think all women do at one point or another- they forget that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Just because someone does a job differently than you would doesn’t mean it is wrong, it just means it is different.
The first time I realized this was after my first child was born. I couldn’t breastfeed because it turns out my son was tongue-tied and was unable to latch on. But we didn’t figure this out (even after doctor’s visits, a nursing class, and a private nursing coach) until after my milk had dried up. So we had to use formula. I always held my son cuddled in my arms when I gave him a bottle. But one day I had to give the baby to my husband to feed. He sat with the baby facing him propped up by his leg and gave the baby his bottle. I was aghast!
“You can’t feed the baby that way”, I exclaimed!
“Why not” my husband replied, “He is taking the bottle”.
“But you are holding him wrong, you have to hold him in your arms!” I shouted.
At this point my husband looked at me like I was insane (which I was) moved the baby into his arms and the baby finished the bottle.
I remember thinking long and hard about this incident and realized that just because my husband held the baby differently than I did, didn’t make it wrong, or harmful. It was just different. And frankly the baby didn’t care how he was held, he just wanted to eat! This was a huge epiphany for me. My husband wasn’t me! He would take care of the kids in a different way than I would and that was OK!
I am not saying that the way my husband does things doesn’t irritate me. I mean the man takes forever to do the dishes. But guess what? If he does the dishes then I don’t have to! And I still get clean dishes! I have learned to define my goal before I ask him to do something. Is my goal to have clean dishes or is my goal to get the dishes done quickly? If the goal is clean dishes then he can do them. If the goal is to have them done quickly then I do them. This saves me from being angry at him for something he can not help- the fact he is not me.
So the next time your husband does a chore “wrong” ask yourself if he actually did it incorrectly or if he just didn’t do it the way you would of done it. And if the answer is he didn’t do it the way you would have, then you have to ask yourself if your goal is to get the chore done or if the goal is to have it done your way. Your husband isn’t you, he will do things differently and that is OK!