Yesterday, Tim and I got in a fight about laundry. About 75% of our fights revolve around cleaning (for real).
I was folding heaps of clothing, when Tim came over to "help." He immediately started unhanging all of his clothes (that I had just hung!) and telling me that they were hung "incorrectly."
To Tim, there is "only 1 way to clean." That's a direct quote. He thinks there is a certain system for folding laundry, hanging clothes, loading the dishwasher, mopping the floor, even scrubbing the toilets...and heaven help the person who deviates (that's usually me). ;)
I'm a neat person, but it's more like this: If I look around and see clean floors, clutter-free countertops, and all the clothes in drawers, I am content. He looks and says, "My black socks don't go in the left corner of this drawer!" Uh-huh.
I may or may not have huffed, "You are so inflexible!" and stomped out the RV with our 1-year-old on my hip after yesterday's incident. Embarrassingly, I also bonked her head into the wall in my hurry to get out.
We have days like that - when the symmetry is off, when the Grumposaurus Rex comes to get us. (Does he ever come to your house?).
You may sometimes read my blog and wonder how it's possible that we are so happy. It may even seem that we are pretending, that this whole thing is a big farce.
But we're not pretending. We ARE ridiculously happy. It's just perspective.
If you were to see the overarching themes of my life (if you could hear the music of the soundtrack of me...), you would undoubtedly see beauty and wonder, love and magic. You would hear a glorious symphony, with notes of laughter and magnificence. Of course, there would also be sad tunes and stomping marches...but mostly, you'd hear a comforting melody.
When I came back in the RV twenty minutes later, Tim had put away all of HIS clothes - and left my clothes and the girls' clothes sprawled out on the bed. "I didn't want to mess up your system," he remarked, matter-of-factly. "Unlike you, I don't HAVE a system," I retorted snootily (now with a half-smile on my face), "I'm just satisfied when the clothes are put away."
Later that night, our 4-year-old turned on the country music station and all four of us danced in the main room to Alison Krauss. As I sang along into a pretend microphone with animated gestures, he caught me in an embrace and said, "I'm sorry; I love you."
The orchestra played and the back-up singers chorused, "You're so lucky to have a life like this, a life like this..." Except that music wasn't playing on the radio. It was playing in my heart.
What do you and your spouse fight about the most?
When it comes to cleaning I do clean the house differently than my hubby but I have learned that there are other things I would rather fight about - right now I am not sure - but I am live with him putting my clothes in drawers when I would hang them up.
I loved that you shared this, thank you! My husband and I fight most about "who has it hardest" (sounds really pathetic when I say it). Just yesterday I asked him if he would help me change my son's diaper, and he said "but babe, I have to eat, and I've been watching them all morning!" And I barked back, "I have to eat too, and I just made my coffee, and you got up with the kids because I was up ALL NIGHT LONG with both of them, not just sleeping in like a lazy mama!"
It's like the one-ups never end until we remember that we can vent and share our struggles, but we need to have empathy for the others struggles!
I totally understand what you mean, Carrington. We sometimes quarrel about that same thing too. It's easy to lose sight of the fact that both of us are working REALLY HARD all of the time. (Tim is actually one of the hardest working people I know - it's one of the qualities that I was initially attracted to when we were dating).
Ha! I love that you posted this. Not because you and Tim were fighting, but because it is so 'normal'. We don't fight all that much, but we sure get short and snappy with one another. I laughed when I read Sarah's comment too. Markus and I typically get annoyed and short with one another when we are both over tired. The main cause of many of our disagreements and tense moments is driving! Thanks for sharing this...and for being real!
I don't know that we fight. My husband gets annoyed if I "surprise" him - sometimes I will go from being totally calm to super excited and yell out something and startle him, and he really hates it when I do that - b/c usually it's like in the car when he's driving, and I'll be reading and then go "oh oh oh! you know what!!!" and it practically makes him drive off the road, and yeah then he's a little mad and we don't talk for like 5 minutes. :)
I get upset if he uses a sarcastic tone - like if I say "are you going to break down those boxes for recycling?" and he might say "I'd prefer NOT to!" in a tone sharper than I feel necessary. I say, "you know, you don't have to say it like that!" b/c tone of voice is really important to me... and he'll say he's sorry.
We have never yelled/screamed or name-called one time in our whole relationship. He is so easy going that very l ittle really gets to him. I get hurt feelings from time to time but if I just tell him, he is genuinely sorry and it's never intentional - just him being a guy! :) - so that's about it! :)
Our fights aren't really "fights" in the typical sense either (we don't yell, slam doors, call names, etc). BUT there are definitely moments when we drive each other crazy...especially related to cleaning.
This is too funny! We have had many of those scraps as well (except I play the part of Tim and he plays you). Most of our sessions of "tense words" revolve around two things: Money/Keeping to the Budget and His Driving Habits. The man learned to drive in Mexico City - 'nuff said!
My husband and I have been dating/married for 11 years and we also rarely fought, until our son was born. We both love our son to pieces, but I think the exhaustion of caring for a newborn and wanting to be 100% perfect parents (which is obviously impossible) caused us to fight about the silliest things. Things are much better now that our son is older and we have adjusted to parenthood.
Now the thing that irritates me is when he gets frustrated about something minor, like not being able to find something, and he gets this angry tone in his voice. I feel like he's taking his frustration out on me, when he insists that he is not.
I think I am more like Tim when it comes to cleaning. I am very particular too. Is Tim the oldest sibling in his family? I think that is where my cleaning "issues" and overall need for perfection come from.
Yes, Tim is a firstborn (he has two younger siblings). I am third in a family of six kids.
Most of our disagreements occur when I temporarily forget my husband is not a mind reader - if I want something done or feel a certain way about a topic, I need to actually TELL my husband. This normally occurs when I'm already in a grumpy mood or very tired and my patience level is low. I always own up to my grumps later and apologize. I am thankful for a forgiving husband :)
I often have to remind myself that "Different isn't wrong, it's just different." - mainly in regards to my cleaning issues.
Steph.....I am so glad you shared this because MOST of the fights we have are about cleaning too! His definition of clean is sooo not my definition of clean.....I love that you are so open and honest.....I miss coming to your site. Dec. was crazy...I'm hoping to slow down in the new year....perspective.....hugs!
I'm so glad you shared this. I've actually wondered what you guys fight about. I know that things aren't always perfect in your home; no one's home is perfect. But you do have a way of portraying the best of times. :-) Which is awesome, because you are inspiring and encouraging and I can tell it is totally for real and that you truly are "ridiculously happy." But it's nice to get a glimpse into the not-so-perfect every once in a while. :-)
We fight about... fighting. LOL. I dunno, my husband can be rather... argumentative. It's like a sport to him. Drives me BATTY.
People have a hard time believing that my husband and I rarely fight too. And, when we do it is usually about cleaning. He believes in picking up as you go....and I believe it leaving the mess for a later time.
I would have to say I am right with you. We are so wondersouly happy! :) but we..ok..usually me, since my husband is so laid back and nothing every gets to him.....do "fight" about once a month, usually right before that time of the month for me, and it all stems down to underlying issues that I have. He patiently waits until I am done ranting, takes me him his arms and assures me that he isn't every going anywhere. What a blessing!
I wish it wasn't true, but I tend to get grumpier around that "time" too. Sometimes when I'm feeling overwhelmed and on edge, I step back and look at the calendar...and then say "aha!" ;)
Oh yes, we have days like that too! I think it has just been in the past year (we've been married 14 1/2) that I found out my husband does not know how to fold clothes. Everything is either hung or somewhat put into a squared shape. It was a real aha moment when he finally made that admission!
I don't think we fight about a particular subject. I think we only fight when one of us is particularily stressed out and then it can be any random thing that will be the subject of the fight. It's always nice when the moment passes and you can move on!
Oh Steph...our husband's are from the same.exact.mold:) ALL of our fights stem from cleaning...or lack there of. Any "normal" person would come into our house and think our house is clean...however, my husband's mood can change if he sees laundry piled high or "crunchies" on the floor. Don't get me wrong, I love a clean house..but...squeaky clean isn't necessary. After all, we have two kiddos and a HUGE dog:)
My new saying is this,"I can only clean so much and I will do what I can. If it is not to your standards, please do it your way"....huge disclaimer we had to discuss is this...."If you do it YOUR WAY, then you can't complain about how I do it" ......lately, it has worked!
*I must admit that it is totally AWESOME to have a husband that helps with cleaning, cooking and is "plugged" into our family*
Your sentence abut "normal people" made me smile. I often use that same phrase when talking to Tim because he is constantly telling me how dirty our house is when - in actuality - it's quite clean.
*I second what you said though. Tim isn't a slacker when it comes to house-cleaning. He works hard - in and out of our house. For that, I am extremely grateful.
Ha! My husband says (fill in the blank) - osaurus Rex, too. Funny!
We mostly have "fights" about me being too lenient toward something, and him seeing it as a more serious matter.
My husband fight about cleaning the most! He doesnt like to take part in any of it. But goes off when he cant find his gloves or something. I like to be in charge of all the cleaning, so I know exactly where things are; but I would love for him to offer help instead of me asking for it.
One good thing about Tim is that he doesn't just complain. He cleans...often. In fact, he almost always scrubs the bathrooms, mops the floors, and vacuums the carpets - and he does a REALLY good job too!
Oh that sounds so much like us! My husband is extremely particular about how things are done and I have to fight the urge to shut down because of it. After years of laundry grumps we now do our own laundry from start to finish. We even have separate hampers, hehe. :)
I'm very curious to see how our son will turn out. He already loves to clean and wants to do everything the way his dad does. I have a feeling he'll be arranging his own room very soon.
Maybe Tim & I should each do our own laundry too...to avoid the "laundry grumps." ;)
One question for you: Who does your son's laundry?