I often get annoyed with my husband when he interrupts me or makes loud noises. He seems to always pick the worst times to make loud noises, like getting ice out of the ice machine during a sensitive phone call I’m having. However, as I understand the teachings here, there is really no problem with what he’s doing, it’s only in how I choose to interpret it and feel about it. I’m really having trouble accepting this even though I understand it intellectually.
Here are resistant thoughts that come up for me:
-Objectively, someone getting ice right next to another person trying to talk on the phone is annoying and loud, especially after I told him in advance I needed to make a call. How could I interpret this any other way than him being oblivious and a bull in a china shop?
-Why do I have to mentally excuse everything he does as neutral? Noise is not neutral!! Loud noise can be used to torture people actually!
-How come he gets to do whatever he wants, and it’s all on me to manage how I interpret it?
-He clearly thinks way less about these types of things than me. So, I’m just stuck always have to mentally deal with whatever fallout he creates, while he gets to go through life obliviously and disruptively?
Here is a partial model of this specific example:
C: Husband gets ice while I am talking to cemetery director.
(original T: I can’t focus at all on what I’m trying to say.)
alternative T? : I can pause and wait for the ice noise to stop before continuing.
alternative F: In control
alt A: Excuse myself for a moment on the call and place my end on mute. Return to call and apologize for the pause, explaining there was sudden background noise. Continue conversation unfrazzled.
alt R: Phone call continues with minimal disruption.
Here is a model about having to accept this C (and other things my husband does) as neutral:
C: LCS teaches that circumstances are neutral.
T: My husband is objectively annoying and loud.
A: Bristle whenever I can hear his footsteps leaving his office. Bristle whenever I can hear him flushing the toilet in the bathroom. Bristle when he says something to me when I’m trying to focus. Bristle when he makes a sudden loud noise in his office, like adjusting and it makes a sudden loud thump. Bristle when he moves while we watch Netflix since the chair creaks. Tense up when I’m working out in the basement and can hear him walking across the floor upstairs very heavy-footed. Stare at him in anger anytime he opens the freezer to get more ice.
R: I reinforce the belief that my husband is annoying and loud [but, my mind immediately objects to this result, by countering: “He creates the noise, and it is objectively a certain decibel level–this isn’t just something I imagine or “interpret”–it really is louder than noise in the house growing up or when I lived alone. No one likes sudden loud noises–it is a human / animal response to startle when that happens, so it’s only natural I would feel this way in response”]