Husband/Spouse Will NOT Do What I Say… :)

I see quite a few SCS’s talking about “Husband is doing X” or “He’s driving me crazy, because he WON’T Do X” and “He won’t do what I say, when I say it” – so I thought I’d give my own experience with my partner.

My partner did a few things that drove me crazy. First, he would come into the kitchen and open every drawer looking for something – and I’d come in later and find it looking like a scene from the movie “Poltergeist”. Second, he put all dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter instead of ever putting them in the dishwasher. Third, he would leave his shoes, socks, whatever all over the house – wherever he happened to feel motivated to shed them.

I had LOTS of thoughts about these 3 things. And I shared them ALL with him multiple times. I told him to close drawers he opened, put dirty dishes in dishwasher, pick up after himself. I told him nicely. I told him meanly. I shamed him. I yelled. And I did all 3 of these things (drawers, dishes, pick up) myself each time – while cursing him in my head. I was miserable. And I often made him miserable, too. So we both got to be miserable. And as you can imagine, this mutual resentment about this misery bled into other things and made our entire relationship a tense mess.

Then I realized REALITY. The reality was that “I” wanted these things done. My partner did not. I could “want him to want to” forever – but he just didn’t want to. That was REALITY. The longer I argued with reality, the more I suffered. The REALITY was also that I did all 3 things regardless. So I could choose to continue to argue with reality and suffer… or love reality and stop suffering.

So I chose love. I chose to love my fascinating, interesting partner – and continue to push in drawers, put away dishes, and pick up stuff around the house. And when I finally put away my “should” expectations… my “this isn’t fair” and my “but he should want to” thoughts… and every other negative thought… and replaced them with… “I love putting things just the way I like them”… and “I feel good how well I straighten up”… and “I do such a great job at this, better than anyone else, I’m glad I do this”… my relationship changed completely.

Now, instead of suffering and misery, I feel love. I love my partner. And I love me – because I chose to stop the suffering of myself and my partner. (He doesn’t know any of this. One day I just changed the thoughts – and things went from tense to good to great to awesome! No big pronouncement.)

I still push in drawers, put away dishes, and pick up stuff. I just chose to love my partner at the same time and stop the war. New thoughts, no war. I now find myself smiling when all of the drawers are open. Or I get fascinated when I find what appears to be an entire day’s worth of clothes in a pile in the living room (“Did he vaporize?”). But I no longer start a war and we’re no longer miserable. And no more nasty thoughts when I pick things up. In fact, more often than not I’m mulling over something interesting, something pleasant, while I’m straightening up. (Usually something from Brooke’s most recent podcast or something I just read.)

What’s funny is that without the war, I find he does push in drawers at times. And he does put dishes away at times. And he does pick up his stuff at times. And I find that I’m happy whether he does or not. I’m just happy all the time – and that I like a lot better.

Sure. I could probably shame him over a decade of time until he was a miserable lapdog doing whatever tricks I requested of him. Or he’d leave. But I prefer a fascinating, interesting, loving partner – who doesn’t resent me because I’m trying to control them through emotional manipulation, shaming, guilt, yelling, etc. 😉

So it IS entirely possible to let go of your demands … do what YOU want to do yourself … AND simultaneously LOVE your partner. It felt impossible for me at first, too. (I used to think HORRIBLE thoughts about my partner as I was slamming dishes into the dishwasher) – but now I love my partner AND I love straighting up the house. For me. I got all I wanted – and I realized it didn’t take war. Or for my partner to change one iota.

If you’ll release your grasp on the “should”, “fair”, and “why should I” thoughts and choose love instead, it can make an incredible difference.

Just thought I’d share.