*This post is inspired by this comic. Probably should read it first.*
I love Mr. Lyndsy. I appreciate everything he does for our marriage. He works full-time and I work part-time. When I can’t cover my bills with what I make (student loans, credit cards), there’s a transfer so I can. (We have separate bank accounts because of where we earn money.)
When it comes to things about the house and our life together, however, we look at things very differently. Mr. Lyndsy is like a lot of men, in that he’s a problem solver. If there is an immediate need, he will address it and try to “fix” the situation. Trash needs to be taken out? He takes it out.
When I look at the trash though, I see that it needs to be taken out AND that a new bag needs to go into the bin so we can throw out more trash. That does not seem to ever occur to Mr. Lyndsy, because pretty much every time I go into the kitchen after he takes out the trash, there isn’t a bag in the bin.
Neither of us likes doing dishes. I sometimes think Mr. Lyndsy calls and schedules cleaning people JUST so the dishes get done. He doesn’t expect me to do things that he doesn’t want to do, which I appreciate. However, there are some things in life we just need to do and get on with it.
For a while I was the only one who did the dishes. I sort of felt obligated since I work from home and he was gone so many hours during the day. Then my body crapped out on me and I didn’t think it was worth the back pain to deal with a sink full of dirty dishes.
Around the same time, I left Mr. Lyndsy by himself at the apartment for a month. He’d decided that he wanted to eat healthier, which meant more cooking. When I got back from my trip, I noticed that he was washing dishes! Right after he finished cooking something, he transferred it to the bowls and washed the pan! The next day, he’d wash his bowl!
But that was it. There could be dishes in the sink from me or other things he’d eaten (like oatmeal – totally caked on), and he wouldn’t touch those. At least until he needed one. But then he’d only wash the one.
To me, there is no point in only washing one dish as I need it. If you’ve got soap on the sponge, make it work for you. Wash what’s in the sink. That way you don’t have to put the food you desire on hold. But that’s not the way his mind works, apparently.
I love efficiency and effectiveness. Given the pain I’m in on a daily basis, I’m going to make my actions work for me. If I’m going from the bedroom to the kitchen to get water, I’m taking everything with me on the way that needs to go to the kitchen too. If there’s a cup on the dining room table, I grab it on the way. I do the same thing on the way back. The bathroom is next to the bedroom, so if something needs to go there, it comes with me on the return.
My mind automatically seeks out the next step in pretty much any process. Because there’s almost always a next step. And that next step will affect the one after that. I’m able to identify potential problems before they actually become a real problem. We won’t be scrambling at the last minute trying to deal with something because I thought ahead.
What it does mean though is that the load falls to me to be responsible for the whole picture. I occasionally wonder if he just thinks magic makes things as easy as they often end up being because I do look out for the whole picture. I don’t know whether he has a true appreciation for the pressure it puts on me.
I know it’s not his fault that I’m built the way I am – to look at the whole picture – but he did marry me that way. He, and everyone in the same position he’s in, should appreciate the value that I bring to the marriage because I do operate that way. He should understand why I get frustrated when plans are sprung on me.
I’m not asking him to do things the way I do. Yes, it would be great if he spent more time in front of the sink, hands covered in dish soap. I’d like it if he folded my laundry when taking it off the rack like I often do his. But at the end of the day, I’d be happy with him expressing that he SEES what I do and VALUES it.