by Tara Pringle Jefferson
Now, to be clear, I’m not talking about abusive criticism, but rather comments and concerns raised by your spouse in response to something they perceive as detrimental to the relationship. Got it?
The other day, my husband and I got into an argument about something (can’t even remember what it was now) and I paused in the middle of it. Something occurred to me, so I asked my husband a question.
“Do you think I always focus on what you don’t do, rather than the things you do to help me out around the house?”
BMWK family, before I even finished making the “h” sound in “house” he answered, “Yes.”
Say it with me – daaaaaaaang.
It hurt, because I like to think that I show my appreciation much more than I express my displeasure. But when taking his feelings into account I had to remember the following:
1) His feelings are just as valid as mine. That one’s pretty explanatory.
2) We are a team. If he says there is a problem, then I need to take it seriously. It is not just MY marriage, but OUR marriage. If one person ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
3) Perception is important. While I think I give him enough praise for his good deeds around the house, he obviously feels otherwise. My perception and his don’t mesh, but it doesn’t mean we aren’t both right. Acknowledge it and move on.
It can be hard, but I realize I’m a work in progress. I told my husband that I didn’t want to be the same wife in year 10 of our marriage that I was in year one. I actually want to grow and change and become a better, more forgiving, more agreeable version of myself. I take any criticism or suggestion and make appropriate changes – because I not only want the best for me, but I want the best for us.
How do you handle criticism from your spouse? Hate it? Accept it for what it is?
Tara Pringle Jefferson is a freelance writer and blogger living in Ohio with her husband and two children. Visit her blog, www.theyoungmommylife.com, to read more of her observations about life, motherhood and love.