Two weeks ago on a Saturday morning, my husband came home from a neighborhood car wash.
He’d brought in some groceries and as we put them away began to chat about car washes and costs.
“That car wash had a good deal – 8 bucks!” He sounded impressed.
I was impressed too.
“The 8 dollars did not include washing the tires though,” he added
“But who wants to have a clean car and dirty tires?” I laughed “That’s just a deal to get people through the door!”
“It’s a pretty good deal actually.” Hubby responded, rustling bags “Sometimes you don’t have to clean everything…”
Debate Street, here we come.
He went on to give examples of when a car would not need tire cleaning, just a body wash.
And I shared my woman-sense on everything he had to say.
In no time, an easy Saturday morning chatter had dissolved into hubby-trying-to-get-the-upper-hand-and-win–the-conversation slug out.
At least that’s how I felt.
“And he’s been at it this whole week, trying to have the last word on everything!” My irritation rose.
I kept my mouth shut but the groceries must have felt my growing annoyance.
And then my heart started talking.
“Whatevers going on now (and has being going on thorough out the week) is not Tommy’s fault”
“He’s not being difficult or competitive or hard of hearing. He’s just being his regular self.”
I didn’t want to hear it but knew what was coming.
“But you’ve not been yourself”
Slapped upside the head
Have you had moments when you know the truth but you still want to stay mad?
I was irritated and I wanted to stay irritated.
It was easier to stay irritated, than to try and examine my issues.
But the truth was that I’d had a challenging week.
I was drained, emotionally and physically. I had little margin for daily life. I was sensitive and irritable.
Thus what was easy and fun to do – lively banter and conversations- had become a battle.
We need reminders
I don’t know about you but I need this reminder all the time – What I am going through personally will affect how I respond to my husband.
If I can wait it out, I’ll avoid unnecessary conflict.
A few years ago my irritation would have poured out.
“Why can’t you just agree with me for once, why do you have to win all the time?!” The preposterous-ness of a new wife.
She doesn’t know to make a point without slicing out respect.
But on this Saturday morning, even though I wanted to stay annoyed, I quietly processed how I was the one at fault.
Has your house been a little chilly this week?
Are you irritated and annoyed with small things?
Maybe you can try these 4 things;
1. Take a breather
Sometimes all you need is to glance away – look out of the window, look above his head, look away – to get a hold of yourself.
Just take a break. Take a timeout.
2. Pull up your own driveway first.
Be quick to examine yourself and slower to judge him. (Click to Tweet)
If you’ve been feeling irritated for a while, examine yourself real closely.
Think about other areas of life, what is out of balance, out of the ordinary?
If you are the problem, take a deep breath, extend yourself some grace and recognize it’s just a season (if indeed it is. Mine was).
If there’s something you can do about your stresses, other than wait them out, do something.
3. Let it go
Let go of the irritation. Intentionally kick it out of your mind and heart and get on with life.
4. Let him know your needs
If you can communicate to your husband what you need in the season, let him know where you are at.
I confess I didn’t tell mine where I was at that point. But we need to. Share with your husband and don’t expect him to figure it out.
Your turn – How do you deal with irritations and annoyances in your marriage?