Time for another something that Works for Me, thanks to Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer. For more tips, check out her Works for Me Wednesday page.
This isn't a house tip, or a kid tip. This is something that works for my marriage. As you all know, I am a very bad housekeeper. SuperMom I am not, and there are many things I'm very good at, but keeping up with housework just ain't one of them. The only real thing John and I have ever fought about is our home, and usually when family is coming out for a visit. I must say, though, that these fights have become fewer and much farther in between, and this is one of the reasons.
I read a wonderful book a while back, and was totally inspired by it. It recommended finding out the top three (or two, or five, or twenty-seven) things that are important to your partner. So one morning, I caught John on his way to do some work out back, and I said, 'Will you be thinking about the things that you'd most like for me to have done when you get home from work? I'd like to sit down and talk about it later, if that's ok with you.' Yeah, like any guy is going to turn that offer down! Later that day, while the kids were asleep, we say down and had a great talk.
It turns out that the things that are important to him, are things that weren't on my radar. At all. I don't notice the coffee table, except when I run into it, but John loves it when he comes home and the coffee table is cleared off. Ok, that's an easy one to do. Check!
Ditto the kitchen table. Now, I notice this one a little more, but I didn't realize how important it is to him. I can do that, too. Check!
Floor clean under the table. Well, I already told y'all my method for that. And it's been working wonderfully.
You see, there were things that I was working very hard to get done before John got home, like having the porch cleared off, or the bathroom counter wiped down. And it turned out that he didn't really care about those things. But the things I wasn't getting done were the ones that were driving him postal. And it wasn't that he felt that I wasn't getting enough done. He would just rather me do certain things before I move on to others. (And I'm not saying that he doesn't like a clean porch of bathroom. He does. He'd just rather that I clean the coffee table and kitchen table before I move on the the bathroom and porch.)
And it works both ways. John never noticed that he leaves his shoes all over the floor. Makes me postal. Dishes left in the sink? Ditto. And once I showed that I was willing to listen to what's important to him, he was even more willing to listen to things that matter to me.
It's a process. This talk that we had was about two years back, and I've come a long way since then. It's just something that I continue to work on, and John has had to learn to bring things up when he notices them, and not stew on them and get upset before he ever tells me about it, because chances are that I haven't even noticed the thing that's driving him crazy.
It's all about communication, people!!! Talk to your SO, and even more importantly, be sure to listen when they have something important to say. (And ladies, make sure you don't spring a laundry list of complaints on him out of nowhere!!!!!!! This is a very, very, terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad thing to do to him!!!)
So that's what works for me. Any thoughts or questions? What works for you?