Sunday, January 20, 2008

Let Things Go?

I was going through some old magazines today so I can rip the stuff out I want to keep and toss the rest. I was reading one of those Can This Marriage be Saved? articles in an old Ladies' Home Journal. The husband felt that his wife complained about everything, and the examples given were that she wanted him to put a bath mat down when he took a shower and to be sure that the shower doors were closed a certain way so that water wouldn't splatter out onto the floor. Of course there was more to it, but this is what jumped out at me because I didn't think it was unreasonable at all for her to expect those things. In the end they resolved their problems and the wife learned to let these 'little' things go. The therapist pointed out that all the wife's rules and 'checking up' on the husband made him think that she thought he was incapable of following them. I would have liked to point out that she wouldn't have to continually check up on him if he would prove that he was capable.

Now, I can be picky with the best of them. I think there's a certain way that things should be done, and I have reasons why they should be done that way. I can understand why the wife would want the bath mat on the floor and the shower doors closed so that the bathroom floor didn't get all wet. Now, if she could be confident that her husband would dry the bathroom floor when he was finished with his shower, then it wouldn't matter so much whether he put the bath mat down or closed the shower doors. Now, I'm only guessing that he didn't do that, otherwise it would not have been such a big deal. So then if she had to come along later and clean up after him, no wonder she kept after him to do the simple things that would prevent the problem in the first place.

I fight with this kind of thing all the time. Not necessarily with my husband, so I'm thankful for that, but I have teenagers. My daughter especially has decided that she's not going to do anything the way I want her to, because that's my way. She doesn't want to hear the reasons. She doesn't want to hear the explanation. She wants to do it her way, whether it works or not. I try to back off and let her do things for herself, but when that means things aren't done properly and I have to come along and 'fix' things later or redo the job, it makes me really irritated. If I could be confident that, however she chose to do it, it would actually be done, and done right the first time, then I wouldn't have to keep after her. Of course, sometimes I think she does things poorly hoping that I won't have her do it ever again. Other times I think she just likes to have things to throw in my face when she's upset - "Nothing I ever do is good enough for you!"

It would be good enough if only I felt she was actually trying to do her best. Is that wrong? Or am I just supposed to let things go? That was the feel I got from the marriage article. Yes, the husband had to get his stuff together, and he had some changing to do, but the wife was supposed to let things go. And I keep wondering - who's supposed to dry the bathroom floor?


  1. Difficult raising teens and letting them grow their own way also.

    I read a bit of advice when I had 3 teenage boys at home (as a single mom too) that was helpful.

    Stand your ground on moral issues and look the other way on the rest, they will sort themselves out in time.

    So that is what I did. I did not get excited when each one in turn showed up bald, or the earring or the hair dyed red. I think it took
    the wind right out of their sails because they could not get a rise out of me. I turned a blind eye to the grunge look, you may remember when there were holes in the jeans you could see right through. I always seemed to have a houseful of teenagers on the weekend and would find bodies sleeping on the floor in the morning. BUT sass me, or step out of line on the moral issues and they knew they would hear from me, and you know they never to my knowledge did cross that line. Teenagers need to rebel, it is normal and if you let them rebel in the little things they are not likely to rebel in the big things. Or at least that is what I have found.

    Eph 6:4 4... don't exasperate your children by coming down hard on them.

  2. I can relate to this. I am a toatl my way or no way kind of person. So far, hubby and kids do mostly what I ask. I'm not looking forward to the teenage years. I hope I can have an attitude like vic's.

  3. I'm often told to drop it, get over it, and let it go... so, I can relate.

    I have to say that I think Vic's comment/advice is wonderful!

  4. OOOOOOOOOOOOooooohhhhhhhhh Anna let me tell you I have 5 of tose girls in my hosue,, I have had to let go of alot.. Then I have taken over the things that really matter to me. I think itis part of their growing up and I can tell you that AFTER they get their own house it looks JUST LIKE YOURS!!! WEIRD I KNOW I thougth so too. I said well why do you have that over there she said because you always did,,,, ohhhhhhhhhh really huh,,, good luck we DO SURVIVE!

  5. Ohh this post makes me realise it's not all bad being an empty nester! lol (term time anyway)


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