Last week I had an interesting discussion with the guys of the marraige study we are doing*. Several of the gents, including myself, expressed frustration at not being able to see or remember certain things that drive our brides bonkers. For me a big one is a messy car. I can drive the car and not be aware of how messy it is – as long as things don’t hit me in the head or prevent me from driving, I honestly don’t see it. I do, however, know that it bothers my bride a great deal. After 25 years, you’d think I would have found a way to keep the inside of the car looking decent. By the way, her standard of clean is hardly difficult; it’s not that, I just don’t do it. Some of the others guys shared similar things. I am convinced these guys want to do what blesses their brides, but like me they can’t seem to make it happen in a few “blind spot” areas.
There are any number of things that can fall into this category – a few of the top of my mind:
- Keep something clean, or picked up.
- Keep something filled (toilet paper), or emptied (the trash).
- Spend time with the kids in a specific way.
- Care for a pet, or the yard.
- Take her out on a nice, dress up date at least once a month.
- Balance the finances, pay the bills and so on.
One of the suggestions to me for the car was to make a certain day “clean out the car day”. That’s a great idea, but then I have to then remember it. My solution was to put a recurring weekly reminder on my Outlook calendar. Other ways to help you remember would be to set the alarm on your phone to go off at a certain time each day when you need to do something or check to see if it needs to be done. Write notes and leave them where you will see them – if what you need to remember is weekly put the note where you will see it while doing something you do weekly. Make a reminder image for yourself – for example if you forget to walk the dog, put a picture of the dog on the fridge, or by the TV or your home computer.
And finally, tell another guy, or several, about what you want to remember to do – just sharing puts in more in your mind, and if they will remind you for time to time that’s even better.
* Note, I won’t be sharing much from the meetings due to privacy concerns. I will however continue to promote doing a marriage group – the interaction is great and anyone who does anything more than just showing up will be a better spouse for it.