Don’t try to make your way better.

June 22, 2011

in Be a grownup, Series

Teddy bear and toilet paper © Gunnar3000 | Dreamstime.com

There are a great many things in life, and in marriage, that can be done a number of ways with no way inherently better than the others. A good example of this is which way the toilet paper is hung. I can give you both benefits and problems with both ways, and while most of us prefer one to the other, the fact is it’s JUST A PREFERENCE.

However, some folks try to make their preferences “better” than any other preference for the same thing. Often this is done to try and get their way – if their way is better, their spouse should do it their way because it’s better. To me, this seems unfair and manipulative. State your preferences, let your bride do the same, then work out how to do things as adults. Another thing – please don’t expect her to do some task AND do it the way you like it done. If you care that much, do it yourself.

There are places where one person’s preference should be honoured. As an example, say your family always talks quietly and calmly, while her family often talks loudly and excitedly. When she talks this way, you feel she is yelling at you. It is NOT fair to tell her she is yelling at you; while you honestly feel she is, she honestly feels she is not. Your perception is no more valid than hers is. However, she needs to understand how it affects you when you feel she is yelling at you. She needs to accept that her volume is a problem for you, and in this case, she needs to work to change because of the way the action makes you feel. Reverse the genders, and you need to change. If how one of you does things hurts the other, if your preference causes your spouse a problem, then love and decency require change. However, don’t claim harm just to get your way.

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3 comments
The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@marseille55 - Yup, been there, been run over by that! Had one guy try to convince me that multitasking was a violation of God's will. Basically he didn't do it and I did, and he wanted me to stop. *SIGH*

Lesli Doares
Lesli Doares

It is so refreshing to find such helpful information presented so clearly. Moving out of right/wrong to what works for both partners is an essential transition for marriage. Too bad more people don't get this.

marseille55
marseille55

The point that we normally get into trouble concerning preferences is not just thinking that our way is better. It is when we attempt to give moral authority to our preference by declaring it to be "right", thereby making other preferences not just inferior but wrong. For those who claim to follow Christ, we must be extremely reticent of making those kinds of declarations unless scripture is exceedingly clear. And even then, we must be humble enough to admit that we do not have all knowledge.

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