My stuff, your stuff, my stuff, your stuff.
One of the tricks to making your marriage better is learning to know when a problem is due to “your stuff” and when it’s due to “her stuff”. By stuff, I mean baggage from your past, things you picked up from your family of origin, habits, preferences, and things you do that you know you should not do.
- If it’s your stuff, deal with it, and don’t make her pay or feel bad for your stuff. Don’t get defensive, don’t try to justify or explain, just deal with it.
- If it’s her stuff, be as gentle and loving as you want her to be when it’s your stuff. Realise that making her feel bad about her stuff, or about how she treated you because of her stuff, is not helpful. It might make you feel a bit better for a time, but reduces the odds that she will deal with her stuff. Don’t let your wrong reaction to her wrong actions give her an escape. If you are loving and decent, she can’t feel justified making it about you instead of her.
- If it’s partly your stuff and partly her stuff, I suggest you treat it like it’s ONLY your stuff until it’s only her stuff. Maybe she will do the same.
- If the two of you get hung up on this kind of thing over and over, have a stark discussion about “My stuff, your stuff, my stuff, your stuff”.