The marriage lesson I learned too late (2023)

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The things that destroy love and marriage are often disguised as unimportant. There are not many dangerous thingsAppearyetfeelingdangerous when they happen. It's not bombs and gunfire. They are nailed. they are scissors. And that is the danger. If we don't recognize something as a threat, then we are not on our guard. These small wounds begin to bleed, and the bleeding is so gradual that many of us don't realize the threat until it's too late to stop it.

I spent most of my life believing that what broke marriages was behavior that I considered criminal offenses. If murder, rape, and armed robbery are crimes in the criminal justice system, I have considered sexual crimes, spousal physical abuse, and gambling with family savings as marriage crimes.

The marriage lesson I learned too late (1)

Since I have not committed any crimes, I would like to suggest that if my wife and I were on opposite sides of an issue, we would agree to disagree. I believed that she was wrong, or that she misjudged the situation, or that she was treating me unfairly. I always felt like the punishment didn't fit the crime, like I was going to be charged with first degree murder, even though my crime was closer to going a bit over the speed limit with a burnt out taillight, which I didn't. . I dont even know. was burned

The reason my marriage failed seems absurd when I describe it:My wife left me because sometimes I leave the dishes in the sink.

It makes them look ridiculous and makes me look like a victim of unfair expectations. But it wasn't the porcelain at all, it was what it represented.

Read: Washing dishes is the worst

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Hundreds, maybe thousands, of times my wife tried to tell him that something was wrong. that something hurtsBut that doesn't make senseI thought.I'm not trying to hurt you; so you don't feel hurt.

We do not fall into an explosion of fire. We bled for 10,000 paper cuts. Calm. Slow.

She knew something was wrong. I insisted that it was fine. Thus ended my marriage. Yours can end like this too.

Each couple has their own unique version of The Same Fight. It could be anything. Throw clothes on the floor. Follow Mud around the house right after your partner cleans up. It doesn't matter what the real thing is. For us, it was dishes next to the sink.

Sometimes I leave used mugs in the kitchen sink inches from the dishwasher. That's not that important to me right now. When I was married, I didn't care. But thisGuerrabig problem for her. Every time my wife walked into the kitchen to discover the glass she had placed by the sink, she was closer and closer to moving out and ending our marriage. I just didn't know it yet.

you may be wonderingHi Matt! Why would you leave a glass in the sink instead of putting it in the dishwasher?

Some reasons:

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  1. You may want to use it again.
  2. Personally, I don't mind if there is a glass next to the sink unless there are guests. I will never care about ME. It is impossible. It's like being asked to be interested in crocheting or to enjoy gardening.

There's only one reason I'm going to stop leaving that cup in the sink, and it's a lesson I learned too late: because I love and respect my partner, and they really care.

I think I thought my wife should respect me just because I took her vows. It wouldn't have been the first time I acted legitimately. What I do know for sure is that I never associated putting a plate in the dishwasher with earning my wife's respect.

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I think sometimes these little things blow up in The Same Fight because we may not think it's fair that our partner's preferences always trump ours. It's like we're fighting for our right to leave that pot there.

The reaction could be something like this:

Do you want to spend a quiet night arguing with me about that glass? After all the great things I do to make our lives possible, things I never hear thank for (not ask for), would you raise a glass to the sink for marital problems? I could not beanegligible if you tried. If you want the mug in the dishwasher, put it yourself without letting me know. Otherwise, I put it away when people walk by or when I'm done. This is a shit fight that seems unfair.

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I wanted my wife to agree that, putting life in perspective, a glass in the sink is simply not a big deal that should trigger an argument. I thought you should realize how insignificant and meaningless you were in the grand scheme of life. I repeated that train of thought for almost 12 years, hoping that she would finally agree with me.

But she never did. She never agreed.

I've been arguing about the merits of a glass in the sink. But my wife didn't care for the glass. It wasn't about dishes in the sink or clothes on her floor or her trying to get away from caring for our son, for whom there's nothing she wouldn't do.

It was about consideration. About the ever-present feeling that she was married to someone who didn't respect or appreciate her. And if he didn't respect or appreciate her, then he didn't love her in a way that made me feel trustworthy. She couldn't count on the adult who had promised to love her forever, because none of this dishwashing felt like being loved.

I now understand that leaving the pot there hurt my wife, literally causing her pain, because it made her feel like she was saying, “Hey. I do not respect you or value your thoughts and opinions. Not taking four seconds to put my glass in the dishwasher is more important to me than it is to you.

Suddenly, that moment isn't about something as benign and meaningless as a dirty glass. Now, this moment is about a significant act of love and sacrifice.

My wife knew that I was reasonably intelligent, so she couldn't understand how I could be so slow after hundreds of these conversations. She began to wonder if she was trying to hurt her on purpose and if she loved her.

(Video) Here’s a lesson I learned too late.

Here's the thing. A plate in the sink in no way seems hurtful or disrespectful to a spouse who wakes up each day to witness a spouse communicating in word and deed how important and valued their spouse and their relationship is. My wife didn't throw shit on a plate down the sink because she's an insufferable crybaby who has to get what she wants all the time. My wife expressed her pain and frustration at the frequent reminders she encountered repeatedly telling her how little attention was paid to her when making decisions.

When we have the same struggle, positive intent or blaming harm as accidental can be just as much a confidence killer as more overt harmful actions. It doesn't matter if we intentionally refuse to cooperate with our spouse or legitimately don't understand what's wrong: the mathematical results are the same. The net result of The Same Fight is more pain. less confidence Regardless of anyone's intentions.

This is how two well-meaning people slowly drift apart.

If I had to sum up the problems of failed relationships in a single idea, it would be our colossal failure to make the invisible visible, our failure to take the time and effort to cultivate an awareness of what we would otherwise do in the midst of the hustle and bustle. the bustle. of everyday life. life may not notice.

If I had known that this drinking situation and similar arguments would really break my marriage, that the existence of love, trust, respect and security in our marriage depended on these moments, which I dismissed as petty disagreements, I would have made other decisions. .

I could have shared my love and respect with her.NoLeaving her little reminders every day that she wasn't considerate. That she was not remembered. That she was not respected. I could have carefully avoided leaving evidence that I would always choose my feelings and tastes over hers.

This article is adapted from the new book by Matthew Fray.This is how your marriage ends.

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