What You Put Up With…

June 22, 2016

in Uncategorized

When we get a chance to talk to newly or soonly weds, we warn them to be honest about what bothers them FROM THE BEGINNING! Far too many folks think it’s loving to not mention things that drive them crazy. They think it will go away without them saying anything (it won’t) or it will stop bothering them (which is highly unlikely.) Be it rudeness, annoying habits, or failing to do something wanted/needed, not speaking up is saying “It’s okay, keep doing (and not doing) things just the way you are.”

What you put up with you live with. Forever! 


Woman with fingers in her ears © olly | stock.adobe.com

Then a couple of years later in a last straw moment, the person blows. Maybe they only mention one thing, or maybe they dump the whole list. This is, of course, exceptionally unfair. Even more unfair is the expectation that having mentioned it everything will change – immediately. Never mind it’s been okay for months or years, now it’s a problem and you better knock it off right now!

If you’re very newly married, this post could save you huge amounts of trouble later in your marriage. But what if you’re not newly married? Are you unhappy with anything your husband does or doesn’t do but have never told him? (And hinting doesn’t count!) The longer you wait, the worse it will be. The argument will be bigger and the chance of change will be smaller.

If you’ve made this error confess it to him. Tell him you’ve been wrong and unfair and you’re sorry. Give him a loving list of the things you can’t continue to live with (or without), and ask him to think and pray about how he can work to change them. Then give him plenty of grace and patience. 

In addition to giving him your list, ask him to make a list for you if he’s not mentioned something. Then ask if he will agree to not hold back in the future, and promise to do likewise.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I wish I could share this with every newlywed in the world! 

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

IntimacySeeker June 22, 2016 at 6:12 am

I felt relieved of a great burden when after 34 years of marriage I finally told my husband I did not want, and had never wanted, to be married to someone with a drinking problem. It was hard for me to say and hard for him to hear, but it was a pivotal point in healing for us.


sunny-dee June 22, 2016 at 1:51 pm

Wow, how did you bring that up? My husband has a bad drinking problem, and I am pretty certain he doesn’t see it (or refuses to acknowledge it to himself). I am trying to find a way that I can address it with him in a way he can hear.


IntimacySeeker June 23, 2016 at 12:30 pm

@sunny-dee I found an Alanon Group where I felt at home and began learning about the disease of alcoholism and my own sickness as the spouse. Eventually I found my backbone and learned to “say what I mean, mean what I say, without saying it mean.” It was not the first time I had articulated my concerns, but I did so in a calm, self-assured way that got his attention. I also bared my soul in telling him I struggled to be naked, vulnerable, and intimate when he continued to kill brain cells and drive under the influence on a daily basis. Lastly, I let him know I struggled to accept that no matter how much money I earned, how much weight I lost, or how much sex we had, he had no intentions of addressing his alcoholism. To summarize, I was vulnerable in a powerful way because I was detaching from the disease and it’s power. I found MY power.


sunny-dee June 24, 2016 at 9:17 am

I think I’m on the right path? I haven’t been to AlAnon, but I have spoken to my pastor (whose father is an alcoholic, so she’s super sympathetic), and I’ve been doing a lot of reading. I’ve also been working on me — letting go of bitterness and resentment and anger and fear. I feel a lot healthier, spiritually and emotionally, now than I did six months ago, and it’s been coming to me strongly over the past month that I need to be direct and talk to him. Which I think I can do in love now. But it’s hard to get the words out.

Thank you for sharing, IntimacySeeker. You have helped me.


IntimacySeeker June 24, 2016 at 10:56 am

The “letting go” functions are helpful. You are on the right path. Godspeed!


Paul Byerly June 23, 2016 at 9:11 am

@IntimacySeeker – Perfect example! Good for you – and your marriage, and for your husband too.


K June 22, 2016 at 5:00 pm

When it comes to big things, I agree you should tell your spouse and try to come to some type of mutual compromise. Things like financial issues, raising kids, sex, etc. But I’m not sure you need to tell them or harp on every little annoying habit they have that bugs you. Here, I think you need to pick and choose what’s most important and choose to let some of it go. For example, I care very much how the toilet paper gets put on the roll. My husband doesn’t care, but used to put it on the opposite of how I like it. Because it’s a big deal to me, yes, I should have told him and expect him to honor my wishes. Which, he now does. But, I have learned to not let the fact that he never shuts the closet door bother me too much. I have told him it bothers me, but he continues to forget to close it. I know he has good intentions to do it, but usually forgets. I could choose to believe he is being disrespectful of my wishes, or I could choose to believe he has good intentions and decide not to let it bother me. I just shut the door when I notice it’s open. It doesn’t hurt me any and it keeps him from feeling bad about something rather trivial. If we go around making a big deal about every little thing that annoys us, it could lead to bigger issues just as keeping quiet about important things does.


Paul Byerly June 23, 2016 at 9:15 am

@K – I agree we should pick and choose. Your examples are great because someone else might not care much about the toilet paper while the open door could be a huge problem.
The key if knowing how much something is going to bother us. Discuss the big ones and ignore the small stuff. Unfortunately, we tend to underestimate things early on, and then we feel stuck because we put up with them for years before we realised we would never be able to ignore them.
Paul Byerly recently posted…What You Put Up With…My Profile


Anonymous June 23, 2016 at 3:57 pm

The chewing noises. They kill me.

But other than that, he’s a totally awesome person, so I try not to complain about it. I’m sure I annoy him in a lot of ways, and I try to address them, but I don’t think he can do anything about the chewing. I think it’s all me, alas.


Paul Byerly June 23, 2016 at 4:38 pm

@Anonymous – This is a huge problem for some folks. Lori is this way, to a degree. I work hard to not chew in her ear, and if I do she lets me know. So I do what I can, and she does what she can.
Paul Byerly recently posted…What You Put Up With…My Profile


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