Was He Always That Way?

When Jack was single, he always threw his sock at the laundry basket. Jack is a horrible shot, and most the socks landed on the floor where they stayed until laundry day. (The day after he had nothing clean and rewore the least dirty thing he could find.)

Then Jack married Jill (who he met on a hill while getting some water) and he kept throwing his socks at the basket, and usually missing. Jill stewed about this for a while, then had a blowout, telling Jack how rude he was, that he didn’t love her, and how she feels like his servant.

Was He Always That Way?

Now I’m not suggesting the situation is acceptable, and I do think Jack should get remedial sock throwing training. However, Jill is taking it personally and it’s not personal. He’s doing what he did before they were married. He is treating her the way he treated himself.

By making it personal Jill makes it a much bigger deal than it needs to be. She may also kick Jack in his pride, and that won’t get her what she wants. It would have been much better for Jill to ask Jack if he would do her a favour and make sure all of his clothes make it into the basket. If she really wanted to drive the point home should could then demonstrate by removing each piece of her clothing and dropping it in the basket.

All silliness aside, if your guy has always done something a certain way, it can’t be about you. He’s not doing it to hurt you, he’s following a long-standing habit. It’s fine to ask him to change, but making a big deal about it is counterproductive.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and sometimes a bucket of water is just a bucket of water!

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17 Comments on “Was He Always That Way?

  1. Paul, ya know what, delete my comment. I made a promise to myself to avoid bad-mouthing my hubby and I could have worded this differently instead of ranting. Thanks.

    • @Libl – Done.

      Your point was valid. It not being personal does not make it acceptable. But making it personal when it’s not only makes things worse.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Words MatterMy Profile

  2. Paul, that picture is worth many thousands of words. Here’s a grown man being treated like a little boy, complete with the withdrawn hang-dog expression on his face. No man wants to be treated like a fix-it project for his wife. Maybe he needs to change something, but treating him like you’re his mom isn’t the best way to go about it.

      • That’s my question. My husband is the same way with his socks, so instead of getting hurt by it like I used to, I now say, “Hey babe, I’m going to do a load of laundry tomorrow. Would you please make sure all of your socks are in the hamper before then?” Is that considered nagging? Do I ask him the exact same question every single week? Yes, I do. But I never ask in an annoyed voice or condescending voice. It’s just a simple request, and I will keep asking until he puts his socks in the basket himself, because I am not his mother and it’s not my job to pick up his socks.

        • I don’t think it’s nagging if you nicely ask him just once a week to participate appropriately. When we got married I told my husband, nicely, that I was willing to do all the laundry, and that only items placed in the basket would be considered laundry. I actually didn’t know whether or not he had the habit of dropping laundry on the floor, but I figured it made sense to be clear about my boundaries. More than 30 years of marriage, and we haven’t had any problems with this.
          Rosemary recently posted…Marfa, TexasMy Profile

    • Don’t want to be treated like a kid, don’t act like one and don’t treat your wife like mommy.

  3. If a wife becomes her husband’s mother, that isn’t good for the marriage. Try this wives: Tell your husband that if his clothes aren’t in the laundry hamper then they will not get washed. When they don’t make it into the proper place, put them in a pillow case at your chosen intervals and put them somewhere. When he asks about the clothes that didn’t get washed, tell him that you washed all the clothes in the hamper. By nagging you are his mother and by picking up after him you are his mother. He might get upset, so simply (without histrionics) restate the rule. Later dump the pillow case full of clothes on the floor near the hamper and give him a reasonable length of time to put them in the hamper. Then follow your own rule consistently.

    • unless your wife is a SAHM, you should be doing your own laundry

  4. Both apartments I had when was dating my wife were a mess. The first one I had a pile of clean clothes, and a pile of dirty clothes. I didn’t own a vacuum cleaner. My mother has PTSD from how unclean my brothers and I were, and she brings it up quite a bit. And my wife doesn’t understand why it doesn’t bother me if the kids toys are left out. I don’t even notice it most of the time, I have to remind myself to intentionally go look for stuff to pick up. It is definitely not a personal insult to her, it is just how I’ve always been.

  5. We have one laundry room and all our clothes go into the same two hampers. We BOTH do the laundry, about 50-50. Just depends who gets to them first. Guys, it’s not that hard. And it never hurts to ask your wife if there are any clothes of hers in this load that need something different (hang dry, etc).

  6. Good points all around, Paul! I know there have been times where I’ve taken things personally that weren’t meant that way. I also like your playfulness with solving the problem. De-escalate and have some fun!

    • @Libl – I’d hardly call an opt-in survey done by Today “science”. That, and only “46 percent of moms surveyed felt like their husbands caused them way more stress than their kids” – so a majority think the kids cause more stress. Meaning the title is not supported by the text that follows.

      Those complaints out of the way, it’s a valid issue, and one I talk to the men about regularly.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…NO YELLING!!!My Profile

      • I just thought it was funny that article showed up on facebook, today. Obviously click bait.

  7. I just pick up my hubby’s socks and thank God I have a husband to spoil. ;) He is very appreciative, so that helps. I guess I enjoy doing things for him and I decided a long time ago to choose my battles wisely. Socks, underwear, and annoying habits…unless harmful (to family or marriage) or unbearable…are simply not hills worth dying over. I also know it’s important to not take everything my husband does personally. He is a good willed husband who loves me so much. I would rather spend my energy building up the good things and letting the smaller things go.

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