Mark was driving our little car pool to the wedding. A church we’ve all been to at least 73 times a year. Just as we come to the stop sign, Judy, his wife, barks out, “Turn left here…”
No one says anything but you can feel the energy change. Mark was not happy. It was the 3rd order Judy had told him in 4 minutes.
I sat in the back wondering if Judy trying to annoy him or was she just nervous about being late. Chances are Mark believed the first. To the rest of us that had no real ties or investment into Judy’s moods, we just appreciated the free ride. We just wanted to get there safely.
When we arrived at the parking lot, Judy shouted, “There! Park there!” Mark pushed the pedal to the ground and we flew past the empty spot. Judy let her lion roar and started yelling at him, to which my neighbor yelled, “Stop here…! We’ll get out and save you a seat!”
Mark stopped instantly and everyone exited but Judy and Mark. They stayed behind and almost missed the whole wedding.
Turns out Mark was tired of Judy always telling him what to do, her lack of respect for him and for always making him feel like he is stupid. Judy, on the other hand, is tired of Mark being lazy and for not being responsible to have been showered and ready to go when we all were ready to leave.
Both of them have their reasons to be angry with the other, but when you look at the big picture, um…who cares?
You be you. Let your partner be him or her.
My mom loved NOT telling my dad what to do…ever. Because she learned, even if she was trying to help, he’d take it as her trying to tell him what to do and he’d just get mad at her. So she stopped. It wasn’t worth it to tell him he was wrong so she never told him when he was. Ever. And somehow she reacted calmly and let it go. Then was until one day they were driving to her parents cabin. They used to go every week. It was 70 miles away. At onee point my dad took a wrong turn and my mom watched him…and said NOTHING. Nothing. She remained quiet….calm…and just enjoyed the ride.
45 mins passed before my dad finally asked, “Where the heck are we?” My mom just said, “Hmm…I think you may have missed a turn back there…”
She didn’t make him feel bad. She didn’t make him feel less respected. She just causally mentioned an observation.
My dad got the point. And their marriage grew. Not because she told him what to do…but because she didn’t. Her ability to NOT tell him that he was wrong was the secret weapon that made him respect her till the day he died.