Tolerance vs Acceptance

My husband has been home for approximately twenty five minutes.  He came home just after the children had got their pyjamas on and brushed their teeth.  They ran to greet him at the door, H being carried at the front, L at the back and Y groaning with the strain of having 32 extra kilos bouncing on him.  I calmed the children down and read them a story while he changed his clothes and ate his dinner.  After I’d put them to bed, I came downstairs and washed out his can of beer that he’d left on the kitchen counter to put in the recycling box, put his dish that he’d plopped in the sink in the dishwasher, turned off about four lights that he’d left on, the bathroom light, the cooker hood light, the extractor fan, put the little frying pan in the sink (he’d used it to fry an egg), and wiped down the hob which was covered in oil from frying egg a little too ferociously, put the cooking oil back in the drawer underneath where it was left out on the counter, and put the egg shell in the bin as opposed to the sink.  This took me all of five minutes, but with every step of it, I was getting more pissed off.  Pissed off at myself for being so bothered, and pissed off at him for not doing something that takes hardly more energy than the way he had done it in the first place.

I blame living on my own for three years.  Living alone gets you set in your ways.  You can make a mess because ultimately, you are the one who will clean up.  And before you suggest it, I’ve tried leaving Y’s mess as it is.  I have yet to know how long it would take him to clean it up because I’ve always caved in after about two days.  The problem, of course, is that he is out at work and I am here for pretty much most of the day (thanks to this crazy hot summer).  Everytime I go into the kitchen, there is the empty dirty beer can sitting on the counter, there is the oil, sitting out on the counter, there’s his coffee mug, sitting on the living room side table.

I have lived with my husband for seven years.  It’s pretty safe to say that after all this time, nagging and rowing about me tidying up after him, that things are unlikely to change.

This is my husband.  He’s obviously not bothered about clutter.

This is me.  I am.

Do you accept your spouse for all that they are, or do you simply tolerate their annoying habits?  If you do accept them, I’d like tips, because “don’t worry about it” doesn’t work for me.  I need to know HOW not to care about it.  I’ve tried, I still try, but every little thing I put away, my mind boggles at.  How is it faster to put a dish in the sink than the dishwasher?  The dishwasher is on the counter right next to the sink.  It has a door that is very easy to open.  If it has space and dirty pots inside, put it in there.  Ok.  So the point is that there’s a door.  It’s hidden.  That’s all I can think of.  It’s just going that little extra mile.  Same with the egg shell.  Why put the egg shell in the sink when you can just put it in the bin?  Because the bin has a lid.  It’s a hinged lid that just requires the push of a button, but it is still one extra thing to have to do.

So now I understand it in theory, but my common sense doesn’t really accept it.  I don’t accept that he thinks like this, because it’s not the same as I think.  Who says my way is right?  I do.  I’m bloody minded.  But I really really really believe that my way makes more sense!!  So I tolerate his ways, even though I can’t accept them.  Men are extremely irritating.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish I were a lesbian.

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4 thoughts on “Tolerance vs Acceptance

  1. Well you know how I feel!
    I am with you all the way! I have evn put signs up in the bathroom telling my husband to put things away after the bath or they go in the bin!
    Works for a few weeks and then back to mess. Why don’t they get it????

    • Signs wouldn’t work for my husband at all. Not unless I wrote them in Japanese in a thick black marker pen and stuck them on his head 😉

  2. Your last sentence made me laugh 🙂 I completely agree. My husband is the same. I am constantly marveling at his complete inability to throw an empty container in the bin rather than leave it on the counter, less than a meter away. But my husband has a serious problem with putting things away, like an illness almost. His apartment before we got married was like one of those places you see on reality shows about people who can’t clean up. It stresses me out to no end. I’ve had crying fits over his messiness, and not even in front of him necessarily. I have broken down crying just because I hate living in a house that is ALWAYS messy by my standards, and I lived alone for 10 years, so my ways are VERY ingrained in me. I just don’t have the energy to clean up after his every move, and he is very particular about his messes when they involve things that aren’t garbage (at least in his mind), so as much as I want to throw things out and clean up after him, I can’t for fear of the fight that would ensue. Plus if he threw away something I consider really important without asking I would be furious, so I try to give him the same respect. I just wish he had some trace of organization skills. It’s in his DNA though. Do I accept this? I don’t think so. I will never stop wishing he were capable of throwing things away. I mumble and grumble while I clean up messes and turn off lights, but I also know that I want things my way and if you want something done right, you’d better do it yourself. Would I like him to wash dishes more often? Yes, but am I ever pleased with the job he does when he does wash them? Almost never. It’s a no-win situation, so I guess I try to look at the brighter side of the coin, having the job done right, rather than focus on his shortcomings? I once heard someone on TV give advice to a woman about finding a “good guy”, and the advice was to find a man whose living space was relatively clean and organized, as men who can organize their living spaces are generally successful career-wise as well. When reflecting on past relationships it made so much sense to me. Too bad I was already married when I saw the program 😉 Sorry for writing a novel. This is a topic near and dear to my heart!

    • Your novels are always welcome here! Yes, I have the same problem in that I want things done and I want them done right. My husband isn’t bad at doing the dishes, actually, he’s probably better than me. But now we have a dishwasher, it’s not really an issue, and he’s very clumsy, so we end up with chipped and broken glasses/crockery etc., which annoys me more than the mess. I think he doesn’t really understand that these last few weeks where I’ve been more and more unable to do things around the house, that it’s driving me insane. I am really grateful for the help he’s given me. He’s spent Saturday mornings vacuuming, hanging out laundry and occasionally cooking lunches. For him it’s a lot of work. For me it’s only a small percentage of my daily life under usual circumstances. But I always say thank you, even if I don’t think his way is all that good/efficient, because he’s not used to it and he’s working crazy hours at his full-time job. In that way I think I’m learning a bit more that something is much better than nothing (apart from the floor mopping that leaves the floor worse than it was before XD). I read once in one of those men are crazy, women are insane type books that men complete tasks in a need to do basis, whereas women are always thinking about the long-term. So they open doors, turn on lights, take out pans, stack the dishwasher, and we do too, but we also close doors, turn off lights, put away pans, and empty the dishwasher. It at least gives us a reason for behaviour, which somehow helps. It helps me at least to know that most men are like this too!

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