Recently someone suggested an article on “training husbands”. Actually that someone was my husband , John. After a good laugh and the suggestion that he must have felt like a puppy dog all these years to come up with the idea, I had to admit it was a good one.
When we are interested in buying a house the first thing we are told to consider is “location, location, location”. It is true that it is probably one of the most important considerations although the best location will naturally differ from person to person. So too the training a husband at home will differ from man to man and situation to situation but one thing that remains constant is communication, communication, communication!
When we first get married we believe we really know one another inside out but do we really? I doubt it. Just think about it, many of us come from different backgrounds, certainly different parents and family. The result has to be a slightly different way of looking at things and their importance. Some come from large families, some from small. Some come from families where mom did everything and others where mom worked and everyone was required to pitch in and help. Others come where nobody did much of anything and it was all up for grabs. This is reality!!!
So what is the solution? Communication! At least I believe it is a good start. It is easy to make assumptions about others, even those we love and live with. But the truth is we can’t yet, as far as I know, really read each other’s minds. Sure we get a pretty good idea about what they are thinking by their actions and reactions to things but still we can’t know for sure unless there is some communication. When I talk about communication I am referring to verbal communication not the kind where we roll our eyes or heave a sigh in disgust when the coat is hung behind the chair and the shoes remain in the middle of the living room floor for two days. I am talking about “sit down” communication where we share what is important to one another about keeping up the house.
We may think we are great housekeepers or at least good enough and he may secretly wish we could keep up with the dusting and actually clean a bit better. You may be great with the clutter control and be a good cook but the makeup in the bathroom drives him crazy. You may think all he cares about is a good meal at the end of the day when he would appreciate not having to trip over the kids toys as he comes through the door.
There are so many variables because we are individuals. We are all unique with our different backgrounds and thus each home will take on a new character of its own. The blend of what we grew up with and what we now consider important needs to be shared. As much as I got a kick out of the idea of “training” husbands, I know it is really the communication factor that counts the most. The “thank you” for the small deed of taking the trash out or the attempt to make the bed goes a long way. The honest acknowledgment that you need and appreciate his help will usually get his attention quicker than a complaining tone. I don’t know about you, but I am motivated to continue to try to make appetizing meals when I receive a compliment. I may be tired and rather be anywhere but the kitchen and yet the idea of pleasing those I love moves me forward.
I think most of us try a little harder and produce a bit more when we are appreciated. So I guess the idea of “training” is still best left for puppy dogs and the communication factor is best for husbands.