Saturday, August 25, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 655: Queensbury rules

SH and I had a fight last night. It was Our Fight - the same fight we have every time we fight. I am assuming that you, too, have A Fight. Or maybe you guys don't fight. Maybe SH and I are the only otherwise happy married couple who fight occasionally and there is something seriously wrong with us. I don't know.

Anyhow, we always fight about the same thing: he's a process-obsessed, procrastinating, cluttered control freak and I am an outcome-focused big picture person, ie, I don't sweat the details.

SH would say I am careless. I would shrug and say, "Big deal. I am 95% perfect instead of 100% perfect and that's good enough for me. I don't care about the small stuff. I don't sweat the tiny details."

If you have ever been around engineers, you know that details are the only things they sweat about. And they sweat profusely over tiny details.

So that's our fight, which always evolves to "Why did this happen why why WHY?" vs "Let's not worry about that when it would take far less effort just to solve the problem."

I refer you to the traffic fight of '10, when we were going to the airport and there was a traffic jam. SH wanted to figure out why there would be a traffic jam on Saturday morning and I wanted to find an alternative route to the airport so we wouldn't miss our plane. It took me a good five minutes to convince him to turn around and go another way. He insisted on staying in the jammed-up lane so he could see what was going on.

Here's what happened at the end of the fight last night.

Me: Would you be better off married to someone else? Would you like to be married to someone just like you? Someone who procrastinates, never gets things done, and flies off the handle at little things?

SH: I was married to someone like that!

Me: And how did that work for you? [Yes, channeling Dr. Phil.]

SH [sheepishly]: Not very well.

Me: I am shocked.


webb said...

We're a lot like that, ltho perhaps less extreme. Over the years - and it took some time - we hhave settled into HIM doing the picky meaningless crap (not too judgmental there :-) ) and me keeping us on a sort of center (in my opinion) path.

Ex. He would wash the tupperware - it stays slimy, so why bother?

It takes a lot of time to work it out, and it takes two people working on it. In some ways easier for couples with some "life experience" and in some ways harder 'cause we are "old farts"!

You are not strange at all!

Class factotum said...

Thanks, Webb. We both definitely had time to get set in our ways.

RE the Tupperware. I agree - why bother to wash and wash and wash? Just wash once and then wipe the dry container with a dishtowel. Grease problem solved.