Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Marriage 601, Lecture 875: Stealth decorating

I was about to point out to SH that the two paintings we had hanging on opposite sides of the built-in china cabinet were not even with each other. I was going to point it out because it is esthetically unappealing and because the situation needs to be corrected.

Then I thought - wait. If I say something to SH, there are these possibilities:

1. He will not agree that it is aesthetically unappealing and will want me to convince him he is wrong

SH is far less likely than I to roll his eyes at the "coexist" bumper stickers. He believes in tolerance and diversity for everyone except for him and me. For the two of us, unless we are of like mind, it is disaster. I don't care. I don't care if we don't agree on everything as long as we do things to live in harmony.

A few years ago, SH ran for public office. He was putting together some campaign literature and asked me to take a look at it. I did and made some editorial suggestions.

He disagreed with my comments.

I shrugged and returned to what I was doing. I am happy to coexist with someone who doesn't write the same way I do.

SH is not. His father was a college English professor. SH can write. The suggestions I made were about style, not absolute right or wrong.

SH wanted me to tell him why he was wrong and I was right. I told him it didn't matter and I didn't care and to do it his way if he wanted, but he said that I needed to convince him that he was wrong.

We had a fight about that. (Is that bad for me to admit that we fight? Do other couples fight? Are we abnormal? SH would say it's not fighting unless it's personal. I maintain that any discussion that includes disagreement and raises my stress level - I was reared in a low-drama home, unlike SH, who comes from High Drama with alcohol - is a fight.)

2. He will not agree that it is aesthetically unappealing and will want to convince me that I am wrong

This option will exhaust me. I do not want to be convinced I am wrong. I don't want to come over to the other side. Again, I am happy to say, "OK, we don't agree on that. Let's just not discuss it."

I don't know if those goes back to how were were raised, but I suspect alcohol again rears its ugly head. When you grow up with alcoholics, does it make you more argumentative? I didn't grow up with alcoholics. My parents didn't fight that much. I didn't like how they fought, though, and have tried very hard not to fall into that pattern in my life. If something bugs me, I bring it up right away. But if we can't come to agreement, I drop it.

SH doesn't want to drop it. He wants to convince me. I don't care what his position on early voting is or charter schools. He votes his way and I vote mine and I am happy. But he wants us to agree on Important Issues that really have nothing to do with our everyday lives and I don't see the need for it. 

3. He will agree that it is aesthetically unappealing and will want to control the timing of the changing of the height of one of the pictures, which means the pictures will remain unchanged for months until I can finally convince him could we please do this five minute task now?

I love my husband. I don't love having to work together on things. SH and I have very different work styles. I had a will when I was 25. I go to the dentist every year, even when I don't have dental insurance. I have my clothes laid out for a trip at least three days beforehand.

SH leaves things to the last minute.

Can you see how this might cause some challenges?

I don't think everything in the house should be a joint decision. Yes, getting a new roof - that's something we both should decide. But where a picture should be hung? That's a one-person decision. Committees do not have to be involved in everything.

(Part of my crankiness might be because at work, it seems that Everyone has to be involved in Everything. I do not need to be involved in making strategy decisions for other divisions. I do not need to be in four-hour meetings where we talk about The Future. I know what my objectives are: to increase revenue. Let me alone so I can do my job. I am done with group decisions right now.)

I decided it would be better not to mention anything to him about the pictures. Instead, I will wait until the next time he goes out of town and I will just change one of them by myself. The world will not come to an end if I do that. He will not notice the change and I will get what I want. We will all be happy.


Charlene said...

As I read possibility number 1, I immediately thought that you should just wait until he goes out of town and fix it. He'll probably never notice. Very wise of you to avoid the drama!

Marsha said...

Your strategy is sound.

webb said...

ditto! Am surprised that his engineer self has not noticed and obsessed over it already. You will be doing him a favor and saving yourself a migraine. Measure twice and hammer once!

smalltownme said...

Your solution is perfect.

LPC said...

That seems perfectly within the bounds of good relationship manners;).

Gaylin said...

As long as you are not hanging a velvet painting of dogs playing poker with Elvis. Just fix it, your solution works.

I am a planner as well. I have a vacation coming up and I have known what outfit I will wear on the plane for months . . .

Becky said...

I'm not allowed to hang pictures by myself. Eyeballing it isn't good enough for my husband. Out come the tape measure & level, pencil & eraser, and we must find the exact geometric center. And heaven forbid there's already another picture on the wall that we must coordinate with!