I want you to want to do the dishes

1 Apr

While I was shutting down my computer last night and announcing to N. that I was off to bed, he turned to me and asked: what? just like that? no apple tonight? For some strange reason we are both too tired to do anything after we put the kids to bed. We have the same argument conversation every night. ‘How about some fruit?’ ‘How about it? I usually reply’, something as simple as peeling and coring an apple is a task we both dread at THAT time of the evening when all we want to do is NOTHING WHATSOEVER.

This post is not about the apple (obviously).

This post is about marriage and communication and reasonable expectations and sacrifices (yes, even in the tiniest little form of sacrificing 5 minutes of your precious, yet much deserved, zoning out in front of the computer/TV/iPad/iPhone time to peel and core the apple for your better half).

There is a scene in the movie ‘the break-up’ where Jennifer Aniston is arguing with her boyfriend Vince Vaughn on how she expects him to do things for her without even having to ask him. After trying to convince him to drop what he is doing (playing games on PlayStation) in order to help her with the dishes and moans long enough to succeed, she then tells him that he shouldn’t help her after all since he wasn’t willing to do it in the first place. ‘I want you to want to do the dishes’. This line has stuck with me ever since.

I am well aware of the fact that we women are complicated creatures. We over analyze and have too many expectations in terms of demanding the person right next to us to know where we are coming from. I used to be like that as well. A lot.  I had something in my mind and if it didn’t turn out the exact way I expected it to turn out I fussed and moaned and nagged and all the other beautiful verbs you men use for us women. And N. always told me the same thing: ‘if it bothered you that much, why didn’t you say something in the first place?’

Then I had my kids and I grew up (see? I blame everything on them).

I lowered my expectations and started communicating better. I now say what is on my mind before over analyzing it and blowing it out of proportion. And it usually helps. Not always. There are still times when I think: I want you to want to do the dishes, the only difference is that I say it out loud.

Until next time



10 Responses to “I want you to want to do the dishes”

  1. ramblingsfromamum April 1, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    Forgive me darling but I would be saying…”Erm you’ve got 2 hands? We all can sacrifice, as long as both in the relationship do and it is not one sided. Verbalising is a must no matter how minuscule we feel it may be, for little things as we know can grow so quickly out of proportion. Don;t fret I think all of us have gone through the nagging, moaning and fussing stage – part and parcel of sorting out our little peeves and differences. 🙂 xx

    • wonderlandbytatu April 1, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

      I must say, N. is pretty decent in taking care of me as well, that said I like pampering my people as long as I feel they appreciate it and deserve it. xxx

  2. sakuraandme April 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    I agree…communication is the key. Sometimes this one doesn’t work. lol hugs Paula xx

  3. expatsincebirth April 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    I like this post. Just the right day – I had a similar situation this morning, not about an apple though. Sometimes we don’t really get to talk that much with our husbands – when children are around, and family etc. – and it’s a bit harder to send a clear message. And maybe we don’t want (or just can’t) tell in front of everyone what we just want or need. But yes, communication is the key. Verbal or not verbal: the important thing is that altogether we use the same code…

    • wonderlandbytatu April 1, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

      ‘If there is a will, there is a way’ I keep reminding myself. If communication is lost, everything starts falling apart. Kids don’t particularly help in building this communication either (although I sometimes get the feeling that the censored thing we try to keep in front of them saves us from saying things we might regret later on). xxx

      • expatsincebirth April 1, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

        Oh yes, that’s so true! And I too feel that having the kids around might not always help to have a proper conversation among adults, but it definitely saves us from saying things we might regret, but the older the children get, the more ‘adult’ the family ‘language’ / vocabulary gets, so I fear that that will change too :-/

      • wonderlandbytatu April 2, 2013 at 7:36 am #

        true! let’s hope that we ll keep it civilized 😉

  4. lahacienda April 1, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    I remember that movie and that glorious sentence. But, like you said, men need all this stated clearly – hints won’t work!

  5. memyselfandkids.com April 3, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    I dont see that as lowered expectations. I see that as sensible.
    There are times when I intuitively understand what my wife wants (& she me). However, I often dont & it’s not because I dont love or respect or appreciate her. I have stuff running around her. To rxpect me to be on the same mindset as her is often unrealistic. Yes its nice when your loved one knows but its alsp nice if they recoginize & appreciate when you tell them.

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