The Marriage Games

A friend of mine has what she used to call a 90% husband. He would work tirelessly on a project, and then just before completion, stop. I will never forget beautifully redone floors with perfectly measured, cut, and painted baseboards…that weren’t attached to the wall. Easier to pick up and dust then put back, I consoled. Maybe that was the plan all along?

In my marriage the battleground has always centered on the staircase, so for the seven years that we lived in a four level split, we had ample opportunity to wage our attacks. Three staircases. Three opportunities to wait the other person out. How long could an item placed on the stairs “to go up” sit there before the other spouse will finally give in and carry it up the five steps to its home? The answer is, of course, infinitely. Until the end of time. Or the sale of the house.

Not every battle is waged in grand form in the center of the arena. You cannot discount the importance of all of the little skirmishes that occur throughout the house. I, for example, refuse to replace a roll of toilet paper immediately. Sure, I’ll go get a new roll and take it to the bathroom, but I then place it on top of the toilet paper holder rather than removing the old roll. Eventually I’ll actually remove the empty roll and replace it, but not if my husband gives up and gets to it first, and not before half (or nearly all) of the roll is used. I’m sure that with the proper amount of psychotherapy we could determine what personality disorder causes a person to be this special brand of lazy, but I’d like to think it’s genetic. My mom does the same thing.

In the early years of marriage my husband cured me of some of my most glaring transgressions (charming idiosyncrasies…) starting with the dropping of the toilet lid and the slamming of cupboard doors. If I’m being honest I probably slammed closed everything that has the ability to be opened, but eventually I learned that the people around me don’t enjoy loud crashing noises quite as much as I do.

There are some things, however, that cannot be fixed including my husband’s vision problems. He’s gone to the eye doctor regularly his entire life, yet no one has ever diagnosed why he cannot see the following objects: empty trash cans at the end of driveways, hairballs, envelopes with stamps that are sitting on the table near the front door, any item of any size or shape that is “missing,” and the line on the field trip permission slip where the parent is supposed to sign.

Like a good helper monkey, I take care of these issues myself. It’s the least I can do to thank him for eleven years of replacing toilet paper.

Where are the battle lines drawn in your marriage?


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  • Oh how funny;). Our first “disagreement” was over how to load the silverware in the dishwasher. It is funny how these things happen;).

    • Thankfully, my husband has very few opinions about how things should be done, so apart from terribly annoying habits that break every rule of cohabitation, he’s mostly okay with anything I do (or don’t do). But if he started being able to locate missing items, I wouldn’t complain. 😉

  • We have our “don’t go there” areas but as we grow we are slowly going there to help us each be better people… but we tread there like walking on eggshells. We are also sure to correct each other in private about what we though was not the best behavior in public

  • Mr. Resourceful Mommy

    As the subject of half of the content of the post, I can verify that it is in fact, an accurate representation of our life. My only defense is that I think she buys special products which have been genetically engineered so that they are invisible to the male eyeball.

  • LOL that is so funny. I was same way, I left a trail of open cupboards every where..

    • Just realized I didn’t include one of my favorite drives-people-crazy habits – glasses of water all over the house!

  • There really are too many to mention in our slightly OCD household. We all seem to have our own “things” that drive us crazy, and our “things” that drive others crazy! Two examples…Dishes in the sink overnight drive me crazy, and he hates it when I leave the shower door open.

    • My husband and I are whatever you’d call the opposite of OCD and would likely live like frat brothers if it weren’t for the kids. Please don’t ever visit our home!! (but if you do, grab the trash can at the end of the driveway?)

  • Are there supposed to be any lines after 13 years of marriage?

    No, seriously… My husband puts up with my untidiness and I still laugh at all of his jokes he finds so hilarious.

    Ah, the sacrifices!

  • I’m divorced now, but I remember having the same issues when I was married. Now I have to do everything my self or it never gets done. Oh wait, I sometimes bribe my 11 year old son into doing the chores, and oh yes, I trained him on the how to replace the toilet paper on the roll. I know one day, his wife is going to thank me. LOL

  • We battle over his version of clean, and my version of clean. Well, not battle really. I give him points for trying. I do the same thing with the toilet paper… and he can’t stand it! Still giggling about the eye doctor – didn’t see that coming. 🙂

  • Oh my, and I thought it was just my hubby, he does things 95% though. If he starts the dishwasher, 1 dish will be left in the sink. If he puts away laundry, 1 shirt will remain when he’s ‘done’. What is it with them? Glad to read I’m not alone… 🙂