My husband, like most men have a one track mind. Knowing this, there are only A FEW personal errands related to the kids/family I will pass off to him.
This past August, I took the little ones to Disney and he stayed home with the big boys (they did not want to go). Before I left our conversation regarding school clothes went like this:
Me: I need to exchange Dariyon’s school pants for navy blue, he should have enough until we get back, so I can do it when I get back or do you think you can handle it?
Him: I can do it. (trying to be his helpful self)
Me: Are you SURE??? I can do it when I come back.
Him: No problem, I’ll take care of it.
(I walk away concerned, something will go wrong, because every time he attempts to be helpful in my areas of expertise, something ALWAYS GOES WRONG!)
Fast forward a few days towards the end of our trip, I talk to him and inquire about the ONE TASK, I asked him to do, and how did it go. He assured me the task was complete, and a gift card was issued for $86. So I thought COOL he finally got one right!
NOW I get home and I”m doing inventory and realize my son still needs long sleeve shirts..I go down to his office and ask for the gift card to order his shirts while they’re still on sale. Here’s the next conversation:
Me: Hey, wheres’ the $86 gift card from Old Navy? I need to get Dariyon some long sleeve shirts
Him: (very nonchalant) I left it in the bag.
Me: (confused) Where is the bag?
Him: (very nonchalant) I gave it to Dariyon.
Me: (annoyed and confused) With the $86 GIFT CARD in the bag?!
Him: (nonchalant) Yup and it was only $30 or so. (never once looking at me eyes glued to his computer screen)
Me: First, it was $86 and Why would you put the gift card in the bag and then give it to the TEN YEAR OLD??? (Meanwhile, I go and question the child who of course tells me I DON’T KNOW WHERE IT IS. I check the room and find the receipt which issued a $86 gift card!)
Me: (goes back to his office PISSED) Soooo Dariyon does not know where the bag is, he believes he threw it away, and HERE IS THE RECEIPT FOR $86.
Him: (nonchalant) Oh. (again never once looking at me eyes GLUED to the computer screen)
I then asked him why didn’t he put the gift card in his wallet, he tells me because he don’t have a spot for a gift card in his wallet. I asked him would he put cash in a bag and he replies no because I have a spot for cash.
Ok, so now I am ANGRY!!! He then goes into a defensive mode of reminding me that I forget and lose stuff BLAH BLAH BLAH!
To avoid an argument, I walk away…. STEAMING! I then ask myself, “Why do you get so upset with him when he’s only trying to help??” After thinking about that, and thinking about what I needed from him to make that situation go a lot smoother, a light bulb lit up!
He does not offer R&R! Remorse and Remedy. When I thought this all through if he would have just acknowledged he did not make the best decisions, apologize and offer a remedy (like my $86 back, or to help look for the gift card), I would have never gotten to such an irate state.
In a relationship, it’s crucial to be able to own up to your shit. If you upset your other half, it’s your responsibility to offer remorse. Acknowledge that you made them feel angry, sad, mad etc. Acknowledge what you may have done wasn’t the best decision if it caused negative feelings. Lastly, offer a remedy. Make your wrong, right, the best way you can.
Never, get defensive and dismissive of their feelings. Even if you feel they are over reacting or your intent was not to cause their ill feelings. It does not take away from the fact that you did, and they are upset. To move forward you have to validate their feelings and remedy the wrong doing.
I’m happy to report I was able to calmly express this to him (about an hour later after cooling off), and he was receptive and did apologize. I’m even happier to report I found the gift card in my son’s drawer between the new SKINNY PANTS I had to end up taking back as well (but that’s another story)!