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Monday, July 13, 2009

Lose the Laundry List

It is impossible for life partners not to develop some frustrations and disappointments with one another over time. unfortunately, this material creates a growing laundry list of complaints. We take note of the negative, mentally and emotionally record it, and let it work on us and our responses to our mates.
The first step in losing the laundry list is to acknowledge what you are feeling. Once again, he forgot to add milk to the grocery list, and you have to make an emergency run to the store. She "cleaned up" your papers, even though you asked her not to, and now that receipt is nowhere to be found. Or that tired joke was make at your expense again while dining out with friends. You're angry or hurt or feeling disrespected. Admit what you're feeling to yourself, and you open the door to a positive approach to the negative feelings instead of letting them fester and grow.
Now, forgive the person. Your negative feelings may be entirely appropriate, or they may not. In either case, if you carry them around inside, you close yourself off to healing and build a wall between you and your partner. You may need to vent by saying something like, "When you do that, I feel..." Or you may choose not to speak.
Next, forget the gripe. Complaints are like bad dreams. If you move on after them, they lose their impact, but if you relive them again and again in your mind or conversation, they grow out of proportion to their real importance. Let them go. Holding on to your grievances will hurt you more than anyone else, and it will crowd out the possibility for positive change.
Now, practice having a positive perspective. Your partner almost certainly has shortcomings. So do you. But your partner also has strenghts that deserve better than equal attention. Often what we judge as negative in another is more a matter of simple differences. He may forget to add items to the grocery list because he's a dreamer, a creative type. The world needs dreamers and creators. She may clean up out of a desire to make a beautiful home for both of you. That's a wonderful impulse that deserves the compromises necessary to allow her to fulfill it.
In short, there is no end to gripes and grievances. But you can choose to lose the laundry list.
Richard Carlson


Anonymous said...

Girl now I know why I follow you. You are going to be my best advisor this time around. I think Im getting it right this time. Its all weird but the guy that Ive known for 22 years and that has always admired me...Im giving in. Im throwing in the players card and running with it. Gotta post this soon, but I gotta grasp myself first...thanks hun!!

Lady A said...

For real?! Really?! Wow, it's like that?! So you know he loves you and apparently always did. You putting the card on the table, lol. I'm glad I could be of help for you in this season. God only knows what we are going through! I didn't forget 2 call...mother-in-law is in town, need I say more.