I am a firm believer in spousal manipulation. Unless it is directed at me. Normally, if I need to get a lot of writing done, I research that evening’s sporting events and nonchalantly recommend that if my husband wants to watch a game…I guess I could write for a bit. Well, today it happened to me.
Hubs wanted to get up early and hurry to get our errands done, so we could work on the house. We rushed around all morning. When we got home, I went straight to the kitchen and did the dishes, a load of laundry and then begrudgingly went outside to tackle our pine needle infested, overgrown back yard.
My husband was upstairs working diligently on picking up the office and our bedroom. I thought. I came in to get a drink of water and found him lounging on the couch. Shock.
“I thought you were cleaning up? I’m out here working my butt off…”
“It’s my day off.”
He was right. He had worked seven days straight, about twelve hours each day…I only worked three and a half days this week. But still.
“I know, but I thought you wanted to hurry up and get errands done so we could work on the house.”
“I’m kinda tired”
I gave myself a moment to consider the situation before melting down. He had worked seven days. True. He also spent the last weekend with my cousin’s husband (while I was away at a writing conference) building shelves, unclogging drains and cleaning. I calmed down, went back outside to finish my project and shut the door.
I think he was surprised that I didn’t freak out. Yes, I may have normally been frustrated. Secretly, I was. But, he deserved this day to relax. I needed to get stuff done.
A few hours and a plethora of scratches (on my legs) later, I was done. I’m not exactly sure how I got so many scratches. In the end, I felt accomplished. I picked up the dog’s poop, the pine needles and pulled weeds. Hubby was proud of me. Also happy that I got some serious exercise in, I treated myself to a yummy pasta dinner.
I suppose in the end…It wasn’t so much a manipulation as it was helping each other out. A lesson in making one another happy and that being the main focus, as it should always be.
Tomorrow…I think a sporting event will probably be on TV.
Have any learning lessons in relationships like these? Any spousal manipulation stories? Backfires?