There are five arguments that no matter how often you remind yourself NOT to have them with your husband, somehow they manage to rear their ugly head. And as a woman who has been in the marriage trenches for 17 years, while I don't have a degree in counseling- my degree in the hard knock world of marriage has taught me some lessons about what it takes to STAY MARRIED.
Well this year I'm going to arm you with five techniques to avoid those pesky tiffs with your betrothed, because really the cycle ends with you. And with the season of sticky summer get-togethers with the extended clan kicking off- how you react to your husband will make all the difference in the world.
#1 Don't be a martyr and try to do everything- delegate delegate!
Sure your husband might not agree that using the dish sponge to clean the toilet is unacceptable to you- but if you're going to be hosting his relatives for an extended summer get-together you're going to need to rely on him. This means- if you ask him to clean the dishes and he used the bathroom sponge to do it– just LET IT GO. No one (I don't think) ever died from eating off plates that were cleaned via such methods. The bottom line: Let go of your prescribed roles so set in stone and allow more fluidity to them. You can't shoulder everything on your own- let your husband help and just take a deep breath and says it is good enough.
#2 Agree to disagree that you have different parenting styles
You're a spendthrift and he's a saver. You want to lasso the moon and give it to your children; while your husband says they should each get a pack of gum and be done. The argument over how much money to spend on your kids can, if you don't come to some sort of compromise, destroy the spirit in which it was given. Try to remember that your husband's thriftiness can be construed as trying to keep your kids from being spoiled rotten by you, and help them realize that the value of a present is not in its monetary value but is about the spirit in which it was given. And maybe you can convince your husband that a pack of chewing gum just won't cut it. Remember long after the presents are unwrapped and played with- the memories that will live on in your kids' hearts and minds are that of being with parents who love each other and them. End of story.
#3 Don't get stuck on the stuff your spouse doesn't give you
Unfortunately sometimes men simply don't realize how much value we place on the things they buy us- and that often we see these items as tokens of their love for us. Instead of being disappointed by yet another gift gone bad from your guy – drop a couple of hints about what you'd really like. And if he still doesn't take the hint remember this”how your husband treats you is far more important than that miscellaneous bottle of drugstore perfume he bought you.
#4 The in-laws
It's no secret your husband doesn't like your parents and that you don't care much for his. Still this once a year get-together is a marital obligation you're just going to have to muddle through. So if you find yourself stuck at the dinner table next to his Uncle Harry whose dragon breath is causing less oxygen flow to your brain–plan an escape route. Maybe you can run out for more wine, cheese, eggs –, get creative”just make sure you get out and take a breather as often as you need and remember this too shall pass. And your husband is probably not all that fond of his family either!
#5 To decorate or not to decorate that is the question
Your husband would be happy with a box of wine and a stack of RED SOLO CUPS . Whereas you want to break out your wedding glassware with all the bells and whistles. Instead of fighting over whether to get plastic plates or use your good China remember this (before you attempt to strangle your husband's neck) the true essence of the summer vacation is about love, compassion, family and being thankful you have one more holiday to spend together. Maybe this year you acquiesce to your husband's box wine demands as long as he makes sure to top off your wine glass if ever he should see it empty throughout the festivities- that's a fair tradeoff- right?!