One thing I’ve found in my 15 years of marriage is that women and men have different perceptions of time. I learned early in my marriage to double whatever amount of time my husband said it would be before he got home, because it wasn’t that he was being misleading on purpose. He really just was a poor judge of how long it would take him to do something. If he said 30 minutes, I learned to expect him in an hour or so before I got worried. I learned that the art of asking him to do something needed to include a deadline. I would ask him to do something like tuck in the children or take out the trash, and he’d willingly say “Yes,” but 30 minutes later the task was still left undone. It would frustrate me to no end, and I would begin to nag… “I thought you said you’d do so-and-so.”
Better to live in a desert
than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife. Proverbs 21:19
What I’ve since learned is that men must have a timeline. My husband fully intended to do whatever it was he said he’d do. He just didn’t see it as much of an urgent task as I did. Since I wanted his help NOW, I assumed when he said “Yes” that he’d do it NOW. Not so much. Now when I ask my husband to do something, I’ll add a timeline. “Would you tuck them in as soon as you’ve finished that round of pinball?” or “Would you make sure to take out the trash before bed?” We then have a mutual understanding, and there is less room for frustration.
I try to make a point not to be a “quarrelsome or nagging” wife, but even when I have the awareness that I do not want to be that way, it’s still something I have to constantly work on. I think it’s all too easy for us to nag or complain, because he’s there. He bears the brunt of our frustations. I do feel, though, that we need to work on ourselves to not be that way. I don’t want my husband to feel like it would be better to live in a desert than to live with me!
Those who guard their mouths and their tongues
keep themselves from calamity. Proverbs 21:23
This verse could easily go along with the first. We’ve already talked several times this month about guarding our tongues. Here’s just another verse reinforcing the idea that we need to control our words and our hearts. Fight the temptation to nag and complain to our spouses!