>I did it wrong. Again.

This is for all of you who have ever done something really, REALLY, nice for your partner… I’m talking washed all of the dishes, cleaned the entire basement, left the best party EVER because they were tired… only to have it blow up in your FACE!!!

You’ve been there. As you present your random act of kindness to your partner, you are inexplicably met by a barrage of verbal vomit that leaves you knowing only that you did it wrong. Again. And now you’re covered in verbal vomit. Ew.

Here’s the thing. You never asked. You never asked if your partner actually wanted you to throw out the junk that’s been sitting in a pile in the garage (which turned out to be cherished memorabilia from third grade), even though they’ve been complaining about it for MONTHS… Listen. Half of your arguments could probably be avoided if you START with these magic words…

“How can I help?” Or, its first cousin (and my personal fave) “How can I be helpful?”

This strategy also works when you notice your partner is generally stressed or overwhelmed. Next time, rather than doing the thing YOU think will be helpful, (trust me, it’s definitely the wrong thing, and you WILL suffer the consequences,) try gently asking, “Schmoopie, how can I be helpful?” If you get a snappy “NOTHING!” in reply, take a breath (do not, I repeat do NOT sigh,) and let them know that you are available to help – you’ll just be in the other room. Far. far. away.

Not only does asking this question give your partner the opportunity to tell you what the “right thing” actually is, but it helps them feel like they are not alone in whatever they’re dealing with. Even if there is really nothing you can physically do to help, that sense of comraderie will reduce their stress level overall, which is helpful in itself!!

See, what a good partner you are!!!







2 responses to “>I did it wrong. Again.”

  1. fawne6

    This is great advice. I just read this blog to my husband and he agreed also. This has happened countless times to us. He is usually the one to try to do something nice for me while I get pissed off for him doing it wrong. Now he knows to ask me what he could do…otherwise he’ll be in for it. LOL

    1. Maggie

      Thanks for your comment- I’m soooooo glad that you found it helpful!

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