The Day I Bullied My Husband
By Ashley Mercier
Nearly every new marriage struggles under the weight of two common loads:
1. Loading the toilet paper.
2. Loading the dishwasher.
Our learning curve for how to load the dishwasher while maintaining marital harmony was longer than the norm. But ours is not a typical dishwasher story.
Chris grew up deeply Southern, around sweet tea and even sweeter women. I admire his female relatives for many virtues, but one in particular: They handwash dishes. That being the case, he had literally never loaded a dishwasher in his life when we got married.
Hardly a week into my husband’s loving new habit of cleaning our kitchen, he mentioned us needing more “blue stuff.” In his hand, he held a tiny blue bottle.
My laughter bubbled over like suds in a dishwasher. He had been using our teeny bottle of rinse aid as the dishwasher detergent!
I cackled until I realized I was the only one laughing. My husband was silent … and mad.
He was hurt. I was confused. This was funny, right?
Later, a wise friend gently revealed the problem: “You hurt his feelings and his pride. You disrespected him.”
I saw the scene all over again in my head, through different eyes. My husband learning something new, kindly and tenderly doing a household chore I detest.
Then me laughing ... like a bully.
I backended my way into a lesson about how love and respect works. Biblically, I understood men desire respect and women crave love.
Laughing with my husband bonds us. Laughing at him destroys our connection.
The Good Stuff: Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2
Action Points: Esteem your spouse for their consistency in one particular household duty. Be specific and loving. Ask your spouse what communicates respect to him or her. Then make it your goal this week to actively practice respect.
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