Fight Club, Gaelic Style

Mr. Gaelic and I had a fight the other day.  About the laundry.  For more years than I can count, I have been the washerwoman for our family.  Until the girls each turned 12, at which point they were responsible for their own laundry.  But I still do the household linens and Mr. G's and my laundry.

Sometimes Mr. G helps with the laundry.  He does a terrific job of sorting the laundry, most of the time.  He knows which things go in the dryer and which need to be hung to dry, most of the time.  He even folds the laundry when it's dry. 

It's the folding that brought about the fight.

As I fold the laundry, I make sure that everything is neatly folded and placed in the proper place so that when it's time to pull on something there is no thinking about it.  Mr. G, on the other hand, doesn't turn items right-side out.  When the laundry come back to our room, I must then refold the majority of my clothes while his are ready for the drawers.

Trivial, I know.  But it's usually the trivial things that bug us and get under our skin and add up until we (people in general) really can suffer it no longer.  That usually leads either to keeping it bottled up and leading to resentment or lashing out at the other person with a scorecard of grievances.

In our case, I did neither.  I quietly told Mr. G that there was something bothering me that I wanted to talk to him about and asked when we could discuss it.  We pulled two chairs to face each other and I began explaining in a normal voice what was bugging me.  After every statement, he told me what he heard me say so that I was sure he understood me.  I told him how his actions made me feel and asked him if he could come up with a solution.  Again, he mirrored my words and expressed how he didn't mean for his actions (or inaction in this instance) to upset me.  He offered his own solution that I found acceptable.

And that was our fight.

No yelling, no nagging, no hurt feelings, no resentment, no stewing, no slamming doors, no stomping out of the room.  Nothing.  Except a big bear hug after it was over.  We should fight more often.


  1. That is the absolute correct way to fight. Many years ago, I saw that in a couple's therapist lessons and it made such an impact that I used it myself. I have never been one to fight about any "old" stuff, only the subject at hand, but I didn't find the same system in partners. After trying it out, it worked (always) just as it worked for you. Everyone should take a lesson from it. It works in every situation. Great post, Gaelic, and oh yes, the makeup is great, too. XOXOXO

  2. That's also my version of a "fight"!! I learned many years ago that words CAN wound, and many times, in anger, things come out that truly hurt and can't be smoothed over.. Good for you two, learning to do it the right way!!

  3. I this is noble in theory but it really takes two people who are committed to the process for it to work.

  4. My Mom started me doing my own laundry and ironing when I was 15 years old. I was an "old bachelor" (didn't marry till I was 34 years old).
    Then came the "WIFE". IT seems that I was pretty much a total screw up with laundry (because I didn't do it HER WAY).
    So, to insure that it was "done correctly" she took it over completely 27 years ago. Gee, let me tell you how much I hated that!
    Had a similar problem with grocery shopping.... Yep...she took that over, too!
    Now, when she sends me to grocery for special items....I demand that she give detailed descriptions, and where items are found....I also manage to call home at least twice to insure I'm getting the right stuff!

  5. B-O-R-I-N-G!!! Ya gotta yell, stomp yer feet, throw stuff...and then have hot, passionate, steamy make-up sex. Duh.

  6. How many times have you had this conversa....er, fight over the years? Surely, this must not be the first time he has heard your "vexation" at his way of folding?