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.
3 days ago