Why Fight About It?

My husband often thinks about food at times when I am deeply involved in some other activity. That is not a problem. The problem comes when he interrupts my concentration because he wants me to think about food too.

This isn't much of a problem when we’re at home. We share a great deal of responsibility for food preparation. I am the chef and he is the sous chef. However, when I tell him to take care of himself, he does.

It's a bigger problem when we're traveling and we travel often. When he is hungry he assumes that I am hungry too. He approaches me as if I am already thinking about what he is thinking about. And I respond angrily. It's an instant response and I keep thinking that by now he should expect it.

I usually want breakfast about an hour after I wake up. He wakes up ravenously hungry and wants to eat right away. I like to read, write, or just fiddle around when I first wake up. I try to solve the problem by getting up much earlier than he does.

Often though, I'm deeply involved in something when he wakes up and says something like, "What are you thinking about breakfast?" Dammit, I am NOT thinking about breakfast at all! I'm thinking about something else and you're interrupting me! I often succeed in not saying that aloud — but not always.

When this happens, neither one of us is thinking about anything except how we feel and what we want for ourselves. We're usually feeling a little vulnerable, in an unfamiliar situation and trying to make ourselves comfortable. We're not thinking about the other or the external situation much at all.

Solving problems generally involves an awareness of your own feelings, the other person's feelings, and the external situation. In this case we were creating problems instead of solving them.

It would be easy to turn this into a bigger fight. We could each easily justify our positions and claim to be misunderstood. However, after many years of marriage, we've come to the conclusion that lots of things are not worth the effort to fight about. We usually recognize the pattern as soon as we see it, shrug and move on.

Much as we would like to be perfect, we're not and we’re not ever likely to be. Most of the time we consider each other’s feelings and most of the time things go pretty smoothly. We can relax and let good enough be good enough.


If you enjoyed this article, Being Happy Together: How to Have a Fabulous Relationship With Your Life Partner in Less Than an Hour a Week will provide you with much more information that I believe will be useful to you.

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