Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Day 5: Love is not rude

Daily Reading

Part of the issue in today's reading is minding your manners. Which I suppose means going to the bathroom with the door shut, not farting or burping rudely, using appropriate table manners and so on.

I think that there isn't a set way of being polite in your family. I think that we know how to "behave" in public but that being at home is the place where you can be comfortable. True love is being able to fart in front of one another. Just my opinion...

The reading moves quickly past manners and says that the real issue is acting one way around the house and differently around others. So you may be a raving lunatic at home- yelling and grumpy and pouting- but when company shows up, you become witty and funny and warm and compassionate. Why give it to strangers if you don't give it to your loved ones?

"There are two main reasons why people are rude: ignorance and selfishness."

Not sure I agree with that, either. Because, again, what's rude to you might not be rude to me. Well, I suppose that falls into the ignorance category, right?

"How does your spouse feel about the way you speak and act around them?" I'm pretty sure that Jeff doesn't feel I'm rude in my interactions with him. And he isn't embarrassed by me around other people.

"How does your behavior affect your mate's sense of worth and self-esteem?" I assume he's proud to have me as his wife, just as I'm proud to have him as my husband. So my hope is that our marriage has a positive impact on his sense of worth and self-esteem.

"Would your husband/wife say you're a blessing, or that you're condescending and embarrassing?" Geez, maybe I should get Jeff to log in and answer these questions for me!! I think I'm fine on all 3!! He tends to joke around a lot so his first answer would be that I'm awful... but deep down he feels I'm his blessing.

3 guiding principles for etiquette in your marriage:

The Golden Rule- treat your spouse the way you expect to be treated.

No Double Standards- Be compassionate, polite, kind, etc to your spouse as well as to people outside of your family.

Honor Requests- Curb behaviors your spouse is bothered by. Do the things asked of you.

Today's Dare

"Ask your spouse to tell you three things that cause him or her to be uncomfortable or irritated with you. You must do so without attacking them or justifying your behavior. This is from their perspective only."


"What things did your spouse point out about you that need your attention? How did you handle hearing it? What do you plan to do to improve these areas?"

Jeff has given me 2 of the requested 3...

You react too quickly when I am not serious and not quick enough when I am.

I've been mulling this one over. I handled hearing it fine. I know what he's talking about. He likes to make jokes sometimes to lighten the mood if I'm stressed. His sense of humor can be a bit more sarcastic so when I'm stressed, I don't always hear the humor. How to improve? I think it goes back to me handling my stress. Focusing on him rather than on the task that is causing me stress or the kids being difficult.

You always put the kids first. I know they are little and can't take care of themselves. It's just something I... sense.

How did I handle it? I agree. I do put the kids first. This is one of those philosophical parenting discussions that is continually going... do you put your spouse first or your kids first? Some are in the spouse camp, others in the kids camp, others in some other camp... How will I improve? I don't think that Jeff is concerned that I am over-focused on the kids. I read this similarly to the first thing- he wants more of my attention. So I need to find ways to be focused on him and show him that his needs and wants are important to me, too.

I was nervous about this one... but it's a good one. The first dare that really felt like a challenge. I think I took his issues well. I didn't blame or try to make excuses. For the first one, I totally got it so I didn't say anything. For the second... I did ask for some clarification so I could better understand. But no fighting or tension or anything. I'm soaking up the learning.

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