My name is Mary Miner. I am a relationship coach, speaker and author.
If you came to this website, you are probably wanting a better relationship with your significant other, loved one or co-worker. Below are three ways of handling a true life conflict. Please share with me in the comments below how you would handle this situation.
What to do when you ask your significant other to do something for you and they don’t?
Our outside water well stopped working. Before I left the house that evening, I asked my husband if he would hook up the hose in the house so I could water the wilting plants. It hadn’t rained for days. I love my garden and work very hard to make it nice. I came home from my event and the hose was not hooked up. My plants were dying.
Here’s the really old me.
I would have been so angry that I would have either called him at work or wrote him a nasty letter and said, “You killed my plants! (This would have been an extreme exaggeration, maybe 4 or 5 would die. I would say that even when I knew most would survive.) I cannot believe that I asked you to do a simple thing for me and you refused like a child and didn’t do what I asked! I rarely every ask you do to anything for me. Now, you are going to have to buy me new plants. Can’t you see how hard I work in the yard so that we can both enjoy it! You only mow the grass and I do the rest, what is your problem with helping me out! You are a jerk.” Click. He would come home and the fight was on and last days and weeks and then we broke up after so many of those petty arguments.
Here is the me before I lived THE GOLDEN RULE in my relationship.
Same scenario. I would have completely ignored him when he got home from work. (We normally spend our evenings together). I would sleep hanging on the edge of the bed so he couldn’t touch me. I would get up in the morning and struggled with hooking up the hose myself. While he was still sleeping I would slammed doors, windows, tools, anything I touched to make noise to show him I was angry. After the job was done, I would give him the silent treatment for an entire day, sometimes two. I would ignore him and his phone calls. He would know why I was treating him this way but wouldn’t say anything and play my game. He hated conflict too. If I worked I wouldn’t be productive and would be immobilized the entire day and not make a single sale. I would sit in the parking lot on the phone crying and venting. The next day or the following day when I was calm, I would pretend, nothing happened, kiss him good-morning and go about my day as if it never happened but was still angry. I would avoid conflict and so would he. This handling of conflict wasn’t working either.
NOW, I LIVE THE GOLDEN RULE
Same scenario. I got up not angry. Accepted that he did not hook up the hose but it had to be done or all my plants would die. I came downstairs, kissed him good-morning, got a cup of coffee and asked him, “Can we hook up the hose now. The plants are dying.” He said, “They would come back next year. I said in a non-condescending voice, “not if they are dead”. So he gladly hooked up the hose and I watered for over an hour, noticing that a few will die but also felt blessed that they are so beautiful. As he was leaving I told him, “I am really bummed that I am going to lose some of my plants. I work really hard so we can enjoy a nice garden.” I realize it is out of my control. He said, “sorry honey and left.” He feels bad enough. I don’t think he will do it again. I know I would not like it if he spoke to me in mean tones so I didn’t do that to him, although I could have nagged about it but I am living THE GR. I chose to let it go and hope that my plants survive. I know my marriage is going to thrive.
How would you handle this scenario or something similar? I invite you to live THE GOLDEN RULE so that your marriage thrives too.