Monday, October 23, 2006

It's a WE thing: More on BLAME or You Stole the Covers

I've talked about blame before, but here's a little reinforcement and maybe another way of looking at it.

Last night G.D. and I went to sleep a little late. It was kind of cold in the house. (I WILL TURN UP THE HEAT, I WILL TURN UP THE HEAT, I WILL TURN UP THE HEAT).

But we went to sleep. G.D. had most of the covers, no question, yet I said to myself, You're tired enough, you'll sleep, leave him alone. He had conked out.

I fell asleep, too, woke up a couple of hours later and did what I usually do when I wake up early, which is to say I got out of bed, made some Tension Tamer tea, and did a little writing.

When my eyes couldn't see straight I went back to bed. It was only around 3:30.

He stirred, said hello. He's a light sleeper, probably from years and years of having to attend to a vibrating beeper on the night stand. He immediately conceded that he did indeed have most of the covers, rectified the situation by covering me up.

He went right back to sleep. But I felt hungry. And my feet were cold (they're far away from the core organs), and he had started to snore, something he rarely does.

Then, of all things, a terrible song snuck into my head and I couldn't lose it. For a really funny post on songs in your head and sleeping, you must read Fish and Family. I think it's October 19 or around there.

So I stayed in bed miserable for awhile, knowing that I'd never fall asleep with cold feet, and summoned up strength, and got up to get a pair of socks.

Finally socked and properly covered, I told him he HAD to roll over, which he did. The song disappeared, and eventually I hit dreamland.

I know what you're thinking. This post is not about sex. Okay, you're right, it could have been, but it's not, okay?

Got up late, 8 o'clock. Went down for a cup of coffee.

G.D. grinds his own Star Bucks and the coffee does not disappoint. Zapped the milk, poured the coffee juice, inhaled deeply and sipped a lot down, added more, brought it upstairs and started making the bed. G.D. appeared at the bedroom door.

Me: No wonder we couldn't sleep, or should I say, I couldn't sleep. Look at this, G.D. The top sheet was on all wrong.

G.D.: Oh, that was my fault. I put on the top sheet.

Me: Honey, WE made the bed. It was a WE thing. Could you stop with the blame, please?

He shrugged, but he got it. I think. It's hard to get blaming words and phrases such as, my fault, your fault, out of the marital lexicon, but it's a good thing to work on. This goes along with the 51% solution, the idea of positive versus negative communication.

I think that we have to make most marital interaction, especially discussion about problems, issues, and bumps into We Things whenever we can. When it's Us it can't be bad, right?

Oh, and it's a lot more romantic, too.

I don't care how you were raised. You can change this one, assuming the sock fits.

Copyright 2006, Therapydoc


Holly Schwendiman said...

The most "right between the eyes" comment I ever heard within the first year of marriage was from a man of a 20+ year successful one. He simply shared how great his marriage got when he stopped assuming that every time his wife was unhappy he'd done something wrong. Kuddos on the "We" - it works much better than the upside down version of "Me".

Holly's Corner

Anonymous said...

Ok. Now let's talk sex, therapydoc. More fun than stolen covers...

therapydoc said...

Sure, I'm in. What, dear friend, do you want to know?

Anonymous said...

Great post Linda. (I felt cold reading it by the way. ;-D ) I wrote Are you a blamer? about how disempowered we are when we blame -- not something many think about -- and what awesome results we get when we start taking responsibility in our lives. Thanks for helping others end the blame in their relationships too!

therapydoc said...

Thanks. I have to say that the taking responsibility is THE metaphor. It's the recipe for success in every challenge, problem, etc. If I can't do it, (people should think) why would I want someone else to do it for me?

Not that we can't all use a reliable, accountable partner to help, of course.

Family therapy is all about using one's resources to the max, too.

Anonymous said...

I'm like that, the bed has to be made correctly or I just can't get comfortable!

Here via Carnival of Family Life.