NAV­I­GAT­ING THE AN­NOY­ANCES

DRUM - - Advice -

We’re very dif­fer­ent peo­ple. Greg is a sensitive, creative per­son, but he’s also for­get­ful. Ami­ira is much less sensitive, and nearly never forgets any­thing.

In the early days of our mar­riage, our lit­tle daily is­sues sounded like this …

AMI­IRA Why is the or­ange juice in the pantry? GREG I don’t know.

AMI­IRA I didn’t have or­ange juice to­day. GREG I didn’t ei­ther. I had it yes­ter­day.

AMI­IRA So, the per­ish­able or­ange juice has been in the pantry for two days? GREG I don’t even re­mem­ber putting it there.

AMI­IRA Your car keys are there too. GREG I ru­ined the or­ange juice and lost my keys. At the end of the day no one got hurt, right? AMI­IRA Not re­ally. GREG You treat me like I’m a child. AMI­IRA Well, a grownup knows how to put away or­ange juice. [Fight en­sues.] On it would go, with the two of us fight­ing over some­thing that was com­pletely in­signif­i­cant but clearly trig­gered big­ger things.

Greg felt caught do­ing some­thing stupid, and Ami­ira was caught be­ing a b***h be­cause the or­ange juice in the wrong place ac­ti­vated a big­ger fear of things feel­ing out of con­trol. It wasn’t the ac­tual or­ange juice that was the is­sue, it was the way Ami­ira ap­proached the con­ver­sa­tion.

Here’s how the con­ver­sa­tion would go if ap­proached in a thought­ful man­ner, con­sid­er­ing both Greg’s and Ami­ira’s feel­ings and their weird per­sonal trig­ger points.

AMI­IRA Who’s the su­per-creative funny guy who left the or­ange juice in the pantry? GREG Was it me?

AMI­IRA I hope so or else a ghost is haunt­ing our house.

GREG I’ll try to re­mem­ber to put the juice back in the fridge.

AMI­IRA Thanks. GREG Have you seen my keys?

AMI­IRA Nope. See how Greg’s feel­ings don’t get hurt and Ami­ira still gets to make him search for his keys? It’s the lit­tle things that will make your re­la­tion­ship thrive.

By the way, mar­riage is just help­ing your per­son find or not find their keys un­til one of you dies or you get di­vorced. You’d be sur­prised how many di­vorces are a by-­prod­uct of be­ing driven crazy by the con­tin­u­ally lost keys loop.

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