Are you the kind of partner who would somewhat take on too much responsibility or take less responsibility for things that happened that may cause trouble?
Psychologists say that you are “neurotic” if you take too much responsibility for things you should not be responsible for. But if you take too little responsibility, they say you are “character disordered” because of your failure to take responsibility for things which you are responsible for.
“You forgot my birthday! I can’t forgive you.”
One night, you came home late from work and your wife was acting strange, not talking to you, almost teary with her long face. Earlier, she prepared a nice dinner, but because she got frustrated waiting for you to come on time, out of anger and disappointment, she just threw all the food she had prepared.
Why did she do that? You forgot it’s her birthday.
Wifey’s Character Disordered Behavior
The wife should not blame his husband for the anger and frustration she felt for preparing a nice dinner and waiting for her husband to come. In the first place, the husband did not know that she was making a nice meal and was waiting for him to go home early.
Discovering that she hated you so much and had thrown the food she prepared in the garbage bin because of her angry outburst, you immediately said sorry and felt guilty and took responsibility for making your wife feel that way.
(Husband sounding apologetic) “Oh, I’m sorry, love, for hurting you. I forgot it’s your birthday. I’m sorry that you’re tired of preparing and all, and yet I made you wait. I’m sorry, and yes, it’s just right for me not to have dinner, but you should have at least eaten.”
A scene such as this is so frustrating. Yes, it is the husband’s fault to forget his wife’s birthday, but it is not his fault that his wife got so mad that she threw all the food with nothing left for them.
What if it’s the other way around?
Character Disordered Husband
The husband will be mad at his wife, and will even blame the wife for throwing all the food and ruining the night just because he forgot her birthday. Now there’s nothing left for him to eat.
(Husband in his angry voice) “You should have called or informed me that I need to come home early. And how can it be my fault if I forgot and came home late? I’m busy and had so much work to do. I am working hard for our family’s sake.”
Here, the husband is taking little or no responsibility for forgetting his wife’s birthday- and even blaming the wife for not informing him.
Disagreements and misunderstandings such as these may look stupid and silly, but if they often occurs, they will become something dangerous that can even end up in physical, verbal, emotional abuse, and worse, separation. Couples who undergo premarital counseling may more or less know how to handle this kind of situations.
Premarital Counseling Suggests Be Responsible Enough (Not Too Much, Not Too Little)
A responsible husband should manage this situation of forgetting a birthday, an anniversary (or whatever momentous occasion) truthfully and humbly.
“Love, I am truly sorry, but I forgot it was your birthday. I am at fault, and I’m sorry for making you wait and making you feel hurt and frustrated. Please forgive me!”
An accountable and understanding wife is always willing to forgive.
“Of course, I forgive you. Thanks for apologizing. I’m sorry, too, for my bad temper and being easily hotheaded and for throwing all the food. I know you’re exhausted and hungry. I can prepare you a simple dinner.”
But the husband wanted to make it up for forgetting the birthday, and it may be late but not too late to invite his wife for a nice dinner.
“Thanks for understanding me. I would love to make it up to you. Let’s go out and celebrate your birthday.
“Oh, that would be lovely. Thank you.”
All’s well that ends well. It may have started as an argument, but you have a choice how you would like it to end. Couples should enjoy their marital life together despite little misunderstandings and disagreements, taking too much or too little responsibility by being humble enough to admit your fault and humble enough to forgive. Because going down to the nitty-gritty, you are both responsible for things that happen.
Know more of the marriage hangups that may sound silly but may be serious matters to be tackled before you get married. You can get help by visiting this online counseling site. Learn more techniques on how to be accountable for your actions and how to handle disagreements the cool way.
Habitually, bear in mind that it always takes two to tango!