I Finally Got My Relationship “Handled”.

We found a fancy knob on our walk around the Farmers Market

We found a fancy knob on our walk around the Farmers Market

Life is odd. At least my life is odd. I heard a Dr Daniel G Amen talking about health issues on PBS television and he mentioned automatic thinking. He was referring to negative thinking. I never heard it referred to as “automatic” thinking.

Each has our own version of “automatic” thinking.

I, too, have my own version of automatic negative thinking, but I also have my own version of automatic positive thinking. In just about all my interchanges with my husband, I compare it to how I reacted 20, 30 years ago. Yes, if you don’t remember, I’ve been married to the same man for 41 years. Of course, I was a mere tot, when our folks married us off. NOT.

It’s the one place where my progress in life is so clear to me. We have always had a good marriage, but it’s better than ever. It was me who lead the change, and I’ve changed. Man, have I changed. I’m still me; I’m me without the anger. I’m me without the judgment (pretty much). I’m me with more respect for my husband and his opinions.

I’m much less likely to roll my eyes as if he were a moron. THAT WASN’T NICE OF ME. Notice, I didn’t say he isn’t a moron anymore; oh, come on, I’m just kidding. But what I really mean is that many of his behaviors are the same; I just see them differently

Here’s an example. Our kitchen was a disaster area. The wood flooring was worn bare in spots; we refloored it. It’s beautiful. The butcher-block counter tops was stained and discolored, we got a great buy on granite. It’s beautiful. Our cabinets, not expensive when the house was built in the 70’s or 80’s, are beat up white laminate.

The very fact that I didn’t have a fit because he wanted to do things backward (you should do the cabinets first) and piecemeal shows a huge change in me. I guess I didn’t want to spend the big money anyway.

We got 4 estimates for the cabinet refacing: $24,000, $!3,000, $12,000, and $8,000. Yikes, the amount, and yikes, the range of prices. We went to where they made the cabinets and were duly impressed. I could see our kitchen in my mind with the new cabinet doors (we would only reface—new doors, old interiors). What a huge difference it would make.

I thought we had decided, so I was ready to move forward. However, apparently we (Nathan) had undecided, and was planning fix up tactics to our current cabinets. That would have driven me crazy at one time. I would have been so annoyed. Not today.

He already put back the door that had fallen off in my hand two weeks ago. And he painted the part where the white laminate had peeled off. It doesn’t look that bad. Boy, have I change. I’m not only imperfect as a spouse; I’ve given up perfection in kitchens.

New metal possibility (l) and current wooden handle (r).

New metal possibility (l) and current wooden handle (r).

Hey, we can always get new refacing. In the meantime, why not experiment with fixing up. Nathan came home with a metal handle instead of the wood ones we have; I’m not crazy about it in this setting.

We went out to the Grove for an urban walk and stopped in at Anthropologie and picked out a knob (instead of a handle) we can always fill the other handle hole. In the meantime I covered the hole with Post-it white tape. Hilarious. Hey, I’ll let you know if we end up with all different knobs and handles. No, don’t worry, we won’t–probably.

Using knobs and having to fill a hole rather than using a handle seems rediculous, but gives us more choices. Hey, why not have fun.

Using knobs and having to fill a hole rather than using a handle seems rediculous, but gives us more choices. Hey, why not have fun.

So, rather than get mad at Nathan because he changed his mind, I looked at it from his side. We will save a lot of money, and we can always do it later.

Because I’m more open minded and willing to try a different approach, Nathan doesn’t get so dang stubborn in reaction to me. So we explore the possibilities together in cooperation instead of conflict.

What amazes me is I’ve made the changes; and it has changed him too.

Anyway, I’d love to hear your comments—on the blog, on Facebook or Twitter. Say something, please. I’m interested in your comments, questions, thoughts, reactions, feeling—what have I missed? Let me know.

Have a wonderful day.

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