It was a plastic ball—a silly thing, really. Hanging from five feet of twine tied to the rafters, this shiny red weapon glared at me as I pulled our minivan into the garage. I stared back, surprised, and my eyes narrowed. The blood in my veins pumped harder.
A ball, eh? Who does he think he is, hanging a ball from the ceiling as if I don’t know how to park my own van in my own garage. There is nothing wrong with the way I park. If he thinks I creep a little too close to his recycling bins and his precious lawn mower, well, that’s not my problem. But this! This ball makes his problem my problem. And wifey is not happy about it.
“I take offense to that ball in the garage.” I hung my keys and faced my husband in a standoff.
“Why?” He crinkled his eyebrows.
“Because it implies I’m too stupid to know how to park the van. I know how to park the van.”
“I just thought it would be helpful, that’s all.”
“No, you thought you would teach me a lesson in parking. I don’t need it, thankyouverymuch.”
“It’s just a ball. I didn’t mean anything by it.”
He peeked through the kitchen entry window into the garage and saw what I thought of his little ball. I’d pulled the van a good two feet past it—on purpose—and the twine hung at a 45-degree angle across my windshield. Take that, Jack.
And yet. My husband seemed genuinely confused by my reaction. Hurt, even. In fact, I think he expected me to thank him for it. Handyman husband to the rescue, yay.
Funny, isn’t it? How two people can look upon the same scene and see entirely different pictures. My husband saw helpful. I saw insulting.
Guess which one of us needs a vision check-up.
Darn it. Probably me.
“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense,” (Proverbs 19:11).
Are you easily offended? Do you default to anger before considering the other side of the story? I confess this has become a habit for me in marriage. I imagine my husband is trying to irk me when he really means no harm.
So I’m learning to ask myself three questions.
1. Is my husband my friend or my enemy?
Duh—he’s my friend. We’re on the same team. He loves me and wants the best for me. So why should I automatically assume his goal is to irritate me? It makes no sense. This simple shift in perception can change a marriage.
2. Is this worth ruining my day?
If I bark about the ball thing, it could lead to an argument. An argument could tank the entire day. I’m not saying we should avoid healthy conflict, but really, is conflict always necessary? Try overlooking an offense and see how it changes your heart.
3. What else could he have meant by that?
If I vote to go the conflict route, then it’s my responsibility to get my husband’s side of the story—before I snap. “Honey, why did you hang that ball in the garage?” would’ve been a perfectly peaceful introduction. Then maybe I could’ve averted anger in the first place.
So tomorrow, when I pull into the garage after school drop-off, I’ll inch toward that gatekeeper ball and floor the brakes as soon as it taps my windshield. I’ll grant my husband his extra two feet of space because I love him, and okay fine he does have better depth perception. But nobody can blame me if the rear latch just happens to scrape the garage door next time I attempt to unload a trunk full of groceries. That will totally be the ball’s fault. Just sayin’.
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If this post encouraged you, please share it. You might also like When Hubby Leaves His Socks on the Floor, The Witch. I Hate Her, and How to Marry Your Husband All Over Again.
Linking up with: The Better Mom, Playdates With God, Titus 2sdays, Wedded Wednesday, Women Living Well, Wifey Wednesday, Grace at Home, Thriving Thursdays, and Things I Can’t Say.
You really are quite the spitfire, Becky! I see a lot of myself in your posts. So, “yes” that means I’ve taken my husband’s “helping” gestures as jabs too. Ugh! Thanks for this humorous and vulnerable encouragement to us. It almost seems as if you are saying the opposite of what I’m saying over at my place. But I really couldn’t agree with you more! Hugs to you!
I’m so glad to know I’m not the only spitfire wife who still needs to learn a few lessons, Beth. 🙂 Always a work in progress, but pointing to Jesus through it all!
Yes, they do sincerely see things exactly the opposite way we do! Funny!
And yet sometimes so NOT funny, ha ha.
Amanda K. says
Both my husband and I were laughing at your post because your reaction exactly mirrors mine! My husband claims he will remind me of your three questions the next time I jump to conclusions. I just wanted to thank you for the laugh dearly needed tonight. God Bless!
Oh I’m afraid of what I’ve started for you, Amanda! Make sure you throw those three questions back at your husband, too. 😉 Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts. I’m really glad to know you can relate and yet you’re laughing along with me tonight. Blessings!
Joanne Viola says
I laughed so hard when I saw the picture of your garage! Seriously, you could have been in my garage!!!! We also have a paint mark on the floor so the driver can open the door to see if they are in the right spot. If you are, the paint line will be in the center of driver’s door when you open your door! I kid you not 🙂 But your post makes a beautiful point – may we bring Him glory every time we overlook an offense. Loved this post. So glad that I visited from Titus 2sday this morning. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Ha ha ha – a paint line, too, Joanne? I love it. I’ll be counting my “helpful” husband at the top of my blessings this Thanksgiving. I hope you will, too. 🙂 Thanks you so much for stopping by from Titus 2sday! Blessings!
This is just TRUTH. Thank you! 😀
😉 Thanks for reading, Ali!
I totally get what you are saying here and agree with it wholeheartedly. But..sometimes…they are totally trying to tick us off! 😉
Ha ha ha. That might be true, Janet. But then I know I do it to my husband, too. 🙂
Karen @TheMissingNiche.com says
I just spit my cider out! My husband put a wagon in the garage. He marked the spot with chalk, every day he points out how far I have moved the wagon! Ha! There’s nothing else there, who cares?! He thinks that I can’t park straight and I pull too far in.
Ha ha ha ha! Now that is funny. I think you should mark the spot where your nesting bowls sit in the cupboard or something. Two can play at that game. 😉 Thanks so much for reading and sharing your own garage story, Karen!
Angela @ Joy Focused Learning says
Thanks so much for sharing this! My husband does things like this too and I always take them the wrong way. I love your idea of taking a second to ask yourself those questions and calm down. I found this post through Titus 2sday, I would love it if you shared a post at my new linky party, I pin each post shared and promote the linky party throughout the week.
http://www.joyfocusedlearning.com/2013/11/anything-goes-link-up-2.html I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Thanks so much for telling me about your link party, Angela!
Baha! Your post reminded me so much of my husband and myself. We have only been married a month on 12/3 but I already see myself doing this so I guess it’s better to try and be better about it now rather than later on. Can’t wait to read more of your posts as I am new from the PYHO linky.
Welcome, Cameon! I’m so glad you stopped over from PYHO. Yes, I talk a lot about my wifey mess-ups here on the blog. All in good fun and with a lesson for the heart. I’m looking forward to sharing more with you!
I am so glad I decided to visit your blog today (via The M.O.M Initiative website). My husband put in our garage a stand-alone stop sign w/flickering lights that go off when bumped into 🙂 Seems from the other comments that men across the country are in need of a “Why can’t my wife park the way I want her too?” conference 😉 Men and women are wired so very differently and I do need to remember to take that as a blessing from God rather than a burden. My husband and I differ from each other so often, we are regularly joking “I disagree with you on that.” Insert sarcasmn: “Really?” I’m going to try to keep your tips in mind the next time a goofy gadget is rigged somewhere in our home designed to “Help” me learn another/better way 😉 Again, loved this post and will be coming back for more. God Bless!
Ha ha ha! We should organize that conference, JoLynn! I’m laughing. God bless our husbands. Mine has been very forgiving over the years… truth be told, I probably need that crazy little parking ball. I’m learning to like it. Thanks for stopping by from the M.O.M. Initiative! I look forward to more visits. 🙂
Love your three questions! They are exactly what I needed to hear. I know I can get defensive so easily with things that he thinks are no big deal, so next time I’ll take a deep breath and try to see it from the other side. Thanks! 🙂
Oh, I’m so guilty of this. Of seeing something just from my perspective and not stopping to realize that someone else had good intentions, regardless of how I took it!