The filters in our hearing ability truly amaze me. I find it fascinating how a person can say one thing, believing themselves to be rather blunt and yet the other party is still able to twist and turn things through their filter and hear something completely different.
Case in point, I'll share an actual conversation that has had me bumfuzzled on how this person got from Point A, clear across to point Point Q without hearing anything in between. This is not written in malice, mind you, just sheer bewilderment over the situation is all.
Let's set the scene: It's late and one person is feeling a bit worn out. One works inside the home and one works outside the home. Both jobs are stressful in their own ways. The woman is a bit frazzled because it's late, she's exhausted and for some reason has found a set of sheets without pillowcases. The man is tired and would like to go to sleep but is waiting on the woman to make the bed since she is a bit anal retentive and will not accept help in this department. Can you picture it? Alright, so here is how the conversation went:
The man asked what was wrong and the woman shared that she was just a bit frustrated that no one ever helps around the house. The other members of the household just assume things will get done because she will do them. Now she takes full responsibility for creating this situation since she has made it so that the man and children do not have to lend a hand. All chores are taken care of and there really is nothing on their plate so it is her fault for creating the situation and she is sorry. She is also sorry that her priorities are different than his regarding what needs to be done - since she does not work outside the home, she doesn't want to be stingy and uncaring so she forgoes the things she thinks need to be done until there is 'extra' to get it accomplished. Perhaps they could figure out a better way of making this happen.
Now that is the start of the conversation. No voices were raised. No tones were given. No attitudes were dropped. Simple words were exchanged between a tired woman and a tired man. The part that has me completely confused is that the tired man simply heard "I do nothing"... how did that happen? Where in the course of the conversation did the woman say that the man did nothing? Not once did she point a finger and say "You do nothing" - she did make a statement that she worked to create a place where the man could come home and relax and in hindsight, perhaps it was wrong to do it all since it created this type of situation... even used the example of wanting the garage cleaned out and waiting a month before finally doing it on her own... or the example of begging for the bathrooms to be cleaned since she can't do it because the fumes aggravate her asthma... or the kitchen sink still needing fixing four months later... or the dog poop that hasn't been picked up in weeks. These examples were not stating that the man did nothing. The examples stated that she did not harp on him because she knows he works hard all day and deserves to have a break... but they always get forgotten about and never done unless she just does them herself.
Granted, we talked it through since we have the understanding that we won't go to bed mad. Yes, we have stayed up once or twice to the wee hours of the morning talking things over during the beginning of our marriage. Situations like this rarely occur but when they do, we put all we have into correcting them and understanding the other person's point of view. I am blessed to have such a great husband - and truly amazed at times how filters get clogged.