I’ve discussed communications in a marriage before. I have another example I want to share with ya’ll. This won”t take long but it’s a good thing to know.
Devoted Spouse now has another volunteer job at our church — one afternoon a week he goes to one of our branch churches and hangs out around the computer lab in case someone using a computer has a problem. He does this for about 3 hours at a time – usually from around 3pm to 6pm.
Coincidentally on the same day he has this volunteer position I attend a class at church which starts at 7 pm meaning I leave my house around 6:40 or so. So sometimes I see him come in as I am leaving and sometimes we miss each other.
This evening he walks into the house earlier than usual — in fact I was scarfing down a really bad chicken pot pie as he arrived. He said and I quote: “Reinforcement arrived early.”
I looked at him with the thousand-yard stare and said (using my ultra large vocabulary), “Huh?”
He repeated…”Reinforcement arrived early.”
One more time, I stared at him as my eyes glazed over and said, “What?”
I truly had no flippin’ idea what his statement meant. Really. What was being reinforced and why was it here early?
I finally in total frustration probably raised my voice just a tad and said something to the effect of , “What the crap are you talking about?” What reinforcement — is the Cavalry here?” WTH?
What he meant was that someone at the church had arrived to take his place at the next shift so he could come home early. Well why in the blue blazes didn’t he just say that? Because he thought I would understand his shortened version.
I didn’t. I walked away in total frustration thinking that, yes, I had gone over the edge because I couldn’t understand a simple statement made by Devoted Spouse.
Later I simply requested of him…”The next time you say something to me and I give you the thousand-yard stare, for the love of Gawd, don’t keep repeating what you already said. Find another way to express yourself so I understand what you are trying so hard to tell me.”
Discussion over. Communication failure solved.
Sometimes it’s the simple stuff that is the hardest.