The other day, my husband bought two emergency flashlights and told me exactly where he had hidden them. He called the other night during a wind storm to make sure we had power and asked if I had one of the flashlights on hand. I had no idea where he could have put them.
Last Saturday my husband went out and bought chains for his car because a snow storm was predicted for the following Monday. On Monday night I realized I would be stuck at home for days and wondered why my husband hadn't told me to prepare also - by stocking up on groceries and library books. He said, "I told you, but you never listen to me." I had zero recollection of the conversation.
You get the point. And, this happens daily.
Before, when conversations like these occurred, I was always able to remember our conversations and explain my rationalization in choosing not to follow through with his instructions. BUT, lately, it seems that I not only do not follow his orders, but I also have absolutely no recall of him giving the orders.
As I have delved deep into why this may be happening, I think I have come up with two explanations. These explanations have given me huge insights into my children's personalities and why my current parenting style is completely dysfunctional.
The first explanation is: I don't respond well to people giving me orders.
I know, it sounds funny, but I really think it's true. If I feel overwhelmed by orders or requests, I start to tune them out - apparently very successfully. (This explains a ton about my 8-year old.) Maybe my siblings or parents will correct me on this one, but this could be a hereditary trait. My dad is infamous for this trait. My dad and I (plus more in the family) seem to be designed not take orders. We don't like to take advice from other people. We like to learn the hard way, to not only reinvent the wheel but reinvent the wheel better. While it might have its disadvantages, I think it is a wonderful trait to have.
The second explanation is: my husband is a doctor; he gives orders all day long.
The unlikely compliment of these two explanations finally dawned on me today, and it felt like an incredible epiphany for me: my husband is honing his skills to give orders, and I am honing my skills to avoid taking orders.
As I mentioned, the lessons I have learned from finding these explanations have been helpful in redirecting my parenting efforts, but as far as improving my marriage relationship, I'm at a stand still. This post will have to be continued later, as I'm currently unsure about what to do next.