Angry at Your Inconsiderate Husband or Wife?
You're rushing to prepare dinner for the family. You won't be eating with them. You have an important meeting to attend. But it's your responsibility to feed them, and you're running late.
The vegetable peeler is nowhere to be found. Not in the drawer. Not in the sink. Not hiding behind the chopping board someone left out. (And you know the kids don't bother with chopping boards.) Where is it?
There it is. It's in the dishwasher. Not washed. Not with any hope of getting washed before it's time to prepare dinner. Someone (and you know it was not the kids) stuck it in here to save 20 seconds of washing up. And now you must wash it if they are to eat the carrots and potatoes you planned.
You feel mistreated, invisible, annoyed. You recall other annoyances that were surely thoughtless acts: moving your magazine to another room, forgetting a dinner at your friend's house, showing up late to your parents' 25th anniversary party a decade ago.
(That's how memory works. Annoying events are connected to other annoying events, not to last night's great sex or that encouraging pep talk before you left to make this morning's presentation at work.)
This is exactly the time to Assume Love, to ask, "Why might a good, loving person stick the vegetable peeler in the dishwasher between breakfast and dinner?"
One possible reason: you are no longer expected to make dinner today. Check the message board. Check the kids' calendar. Check for prepared food in the refrigerator.
None of those? How about distraction? How busy was this day for your loving mate? Anything big or urgent going on?
No? How about one of those fast cleanups where you stick everything in the dishwasher just to make the kitchen presentable on short notice? Maybe. The room's pretty neat, and so is the family room. But why hide the peeler and not the cutting board?
This might be where you remember doing your own fast cleanup this morning. Was the peeler out then? Not sure. Not likely, though.
So, maybe it really was done without consideration for you. But while you were running through the possibilities, it's likely you automatically washed the peeler. It's possible, too, that you recalled this morning's kind words while you were making your quick cleanup.
Even when you do not find a loving explanation, it still helps to Assume Love. It shifts you attention away from what anger focuses it on. It lets you recall the loving moments you chose this mate for. It puts what happened into a more realistic perspective. And it calms you enough to assess the situation more accurately, so you can take action if action is needed.
While it might spare your wife, husband, or life partner from a tongue-lashing or retaliation, these are not the point. The point is allowing you to enjoy your marriage, no matter how different you two are.