We had a little spat about the dishes a few weeks ago.
I was telling a friend about it and he said “maybe it’s not about the dishes. Maybe he wants to spend more time with you on something.” I asked Mike later if this was the case and he said:
“No, it’s about the dishes.”
Mike and I have differing thoughts on the dishes. Mike wants them done as soon as possible after the meal and definitely before bed. I agree that I want them done but the timeline for me is more flexible. Most of the time I would much rather do them in the morning. But having them done before bed is really non-negotiable for Mike.
I know this. And I had been making a concerted effort with the dishes but it didn’t seem like that.
Mike felt like the dishes were always falling on him. And most of the cooking. I can’t say this is far from the truth. We had fallen into a routine where Mike would cook and clean most nights. But I would try to help with the dishes as much as I could.
Mike felt like he would do them and I would just help when I heard him doing them. Which wasn’t far from reality. “But it’s because I don’t think about doing the dishes at night,” I told him. “You don’t give me a chance to think about doing the dishes before you’re up and at ‘em.”
“I’m working on it. But you have to give me time,” I said, “because this isn’t my priority I’m not just going to jump up one day and say ‘I just finished my last bite, I’m going to do the dishes!‘”
I said “And while I’m working on changing this behavior and making this more of a priority, one of two things has to give: either you do the dishes and don’t get angry that you are, or you relax and allow the dishes to sit until the morning when I’ll get to them.”
“I don’t mind doing the dishes. I really don’t. But it’s stressful when I feel like they have to be done at a certain time.”
But they really bother Mike. Having them done before bed is a non-negotiable for him.
That’s when Mike came up with a brilliant solution. One that immediately made sense for both of us and has taken the stress of the dishes off.
Check back tomorrow to see what we decided…
In the meantime, tell me:
Thoughts on dishes?
What’s your non-negotiable? I’m honestly not sure I have one. Not to this extent. Mike may disagree with me on that though.