May 8, 2012Being Chivalrous
Your letters about men opening doors for their wives reminded me of my arrangement with my wife. I started opening the doors for her about 10 years ago after listening to your show. Over the years, I have decided I do it for myself as much as I do it for her.
My wife's behavior is sometimes a challenge to put up with. I work hard for her and for our lives together, but she still complains a lot. On a bad day (when I don't want to stay silent while she complains), I will start an argument with her in order to defend myself. Over our 30 year history, when we start arguing, we both can become mean-spirited very fast. And over the years, some of these arguments have done long-term damage to our relationship.
So I have developed a means to rein myself in: I open the car door for her as a method to remind myself I am still her husband, no matter what I feel at the moment. This one act usually causes me to re-evaluate the situation and just stop myself from arguing, before things get out of hand.
I have worked with my wife to find an equivalent trick for her to use - something a wife has to do for her husband whether she feels like it or not. I came up with one silly idea that seems to work: she has to trim my ear hair. So now, when we argue, I stop long enough to open doors for her, and then tell her "my ear hair is growing awfully long, and I can't cut it myself…"
Posted by Staff at 2:40 PM