Communication & Compromise

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I have yet another confession to make…

I am not exactly the most submissive wife.


As a teenager I was rebellious and stubborn, and I can’t honestly say much has changed in that respect as I’ve grown older. I just direct my obstinacy toward different things (like the media, social pressures, an overbearing government, etc)… and unfortunately my husband is sometimes among them.

One of the many challenges we have faced with this new lifestyle is the need to compromise. Particularly in the area of how we will do things here. How many chickens should we get. How much money are we willing to spend on that. Where should the clothesline go. How should the greenhouse be built.

We each have our own opinions.

And they don’t always coincide.

Okay… they rarely coincide.

I should probably be a good, submissive wife and leave it up to my dear husband. But instead, it always goes like this:

  • We talk about a project that needs to be done.
  • Jerry goes out and works on the project, unbeknownst to me.
  • I go out to find him proudly finishing up.
  • And I freak out ’cause it’s totally nothing like what I had in mind.

You’d probably get a kick out of watching the whole scene unfold. And I swear, it always, ALWAYS, happens this way!

I know. Poor Jerry.

The real problem, lack of communication.

We’d both agreed that a chicken run needed to be built, but my picture of how it would look and what Jerry had in mind were two TOTALLY different things. And we’d neglected to share with each other how we thought it should be done.

And he thinks his way is best.

And I think my way is best.

And once it’s built and I go outside to discover it, and hate it, we have a nice… ah-hem… discussion about it.

It never ends up ugly. I promise. We never truly fight. (Only because Jerry is so patient and cool-headed. One of the many reasons I married him.)

But it definitely gets heated. And we are both very frustrated.

And after we’ve discussed why it should be done our own ways, we compromise.

Translation: I win.

I have successfully convinced him that my way is best. And then I’m satisfied.

Jerry. How I love him. He is so incredibly accommodating.

And then he laughs and wraps his big arms around me and says, “You know why I like to argue with you, don’t you? ‘Cause you’re so cute when you’re mad!”

And I try to hide my smile as I playfully push him away and scold him.

And that’s how it’s done. Communication and compromise.

One of these days we’ll learn our lesson and talk it all out beforehand!

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22 thoughts on “Communication & Compromise”

  1. I think the problem here, is you don’t know how to communicate what you want. Like a man who has never cooked before in his life, wants you to make a chicken dish, just like his mum. He knows it’s “chicken”, but has absolutely no idea about the recipe. The image is in his head, what he wants, but doesn’t know how to communicate that to you.

    I wear the tool-belt in this family, and my husband (who is a chef, not a handyman) was intimidated how to put his input, forward. So he put off communicating, indefinitely. Which wasn’t helpful, when he came back with “suggestions” after a project was close to being finished. I don’t do, redo’s though. So he had to learn to dialogue with me, beforehand.

    I suspect you need to learn the dialogue of building, so you’re not intimidated by talking about it. Ask him to show you how to use a tape measure – like where does he usually take measurements from? Everyone is different, depending how they put boards together. That way you can go out with a tape measure (he doesn’t have to be there) and draw a little sketch, of the image in your head, with rough measurements.

    That’s how my husband and I exchange ideas. We do little drawings, during the day, then do a round table discussion. That way, it’s all in writing. 😉

  2. Hi,
    First, I’ve canned for a number of years having learned the basics from my grandmother but I am always open to learning anything which advances the cause! Your video was excellent and enjoyable. Got my vote.
    However, I guess I would not survive being married in some the worlds in the comment segment. As my ex will attest to, in her own inimitable way, I am quite bullheaded.
    Being a building contractor, I am more than familiar with bending nails and unless it is completely and absolutely proven to me my way is inadequate and not some design whim, then my way it is. So, if anyone were to appear and criticize what is built, I would calmly hand the person my tools and proceed to sit and watch whatever it is that is to be constructed, get built (all the time biting my tongue).
    And no amount of coercion will make me rejoin the effort toward completion.
    If you want something built, tell me what that is and what vision of the final construction you may have, and step away. It will be built.
    Interfere and you’ll build it.
    Probably why my ex says I’m not the easiest person to live with, though (read:definitely). We’re still great friends and our grown children may attest to our ability to achieve a common goal. Daughter is a geneticist; Son-1, an Electrician, Son-2 is in marketing and sales. I think we did well despite us.
    Anyway, great vid and thanks for sharing!

  3. I have to admit the situations you describe sound exactly like what happens at my house, too. I, too, am learning what it means to be truly submissive, and how to apply that knowledge. I will second the endorsement for CTBHHM. It’s a wonderful book that just may have saved my marriage.

  4. It is a wonderful book, changed our lives, strengthened our marriage and family and has made me as an individual so joyous and gifted in my spirit. Lovely read, I think you will really enjoy it.

  5. I want to tell you about a book I read that changed my life! It’s a christian book titled: Created To Be His Helpmeet By: Debi Pearl If you ever get the chance this is such a good read! I fell in love with this book and apply it now to my everyday life it’s about God’s plan for women to be help meets and also talks about loving our children with joy and biblical womanhood the way God designed it. Wonderful book it changed my life.

  6. And one day he comes in and says “honey, I’ve had it out here on the farm. I found a great place in town and I’m sure we would like that place better.”

  7. It took me YEARS to figure this out! But it so works to figure out how the MAN in your life works!
    For projects around the house I usually have a plan, then what I do is start doing something then say “honey, can I borrow that thingy with the blade and your saw horses?” “I’m working on putting up some new trim”. Which totally makes his eyes bug out and scratch his head. Then of course once he sees me trying to do it and I say “I think I might need to go to HOME DEPOT”…he’s all over it and before I know it he’s cutting and nailing and I’m putting the putty in the nail holes and sweeping the floor! And it’s exactly how I want it and he’s REALLY happy that he had to go to HOME DEPOT to get a ‘what not’ for whatever his tool needed!

    Years Kendra…took me years to figure it out!

    I love your blog and congrats on the new addition!

  8. Well, I have learned to be more submissive over the years. When we have a project we generally “discuss” our options… His is ALWAYS right so I just “let him have his way”. Some times things work out great but then there are times when his plan flops and I don’t boast or say anything like “you should have listened to me!”. I just wait for him to say “honey you were right, I should have…(whatever it was). Then some times, we are working together and his plan isn’t going “as planned”, he just gives me that look like “You don’t have to say anything!”. GREAT! Most times the projects aren’t really worth getting all lathered up about anyway. You will come to recongize that with age and time as well. It is part of the growing process!

  9. After being married for many years, I look at this a little differently. Your husband had very good intentions and a plan in mind. However he also knows you very well and yet went ahead with his plans without telling you. How could he not expect your reaction? I say this from experience and in a solid loving marriage…between 2 strong personalities! He must have known the consequences from the very beginning. I am very happy you can resolve these problems but when the plans for the next venture come up, be upfront that you should both make the plans together. The end results are so very happy!

  10. Ok I am going to go against the grain here and say, if one has a husband who is willing to take the lead as he was created to do than you are truly blessed! Our culture has twisted and numbed everyone down including the role of men. We women have a bad habit of doing the same in cunning ways to boot. I know because I was more rebellions and stubborn than you…:P
    And when YHVH finally worked on me enough to want to chose to be a help meet and not my husband’s competition/contention is when EVERYTHING changed. First I changed (not all at once and of course I am still a work in progress), then he did too. Now he comes to me and asks me what I want, think, or how to go about doing something. (And my dh was an extremely strong willed man, being a business owner, in construction.)
    I realize this is one of the most foundational and controversial issues out there but that is because it takes us back to the beginning…what we were created for and the fall of man.
    YHVH is order, he has set up His ways and wants us to live by them. He comes first, He created man in His image, and then woman was created for a companion for man. (1 Corinthians 11:9) There is a greater establishment/peace taking place here that most will never grasp because our society continues to propagate that we are equal. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying we are lesser of a soul, YHVH forbid! But we are certainly not the same. There is man without a womb and WOman with a womb.

    With Love in the spirit of Messiah Yahushua,

    • Emily,

      You are absolutely right. This is something I’ve really been trying to work on. It’s just SO HARD to let go and allow him to make mistakes when I know I can help him avoid them. I know, it’s a pride issue. But you are right. If the tables were turned I wouldn’t want him telling me how to do my job! I an blessed that he is so gracious 🙂

  11. With us it is like two bulls who make it quite clear what they want and are determined to get it. Usually our desires are completely opposite. Then toward the end of the discussion the bulls humble themselves and find something that is somewhere in between that we both can live with. Often times the thing we think up together is better than either of our ideas and we both like it best! Quite often too, though, I do need to succumb to his decision and just enjoy what he chooses to do. I think I may be turning into something less aggressive than a bull… which is kind of nice, but it’s been a long road. LOL

  12. Sounds like how things go here too, old changing table was falling apart, so we built a new one, hubby didn’t really follow the directions… grrrr still turned out ok but not how I envisioned it. So I asked him to take the old one down to the dump, baby was born, it sat in the living room for a few weeks. I tugged it out onto the patio (thinking it would be easier to move into the back of the truck, haha) It sat there for a few weeks, finally today I knocked it over and loaded it into the boot(trunk) of my car.(baby is now 11 weeks old) The chicken coop, still unfinished, but its painted bright red… lol I’ll probably paint some trim white and attach it and staple the rabbit wire to the bottom myself. I wait and wait for him to do it himself but end up getting fed up and doing it anyway.

  13. you said one day you’ll learn your lessons and talk things out first… why? you already have it all under control! (LOL) ! my grandmother always told me to do things the way I think best, but to do it in such a way as to let him think it was really his idea, hey, it’s always worked for me! the trick is that it just takes a litlle practice to get it right. ( like, maybe a few years)

  14. Hmmm… I guess if I’m honest, I’d say– we do the same thing sometimes. He says I need to draw him a picture– I accuse him of “NOT GETTING IT”… i like to call it ‘making some concessions’ {smile}

  15. I’ve learned to pick my battles. LOL! When hubby is doing something outside that I don’t want to do or can’t do and it’s nothing super cosmetic (like flowers, etc.) then I let him have at it. I put in my suggestions, but sometimes I don’t get my way. Our barn is burgundy/red. He wants to paint the meat chicken coop barn red…not quite the color of the main barn. It’s going to totally clash. I just know it. I have given him my “opinion”…I think it should be white. I think I’ll “suggest” it a few more times and hopefully he’ll come home with white paint and not barn red. If not maybe you can come over and explain it to him?! LOL! 😉

  16. LOL! That sounds quite familiar! Thankfully my hubby LOVES to draw things out and plan ahead so he is good at letting me know what his plans are. However, sometimes that doesn’t matter. Or sometimes it’s the other things he does that he thinks he’s being a huge help with, but because I’m such a perfectionist-control-freak, I generally go through the freak out phase too. LOL Fun times…poor hubby. So grateful he loves me, because I’d be in big trouble if he didn’t. 😉


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