“Hey baby” I exclaimed as she entered the door from work. “You went to the salon today? You look phenomenal.” With a non-descriptive glance she replied “Um Hmm” as she charged past me in the kitchen. I didn’t think too much of the exchange because this sequence had become part of our routine. First, I would try to acknowledge how she looked or position myself in the doorway where the price of admission was a hug. Then she would find a detour or charge through my impromptu checkpoint like a bank robber avoiding arrest. It was, well, typical and didn’t bother me a bit.
Time passed on and an opportunity to write my first book, Marriage Declassified, presented itself and I took it. The focus was on marriage from a guy’s perspective and how you could win at the hardest role of your life. This required me to reflect on my own evolution from lowly boyfriend to Official Center of Her Universe. When I thought about what sort of best practices and strategy to share with guy’s there was one that immediately came to mind. The difference between how men and women process their day and it’s impact on a relationship.
I learned that when my wife comes home she not only is processing her workday, but also processing “targets of opportunity” around the house and adding them to a Kill/Capture list like a military drone sweeping through a hostile landscape. Her mind was absolutely cluttered with stuff and that was “A” reason that she always seemed figuratively outside of my reach whenever she got home. Sometimes that lasted for a moment and sometimes it would go on for days.
Then it hit me! As I started paying closer attention, the pattern became clearer and clearer. So I tasked myself with trying to identify those targets of opportunity and either neutralize or eliminate them from the radar sweep.
First, it was the dishes and random clothing on the floor. Second it was meal prepping and ensuring dinner was handled for at least three days. Next it was crafting my own honey-do list of random repairs and home improvements. What happened left me in utter amazement.
Now when she comes home her energy is completely different all because her inbox wasn’t flooded with stuff that needed to be done because it had been handled in advance. The direct result of this was a dramatic shift in her ability to “see me” when she walked in and not an unconquerable mass of task to be done. What I also began to experience was a monumental increase in access to Wifely-Delights if you know what I mean.
So the lesson here is that if you can identify the things that send your wife into a cyclone of worry and angst then you will have the details you need to create your own action plan and be proactive about solving for them. It communicates a couple of things to her. First, that you also notice all the potential distractions in the house. Second, that you give a damn and finally, in addition to caring you actually jumped into action.
Today everybody is busy and there will always be something that can be done. My marriage has taught me that if I act before being asked than her availability to me increases significantly. So find out how you can clear out the inbox leaving only one message behind, honey you’re home!