Sometimes I accuse hubby of having a chip on his shoulder. It seems that whenever anything goes wrong, either here at our house, at our daughter's house just around the corner, or anywhere else for that matter, he says, "It must be my fault!" I think it's because he can fix just about anything. Somehow, that translates in his mind that he should be fixing whatever is broken wherever it might be. A hefty assignment for anyone, don't you agree? His attitude always gets me going and I respond by pretending to dust off that imaginary "chip" resting on his shoulder.
We were talking about this subject recently and it made me realize that there are a lot of gripes and grievances that couples and families have with each other. Whenever human beings live in close quarters together, their differences are bound to clash on occasion. I think, for the most part, hubby and I get along quite nicely. But I know I drive him crazy once in a while with my own idiosyncrasies just as he drives me crazy with his.
Human nature is an odd and interesting thing to observe...especially in those with whom we have close relationships. Learning to "go with the flow" can become an art form sometimes. Patience is difficult for some people and I am one of them. I often don't understand why everyone doesn't think the way I do!
One of the things about my own behavior that seems to drive hubby crazy is my penchant for seeing every glass as half full instead of half empty. I have never understood looking at the negative side of anything when you can just as easily emphasize the positive. Most situations are what they are and won't be changed by being negative or placing blame. Hubby calls it my "spin."
So when he complains about feeling as though it's his fault that he can't fix everything for everyone that breaks, loosens, falls apart or needs tender loving care, I remind him to look at the positive side. The mere fact that he has the ability to change a bad situation into a good one should make him feel warm and fuzzy, not glum and anxious. I say he shouldn't try to balance that chip on his shoulder anymore but should pat himself on the back instead.
(Based on my article from the Winter 2002 issue of Emily's Country Quarterly.)