Sometimes one person in a relationship goes to great lengths to prevent natural consequences. This can lead to that person becoming stressed and overwhelmed. It can also cause resentment to build. Sometimes, it is okay to allow for natural consequences to run their course.
Wives especially seem to be guilty of trying to prevent consequences, but sometimes husbands are too. They may worry about everything, including the things their partner doesn’t notice or seem to care about. As a result, they spend their time trying to make sure things are “just the way they should be.” Then they feel exasperated by their spouse’s lack of motivation to help out.
Peggy was guilty of not allowing her husband James to face natural consequences. James wasn’t good about hanging his clothes up neatly. His closet was a mess and he often got all of his suits wrinkled by cramming everything inside. Peggy went to great lengths to make sure his clothes looked neat everyday. She ironed his outfits each and every morning. She became resentful at times and even thought he was purposely getting his clothes wrinkled at times. She didn’t have to iron his clothes regularly. If she stopped doing so, he would have either started to iron them himself, wore wrinkled clothes, or would have taken better care of his clothes.
Another example is Lisa. Lisa called her husband and asked him to pick up a few groceries on the way home from work. He refused, stating he was tired. They only had one vehicle and they didn’t have enough ingredients to make a real meal. So rather than trying to scrape something together into a meal, Lisa opted not to make dinner. She fixed herself a frozen meal and when John came home she explained without groceries, she wasn’t cooking. In the past, she would have scrounged around to come up with something so that her husband could still have a hot meal on the table when he walked in the door. However, this time she allowed him to face the natural consequences of not buying groceries.
Natural consequences aren’t a punishment. Instead, it just means you’ll allow your spouse to take responsibility for their own behaviors. You don’t have to run around trying to fix everything and prevent things from happening.