Almost every task can be completed in several different ways. However, most people become so used to the one way that they do things that whenever someone else’s technique varies, they assume it is wrong. Learning to recognize that how your partner does something might be right, even if it is not the same way you do it, can have a positive impact on the marriage.
How do you respond when your partner is completing a task that you normally do? For example, a wife who usually cooks lasagna has all the ingredients and planned to cook lasagna for dinner. She had to stay late at work and will be at least an hour late. Her husband decides to get dinner started and he starts preparing the lasagna using the directions on the lasagne noodle box. When his wife arrives home, she yells at him and tells him that he should know that she uses her grandmother’s recipe and not the recipe on the box.
Or another example might be a man who typically does the yard work. His wife decides the grass is getting long so she will mow the yard herself. When he sees how she is doing it, he tells her she should be mowing in the opposite direction or it “just won’t look right.”
There is definitely more than one way to cook a lasagna. And which direction the lawn is mowed is probably a personal preferance and not a hard and fast rule. In both of the above examples, the spouse who tried to help became ridiculed for not doing the same way that their partner usually does it, even though they weren’t doing anything wrong.
Examine how you respond when your partner does something differently than the way you do it. Do you yell? Or criticize? Or tell them not to bother doing it again? The next time your partner does something in a different way, try to remind yourself that there’s more than one way to do something “right.” Also, try and think about what is more important, praising your partner for thinking ahead and completing a task, or making sure it is done to your liking.