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She throws away important things. What can I do?

When my wife cleans and straightens up, many times she throws away things that are important to me, without asking me beforehand. She knows what I need and what I don't need. I've asked her to not to do it; I've requested and explained, but nothing has helped. She continues as before. What can I do?


Answer:


I should probably make this a permanent introduction: Without more information and investigation, I can't know what's really going on in your house, the context. So the real question may not be the one you asked but something entirely different. Since the question as written is relevant to many households, I will answer it at face value.


So...where were these things before they were thrown away? Maybe they were already "thrown away" in some inappropriate place? Was it possible for her to understand that they were unnecessary or unimportant? Even if you think this place was suitable, maybe in her opinion it wasn't. You need to sit down to have a clear conversation about it!


Furthermore, you wrote that you've asked, requested, and explained. What did you say and what was the underlying message? Let me guess: "Why don't you ask me in advance?" "Why are you doing this to me?" "Ugh, I have to search in the trash again." Probably your requests and explanations were a little more abrasive than you realize.


A woman once conveyed a key concept to me with the following statement: "When he shouts, my ears close!" And it is true and understandable. By the way, similar circumstances happened to the woman who made the statement. She cleaned and threw away documents that were very important to her husband. When he got angry, she was hurt and didn't understand what he wanted at all. From her perspective, she cleaned; he should be thanking her at the very least.


When you lash out and blame, the other person automatically tries to defend him- or herself, or "close

their ears," or give a comeback. That's how it works for any normal person. She probably didn't even hear what you had to say!


Our expression can be angry, blaming, "you're not okay," and "why did you do it?" By the way, what do we really mean when asking why somebody did something? Are we truly asking? Are we actually open to hearing the answer?


Or our expression can be one of pain. "You are perfectly fine. I'm sure you didn't mean to throw away anything important at me. But still, I'm hurting. To me, it hurts." Share a little about the pain — without blaming! Describe only what you feel, not what you feel toward her but toward the discarded item, how important it was to you. Speak in a tone of pain, not a tone of blame. This is something that needs to be practiced, so practice with a good friend. Often we blame and don't notice it. We express pain, but the other "picks up" the veiled blame and volleys it back to us, and then we don't understand why.


Don't share an excessive amount of pain because she may not have the ability to handle it. When you don't blame, she won't feel the need to defend herself or mentally block out your words. She will be open to accepting your pain and understanding what she did and what she didn't do.


Mainly ask her to talk to you about anything she questions, anything at all. Request, don't demand! Ask her to ask you about everything or anything she is unsure how to handle. As for what happened and what was thrown out, there is no point mentioning it (except for the painfulness of its loss). It won't help anything! If you deeply examine why you are compelled to talk about what happened, that is, what she did and why you blame her — you will find something unpleasant inside yourself, an intention to get back at her and make her feel bad about herself. This has no place in a Jewish home!


Also, I'm sure you don't want her to fulfill your desires out of fear — fear of you yelling and/or being angry. You want her to comply because she cares about you and is considerate of your needs and wishes. The only way to build up caring in a relationship is by using the approach mentioned above.

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