His story raises questions about self-awareness, personal growth and the dynamics of love and care within a relationship.
In the intricate tapestry of human relationships, self-awareness is pivotal in fostering empathy and consideration for others. A Reddit user u/Even_Tangerine_4201 recently shared their candid self-reflection on his journey toward becoming a more considerate partner. His story raises thought-provoking questions about self-centeredness, personal growth and the dynamics of love and care within a relationship.
The man begins by acknowledging the contrasting dynamics within his relationship with his wife. He commends his spouse's attentiveness to his life and genuine concern for his well-being. This, he notes, is what one might consider "basic loving, caring partner stuff." In their own words, "My wife has always been really good about staying aware of things happening in my life that I care about and periodically hecking in with me to see how they're going. (You know - basic loving, caring partner stuff.)"
However, he bravely confesses that reciprocating this same consideration doesn't come naturally to him. The husband describes himself as a self-centered individual, a trait he attributes to a lack of correction and even enablement of his character flaw during his formative years. He admits, "I have found that showing her that same consideration does not always come naturally to me. I would say I am a fairly self-centered person. I wish that weren't the case but in retrospect, a lot of bad behavior on my part was not corrected and even enabled when I was young. By the time I realized this character flaw I was already well into adulthood and I have found that old habits die hard."
To bridge the gap between their intentions and actions, he adopted a practical solution a few years ago. He began setting reminders in his calendar to ensure he wouldn't forget important events or milestones in his wife's life. He said, "So a couple of years ago I started setting reminders in my calendar so I wouldn't forget. Needless to say, I did not tell her I was doing this."
His approach, though unconventional, has proven effective. He explains that creating a reminder often helps cement the event in their active memory, making it easier for him to demonstrate consideration. He explains, “Often I don't even need the reminder - just creating it helps the event stick in my active memory.”
However, his well-intentioned strategy inadvertently led to a moment of revelation. “The other night she saw one of my reminders. (She has a potentially painful dental procedure later this week, FYI.) We both happened to be looking at something on my phone when it popped up. She was surprised. I had no choice but to explain the whole situation,” he shares.
He candidly shared that their wife didn't react with overwhelming disdain or label them a full-blown "a*****e." They said, "Needless to say she was surprised. I had no choice but to explain the whole situation. I wouldn't say she thinks I'm a full-blown a*****e. But she definitely found it weird and off-putting that I would need a system like that when she doesn't and nobody else does."
The person admits that he can empathize with their wife's perspective. While it never felt like a deep, dark secret, he acknowledges that there must be a reason he never disclosed this strategy to their spouse or anyone else. It's a revealing moment of self-reflection, prompting him to ponder the motivations and implications of their actions.
The netizens were overwhelmingly in support of the person, declaring them "NTA." u/beentherealmostdid said, "NAH. I think it's really sweet that you took the steps to help your wife feel valued. I'd sit your wife down and let her know that this has helped you engage with her more and learn more about how she's feeling. It's not like you've scripted a conversation, you've just helped to ensure that you'll actually have it. Many couples don't!" u/cjames34 shared, "ADHD here. I use a paper planner to record everything so I don’t forget. Even if it’s just going to dinner with my hubby."