One thing that always causes a bit of tension in my marriage is when my wife and I sit down and go through our finances together. It's not that we really disagree over how we spend our money, it's just that she's quicker to understand certain things than I am, and I get irritated with myself for not getting it. Even when we begin our budget talks in good moods, it often ends in frustration.
Recently we've really needed to sit down and organize our finances. We've got a lot of funds just sitting uncategorized that should head over to savings and should be labeled for certain things we're saving for. I've been telling my wife we need to get to this, but every day it seems like there are other priorities that take precedence.
But the other night my wife said that maybe we could take some of the free minutes we had set aside that evening and use it for our finances. I said that was fine, but really wasn't feeling good about it. I said yes because I knew we needed to do it, but I was so tired from the day and I really wanted to give my mind a rest. It was at that moment that I realized the mood I was in would not be the best mood to start something important, especially something that I hate doing anyway. I told her a few seconds later that I really didn't want to do it that night because I wasn't in the right frame of mind to get it done. And because my wife is so wonderful, she said that was fine.
This little incident made me think about how certain problems can be avoided just by understanding ourselves and knowing how we'll act in certain situations. Of course this can't allow for eternal excuses — there are still things we must do whether we want to or not — but if we better understand how we will react in a given situation, we will be better prepared to handle it. If you're in a bad mood now, now is just not the best time to talk about something important. If you're in a good mood now, why not take advantage of the time and take care of something you'd usually rather put off?
Understanding ourselves better helps us interact with our wives.