It’s silent now.

No more music.

And it’s my own fault. I should have known better.

It seemed like such a reasonable request. But for an all or nothing kind of guy. . .

You see, Marc has this music play list that randomly shuffles through a handful of his favorite tunes. He doesn’t need any new artists, or much variety. He just has his favorites that he enjoys. He’s kind a plain vanilla kind of guy!

Turns out he downloaded some new music recently from an unknown group — it was probably free — just because it was a niche genre of music that he enjoyed, so he thought he’d try it out. Turns out, this group is AWFUL. I mean cat squalling, pitch bending, Simon Cowell grimacing AWFUL. And I think he downloaded the whole album.

I tried not to say anything at first, but then I just couldn’t bear it any longer. Some things you can just avoid or ignore or overlook for the sake of peace in your marriage. As a musician, for me, this wasn’t one of those things. And truthfully, I’ve overlooked a lot over the years, and I even wrote a book entitled Won Without Words, so I know a little bit about biting my tongue. . .

At first I started by dropping hints, and then I resorted to rolling my eyes, and grimacing, and trying to unobtrusively cover my ears when their turn came to sing wail. I was just nigh of  poking my index fingers in my ears and chanting, “I can’t hear you. . . I can’t hear you. . . I can’t hear you.” But that just seemed a bit beneath my dignity.

So instead, I just resorted to out-and-out nagging and brow-beating. Every time that group came on, I questioned his taste, and his musical sensitivities. When that didn’t work, I finally resorted to pity and manipulation. With a quiver in my voice, I admitted, “Marc, when I hear that group, and knowing their lack of talent, and knowing that you like it, well, it just makes me question your taste. I mean. . . after all, you picked me, too. Maybe I’m similar to that group. Maybe I have no talent, no skill, nothing that makes me unique. If you like them, and you like me. . . well, I don’t like what that says about me.”

Whew! It worked. He finally got it. And he proved his love for me by being willing to spare me from the unpleasantness of that awful music. Unfortunately, until he creates his special ‘Shari Play List’, he won’t turn the music on when I’m around. He’s not trying to make a statement. He’s just being sensitive to my sensitivities. He’ll put aside his likes in deference to my dislikes.

Now I feel kinda guilty. And there’s no more music. Nah — I don’t feel guilty at all, and I rather enjoy the silence. . .

But the fact remains that conflict in marriage is kind of like that sometimes. We moan and groan and complain and criticize, and finally resort to tears and manipulation to get our very real and important *ahem* needs met. But, ladies, there are consequences to getting our own way.

Sometimes we get nothing. Absolute silence!

It is important to learn to communicate in a way that they understand, to get them on board with helping us in a certain area. And it is important to express your true needs. He really wants to meet your needs if he can. . . if he understands what you really want. . .

But, I just want to encourage you, as you tend your vineyard, and as you explore ways to communicate. . . just realize that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  If you complain — er — talk about the music — when he tries to meet your needs by silencing the music, you can’t complain about the silence. That’s only fair! Grrr!~

Hope you have a chance to make beautiful music together this weekend!

Shari

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