Thursday, January 31, 2013
The Grapefruit Syndrome
Jarrod and I had a quiet moment the other night, sitting around the table eating grapefruits together...really a guilt-free, late-night snack that's very refreshing. It reminded me of a story I read during my first year of marriage, called The Grapefruit Syndrome. The author wrote:
"My husband and I had been married about two years—just long enough for me to realize that he was a normal man rather than a knight on a white charger—when I read a magazine article recommending that married couples schedule regular talks to discuss, truthfully and candidly, the habits or mannerisms they find annoying in each other. The theory was that if the partners knew of such annoyances, they could correct them before resentful feelings developed.
It made sense to me. I talked with my husband about the idea. After some hesitation, he agreed to give it a try.
As I recall, we were to name five things we found annoying, and I started off. After more than 50 years, I remember only my first complaint: grapefruit. I told him that I did not like the way he ate grapefruit. He peeled it and ate it like an orange! Nobody else I knew ate grapefruit like that. Although I have forgotten them, I’m sure the rest of my complaints were similar.
After I finished, it was his turn to tell the things he disliked about me. Though it has been more than half a century, I still carry a mental image of my husband’s handsome young face as he gathered his brows together in a thoughtful, puzzled frown and then looked at me with his large blue-gray eyes and said, “Well, to tell the truth, I can’t think of anything I don’t like about you, Honey.”
I quickly turned my back, because I didn’t know how to explain the tears that had filled my eyes and were running down my face. I had found fault with him over such trivial things as the way he ate grapefruit, while he hadn’t even noticed any of my peculiar, and no doubt annoying, ways.
I wish I could say that this experience completely cured me of fault finding. It didn’t. But it did make me aware early in my marriage that husbands and wives need to keep in perspective, and usually ignore, the small differences in their habits and personalities. Whenever I hear of married couples being incompatible, I always wonder if they are suffering from what I now call the Grapefruit Syndrome." Ensign, April 1993
My husband has never said ONE thing to me about what I might do that annoys him, or upsets him...although I know there are plenty. He has always defends me, my decisions, and profusely extols my virtues to the boys. And, he does not peel his grapefruit.