Some years back, my in-laws gave me a bread machine for Christmas. I loved it. I could throw together any number of amazing breads, and it was so easy. The only thing I missed? When you bake bread in the oven, it fills up the house with a wonderful aroma, and you don’t get much of that with a machine.
My husband wanted to experiment with making rye bread. I explained to him that it’s important to use a certain balance of white flour with your rye, but he … well, I’m not sure what happened, but he didn’t listen to me. Maybe he didn’t want to eat white flour. Maybe he thought I was being persnickety. At any rate, he used 100% rye flour in the machine.
As the dough started to form in the bread machine bucket, it became very thick, and caused the mixing paddle to seize, which blew out the motor of the bread machine. I was a very not-happy person. I was upset because he broke my machine, but I was even more upset because he hadn’t listened to me.
Sometimes when husbands and wives are giving each other advice, they do it to prove they’re smart, or they’re trying to make themselves look better than their spouse. Think about it … when you’re irritated with your spouse, don’t you find yourself telling them what to do a little more often? There are other times, though, when you are offering advice because it really needs to be given. I knew that bread out of 100% rye flour would be too heavy for the machine because I had read the instruction manual, and it specifically says that it’s important to use white flour in with your whole grain flours to keep the machine from seizing up. However, when I told my husband to use while flour too, I didn’t explain how I knew that, and he must have interpreted it to mean, “This is what Tristi wants, but that’s not what I want, so I’ll do it differently.”
Whenever you have a situation where something must be done a certain way, it’s important to communicate that to your spouse. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it because it’s so important—tell your spouse the reason why, or they’ll think you’re just sharing an opinion that can be overruled. I should have explained, and I probably should have shown him the instruction manual. That way, he would have understood that what I was saying was important.
It would be nice if husbands and wives just trusted each other’s word automatically without the additional explanations, but that wouldn’t be totally ideal, either. People are sometimes wrong, and we shouldn’t just take everything at face value. In addition, it’s good to be strong-minded and to have our own opinions. We just need to learn when our spouses have more valuable experience than our own, and then learn how to respect that. It not only saves appliances, but strengthens relationships as well.