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Hitched: The dishwasher dictator and other marriage follies
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By Dorothy Schneider and Brian Wallheimer
Dorothy Schneider and Brian Wallheimer have their hands full with three young children: two daughters and a son. They tell stories about the kids, but also the challenges of building and maintaining their own relationship through all life’s ...
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Hitched
Dorothy Schneider and Brian Wallheimer have their hands full with three young children: two daughters and a son. They tell stories about the kids, but also the challenges of building and maintaining their own relationship through all life’s challenges.
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By Dorothy and Brian Wallheimer
Aug. 11, 2017 3:42 a.m.

I won't go as far as saying I like when Brian is out of town, but I did load the dishwasher the other night and put dishes anywhere I wanted. And there was no later rearranging. And somehow they all got clean during the wash cycle.

Obviously I'm kidding (#notkidding) about this. Sometimes Brian puts on his dishwasher policeman badge, causing the occasional dust-up in our house over the 'correct' way to place items. In his defense, I've always been one to try to get all of the groceries (or any too-large load) into the house in one trip. In that same vein, I'm always finding a way to 'fit' just one more item in the dishwasher before we press start. Drives Brian batty, and it sometimes comes back to bite me when dishes come out with crusted on food at the end of the cycle.

Sometimes I'm the watchdog, raising a fuss over eggs taken out of the carton in the 'wrong' order. Or dirty clothes found outside the confines of the laundry basket, which I should really just move to the floor on his side of the room.

Clearly, neither of us would make it long without oversight (i.e. help) from the other. Which is what we try to remind ourselves after going rounds over some inconsequential household task or forgotten overdue bill.

It's easy to get caught up in the minutiae of day-to-day living and take out our frustrations (with the children or work or family) on our spouse. When that happens to me and Brian, it can take hours or even a day to reset. But we always get there.

With Brian's new job (a contract writing position he will largely do from home), he will travel out of town every month or so. My job involves a little more travel than previous positions, too. So I suppose we will test whether distance makes the heart grow fonder. I know the absences will at least cause longing for an extra set of hands in dealing with our trio of children.

We are a team, even if we don't agree on every play call. Brian and I sometimes have doubts (collective or singular) about the strategy in raising the kids, how to handle finances or what project 'needs' to be done around the house next. But we agree more than we disagree, though we have some areas in which we may never find common ground.

Luckily, I think we'd have a hard time ever filing divorce papers that cite 'irreconcilable differences over dishwasher-loading technique.'

 

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