The Underwear Principle

What exactly is The Underwear Principle?

I discovered it as a newlywed:

Expecting marital bliss, I was dismayed to discover my new husband would toss his underwear in the same spot on the floor every. single. day. After months of pleading, begging and withholding stimulating intellectual conversation (this is a family friendly blog), he still refused to put his underwear in the hamper! So, determined to win this battle over underwear, I did the unthinkable.

I moved the hamper to the underwear pile location.

Success!

The Underwear Principle:

First, I had to let my idea of the perfect hamper location GO. Let it go. I had to pry my white knuckled fingers off of “MY Way.” I just liked the hamper there. It didn’t have to stay there. MY Way is not always the BEST way. MY Way is not the ONLY way. It is just ONE way. A DIFFERENT way. (But different in a more aesthetically pleasing way. Come on, he’s a GUY.)

Secondly, I had to accept this “flaw” in my husband. What was really important here? It was a HAMPER. It was UNDERWEAR. I wasn’t going to divorce my new husband over underwear. I wasn’t even going to fight with my husband over underwear. (I was going to fight with him over money, like any normal newlywed).

Third, I had to pay attention. He didn’t want to carry his underwear across the room every day. He wanted to dump his underwear somewhere along his normal walking path. Watching what WAS happening and figuring out WHY was the key. I was able to modify MY Way to accommodate HIS Way.

Finally, I had to do it all over again when we moved into a new house. Circumstances changed and I had to adapt. Application of The Underwear Principle is never a done deal. Some changes don’t work. Some changes make improvements, but don’t work completely. It requires modification over time.

So, I had to adapt my way of doing things to accommodate his way of doing things. A compromise, to be sure, but still. A win-win situation. The Underwear Principle can be applied in so many other situations. In the coming weeks and months, I’ll post some of my experiences applying it. See below for post links.

So, what’s your “underwear?” It may not be a tangible item. It may be a way of doing something or a difference of opinion. Have you unknowingly applied the Underwear Principle in your life? Can you see any possibilities for application now?

January 16, 2008: “don’t file paper at home anymore. part 1

January 21, 2008: “don’t file paper at home anymore. part 2

January 27, 2008: “don’t file paper at home anymore. part 3

Check out my freakishly organized page for more examples!