So how do you bump back after 10 years of not even recognizing these fitness tests? I just started reading this blog a few weeks ago. I’m the same as you Athol, I’m a very accommodating person. But now I’m starting to realize how many shit tests I’ve failed. How can I start to dig myself out of the hole I’ve created?
The first step is always to get your physical body together as best you can. That may not sound like directly meeting Fitness Tests, but your physical body is always going to be a major factor in your interaction with your wife. Working out will make you feel better and stronger as a person, and that will radiate from you and affect her response to you as well.
The second step is to just start anywhere in terms of the social interactions between you both. Seriously just anywhere. If you’re in a big hole, anything is going to be an improvement. Pick an area and get started. Stop thinking so much, do something different.
A third area to work on is paying close attention to her tone of voice with you. Very often a Fitness Test involves a perfectly reasonable request, but she makes the request in an unreasonable manner. Whining, nagging, yelling, disdain, contempt, anger, insulting all qualify. Bump the request back to her as “You are yelling/insulting/whining/etc at me, if you are willing to talk to me in a proper tone of voice I will listen to you.” Then you simply ignore the request until such time as she reframes the request politely.
If it’s a reasonable request, and she can ask in a reasonable tone of voice… well you go ahead and help out. You really can still be accommodating to her, but not unless she is also accommodating to you. Jennifer and I both play the “Nice Card” at each other a whole lot. You just can’t play the Nice Card while she plays the Mean Card over and over.
But do not complete tasks for her involving contemptuous tones. And seriously – buy the book. Chapters 10-12 cover these exact issues.