My boyfriend ruined my clothes! What now?

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Dear Dr. Matt

What do you do when your loved one puts your expensive wool items and cotton shirts in the dryer and they all come out ruined?  HELP!

-Laundry Disaster

When this question was first raised on the Dr. Matt fan page on the Facebook Internets, it sparked an interesting discussion between myself and one of my more beautiful fans.  Considering how hot Dr. Matt fans are, that’s really saying something.  However, the discussion was around what this guy should do or should have done, but since he’s not around, I think I’ll just stick with the question presented here:  What should she do?

Dear Disaster-

This question could be rephrased like this: “How should I react when my partner has only the best intentions, is in fact attempting to make life easier for me, and upsets the delicate balance of my clothing coordination?”

This is a pickle for sure.  After all, this is a person that you love, who’s trying to do something nice for you, and they’ve gone and plum messed everything up.

My first piece of advice: don’t react.  Now, I’m not saying to do nothing, but don’t have whatever you do be a reaction.  A reaction when you’re angry can be hurtful, and if you do or say something hurtful, then you’re left with this problem: he’s hurt you unintentionally, and you’ve hurt him intentionally.

Hopefully, you’re more level-headed than that, and you haven’t reacted, but you’re still left with the fact that you’re angry.  Well, good, be angry. You have every right to be angry.  Your personal belongings that you spent hard-earned dollars on have been demolished.  Even if you have the money to replace them, or your loved one does it for you, it’s still inconvenient.  If your washing machine blew up with your clothes inside and ruined them, you’d be angry then, wouldn’t you?  You’d probably look for someone’s butt to kick for making a defective washing machine.

Of course… if you looked for someone’s butt to kick when your washing machine blew up, then it would probably mean that you were looking for someone to attach your anger to.  Better they take responsibility for your anger than you, right?  When your loved one makes a clothes-handling mistake, it’s much easier to attach the anger to them, which makes it much less helpful for you.  If you attach it to them, that means you ain’t feelin’ it, because you’re making your anger their problem.

Now, Disaster, you might say, “But Dr. Matt, that sounds like I should let the guy off the hook.”  That’s an interesting concept, because the problem with a hook is that you’re stuck on the other side of the line. You’re trying to get your fishing pole back, and that fish on your hook is trying like crazy to preserve himself.  If you want that fish to have the free will to come to you and say, “You know what, I’m sorry for what happened and I’d like to make you a nice dinner,” then you gotta let him off that hook.  Otherwise he’s just giving you dinner because he was a fish on your hook.  Some people call that forgiveness.  I just call it not wasting your time fishing, because fishing is a sport that can waste a lot of time.

Come to think of it, “forgiveness” is probably a shorter way to describe it.

Thanks for your question!

Dr. Matt*

* Dr. Matt is not a real doctor.

Do you have a question for Dr. Matt?  Write him at askdrmatt@gmail.com, or visit the Dr. Matt fan page on Facebook.

Dr. Matt

Dr. Matt* gives advice on relationships, life, death, half-life, pet ownership, sexuality, asexuality, proto-sexuality, and mustache growing. * Dr. Matt is not a real doctor.

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