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Frogs, Fans, and Other Annoyances

“I’m going to kill them!”


“Kill what?”


“The frogs!”




“They croak all night and annoy me!”


“How are you going to kill them?”


“The same way I always do…I pour bleach into the pond.”




“Why don’t you just turn on a fan at night to drown them out?”


“Seriously. Are you kidding? I hate fans more than frogs!”


I went to sleep wondering what PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) would do if they knew. They went after the mayor of NYC for appointing a “rat czar” because they believed targeting rats was inhuman.


So, my heart is racing a bit in panic.


My wife murders frogs.




With bleach.


In a pond.


(Breathe, Kurt, breathe.)


Besides killing frog and toad (my favorite children’s book characters, by the way), I fear we will have bleached-white finches and blue jays. How will we explain that to the neighbors?


I must save them.


Hold on, my little amphibian friends. I will rescue you.


From the time I was a kid, frogs have always fascinated me. Their croaking was soothing and drew me to a happy place. Many nights, long ago, I would lay in my bed as a boy and listen to the beautiful sounds of nature.


Frogs, night owls, and crickets were comforting sounds of joy for me in a home that was often anything but safe and peaceful.


Dear Jesus, what poison will she use on Jiminy Cricket?




All kidding aside (and I am kidding and exaggerating a bit about my wife’s evil plans), how do you handle a situation where one partner feels exactly the opposite about something than you?


Here are some things to consider.


First, be sure both parties feel heard. It matters more that your partner feels understood than anyone feeling they won the argument. You can only sympathize or empathize when you feel what they feel (even if you disagree with their opinion). In fact, without clarity and understanding, there is little potential for compassion.


Constructively express your feelings using “I” statements rather than “you” accusations. Instead of saying, “You made me mad,” say, “When this/that happens, I feel mad.” What your partner did or said might have pushed a button, but you are always responsible for yourself. By owning your feelings, you take responsibility for your emotions and significantly reduce the possibility of defensiveness.


One more thing to try.


Healthy relationships are not about winning or losing. Perhaps there is a way for both of you to be satisfied with the outcome. What can you do that will be an effective and practical compromise? Because we are created in the image of God, we humans have incredible creative potential. Use it and look for creative alternatives.


My wife honestly does dislike the sound of frogs in our pond. So, I will attempt a frog rescue and relocate them to another pond in the park.


But if that doesn’t work, I will hide the bleach.




“Do the best you can to live in peace with everyone.”

Romans 12:18 (ERV)


Kurt Bubna

Kurt W. Bubna has published seven books, is an internationally recognized blogger, conference and retreat speaker, as well as an experienced life and leadership coach. Bubna has over forty years of experience working with individuals, teams, and a wide variety of business and non-profit organizations.