Next-Day Rule Step 1 – Determine if the issue will be important the next day
In the grand scheme of things, will this situation matter tomorrow? Decide whether this situation, if left unaddressed, will create some sort of longer-term negative impact. If so, then it might be worth hurting your husband’s feelings, to address it. If not, then it probably isn’t.
Ask yourself: does it really matter that your husband loads the dishwasher differently than you? Will the dishes still get cleaned? Maybe you do need to rescue that cast-iron skillet (more on that in a moment), but otherwise let him have his triumph when he’s done the dishes and is feeling pleased with himself. Because regularly correcting him will trigger his secret feeling that he doesn’t measure up. And since that is his most painful feeling, he may just shut down and stop trying. (See this article for more information on that pattern.)
And really, is your way always “right” and his way “wrong?” Or is it just different? It’s not worth risking your relationship with your husband over something that’s really just a matter of opinion.
So instead, simply say “thanks for doing the dishes, honey,” with no qualifications. That will light him up.
But suppose it is a more important issue? Suppose you’ve noticed that when your husband takes your middle-school son to football practice, that he berates him a lot for how your son handles things. Now, the kid probably deserves some discipline, but you feel your husband is consistently too rough on him. And since you believe it could hurt their relationship, this one is definitely worth addressing.
Which leads us to Step #2….