Marriage 101

Are you a perfectionist? Even If you’re not, you probably know one. Maybe it’s your best friend. Your child. A coworker. Your husband. A teacher. Your boss. Whoever it is, it can make things difficult when you don’t feel like you’re living up to their expectations.

I am particular when it comes to certain things, but pretty  laid-back when it comes to other things. That’s just the way I am. My husband is completely opposite. I’ve learned the value of respect.

I think one of the biggest challenges in marriage is learning to accept each other’s expectations. It has taken years for us to learn how to  communicate  without using words or facial expressions that cause the other to feel inadequate or stupid. Years.

”Don’t give me that look!” 😊

I will never forget a time when I was totally caught off guard when my husband laughed hysterically about something I failed to do. Back when we were newlyweds, we had separate checkbooks. We had just received our statements a few days before and he wanted to know if I balanced mine. Well, I didn’t do that – ever. Keep in mind, this was before everything was online.

He was a branch manager at a bank and he had a difficult time understanding why I didn’t. He told me he got mad at people (like me) for not balancing their checkbook – especially when they would come in to compalain that something was wrong with their account. Most of those situations wouldn’t have happened if their account had been balanced each month.

Anyway, I know he didn’t mean to, but he humiliated me when he laughed. I was crushed.  I’m sure I caught him off guard when I gave him my response. I guess we were both pretty shocked. I marched out of the room like a teenager. Been there?

For years my husband would rearrange the dishes in the dishwasher after I had loaded them. It would drive me crazy. I finally realized that it was one of his expectations that he couldn’t let go of. Don’t we all have those?

Listen, I’m far from perfect. I’m sure he could write a book  about me and all the times I pushed him over the edge or made him mad, but the good news is we got through it.

If you are married and you find yourself in similar frustrating moments, save yourself a lot of heartache and frustration by remembering to keep things in perspective. When we blow things out of proportion, the only thing we gain is, well – nothing.

I’ve been married 34 years. I’ve experienced love, heartache, frustration, sadness, anger, and pure joy – and that joy comes the moment  I look back and see where we started and what we’ve overcome.

Marriage isn’t easy, but life itself can be a challenge. When you allow God to be in the heart of it all, you can overcome. And love – even when you don’t feel like it.

2 Comments on “Marriage 101”

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