Every relationship has its unique and quirky issues that keep coming to the surface, sometimes daily. They can be a constant annoyance, or a great opportunity for cooperation. I entered married life with the conviction that the bedroom was private space, so using the floor and bed as part of my organizational system for clothes and other items would continue. My strategy was called into question early in our marriage, changes were made but making the bed was the final frontier. In my world making the bed was reserved for laundry day. My wife made her bed every day. You can picture the conflict. The tension was resolved by a simple rule. The last person out of bed will make the bed.
Funny how few times I’m the last out of bed!
I worked in restaurants at various times during high school and university. Clean counters became ingrained in my world view. My wife on the other hand, never worked in a restaurant, so she was more relaxed about crumbs. Soon I realized a simple solution to this difference, rather than commenting, was to simply wipe the counters. In our household, the joy of clean counters is mine. I’m the counter man!
In Canada most people remove their shoes in the entrance way of their homes. I’m convinced the architect of our home designed the entrance area as the logical place for shoes. My wife does not agree. She believes that all shoes, other than those of our guests, should be put away. When offending shoes are found they are often quietly removed. “Hidden” might be another word that comes to mind! Slowly I realized two things. First, if I put my own shoes away, finding them is much easier. Second, desires do not always need to be logical to me. If my wife wants a shoeless entrance way, it is a simple way to say, “I love you” when I put my shoes away.
Make a list of the unique or quirky issues in your relationship. Are there some opportunities to embrace the differences as a way to say, “I love you?” Can you say, “I don’t get it but if you want it that way, I will do it that way?”