286 days. That’s how long I’ve been married. In those days, it’s been a crazy ride, full of the usual ups and downs life brings. It might seem outlandish to take marriage advice from a newlywed, but in our freshly married state, we offer a unique perspective.
My husband I and have a great marriage. We openly discuss everything (sometimes we overshare), we rarely fight and we never raise our voices or go to sleep mad. We’re not perfect, but we work hard and give this marriage our all. We each do our part to keep things running smoothly. One of my parts? Don’t nitpick. Here’s how I decide whether I should mention something that’s bothering me to my husband.
CAN I DO IT MYSELF?
Lots of women complain about things like their husbands leaving their socks on the floor. Here’s the thing: he doesn’t see it. It doesn’t bother him and frankly, he doesn’t care where his socks are.That’s just his thing. If it’s not important to him and it’s important to you there’s going to need to be a compromise. This could be him deciding to pick up his socks (unlikely), this could also mean you ignoring his socks (unlikely), but the most likely option is you two fighting. My solution? If it’s something you can do yourself just do it. It takes two seconds to pick up a sock and it saves you both the hassle of a silly fight you’ll laugh about later. If you can do it yourself, DO IT.
WILL THIS MATTER TOMORROW?
It’s difficult to decide if something will matter tomorrow in the moment. What’s easier is venting your frustrations and feeling validated. If you want to bring up something up to your husband, consider waiting until tomorrow. If it doesn’t matter to you the next day, it probably wasn’t worth bringing up. If it still matters to you then you’ll have perspective and a clear idea of what to say to get your point across calmly and with love.
IS SOMETHING ELSE BOTHERING ME?
It’s tempting to get in fights about little things when something much bigger is on your mind. If you’re worried about work or money, if your love tank is empty,if you’re feeling neglected, it can be easy to lash out over hair in the sink. My husband and I make a point to talk often about our feelings. Being constantly open and honest gives us the ability to keep small issues from becoming big ones.
DID I HEAR WHAT HE HAD TO SAY?
In a marriage, it’s important to consider things from the other person’s perspective. For example, it’s easy for me to become frustrated when my husband doesn’t talk to me often at work. I can quickly spiral into thinking he doesn’t care or he isn’t being as sweet as normal. More often than not, I find out that his day has been completely overwhelming and I know my husband isn’t a great multi-tasker. Giving him the opportunity to talk to me about his day allows me to see things from his perspective. Once I do that, I can treat him how I’d want to be treated, with love, respect and understanding. Suddenly, my neglected texts don’t seem so important.
Marriage is all about choosing your battles wisely. In most cases, you’ll find that whatever is bothering you could be handled differently if you just assess the situation. Being mindful and respectful goes a long way toward fighting less and laughing more.