Do you ever find your head spinning around backwards because your spouse does something minor “the wrong way?”
Perhaps the way he loads the dishwasher or dresses the kids makes you nuts. You know your way is best, and his way is inferior. His way of doing things isn’t life-threatening or horrendous, but still…it’s just not the right way.
You may have even corrected him a time or two (or three or four). And yet, he still loads the dishwasher his way.
What’s a slowly-going-nuts wife to do?
I’ve been asking myself this question for the last several years after my husband began storing our glassware upside down and stacked. For over 25 years, he stacked the glasses right-side up. Peace reigned in the Degler household. And then, for reasons he cannot explain, he decided to keep stacking the glasses but to turn them upside-down.
I’ve barely slept since then. 😉
I know my way is best this time, and my husband’s way is wrong. Glassware is best stored right-side up. I’ve even Googled it and found an article explaining how the rim is the most delicate part of glassware so it’s best to store them right-side up. Trying to be helpful, I shared this crucial information with Jeff. I’ve asked him several times to not stack the glassware upside-down. And yet, he still does it his way.
I think I’m going to have to let this one go.
And my, oh my, how hard it is to let minor things go! Particularly when someone-who-shall-go-unnamed (okay, it’s me) tends toward perfectionism and likes things done her way, also known as the right way.
But if I don’t let this minor thing go, it could turn into a major thing that erodes the friendship Jeff and I enjoy.
If I insist on everything being done my way, then little differences in opinion become battlegrounds for control.
Over time, a happy, peaceful home dissolves into a tension-filled house where husband and wife are exhausted from trying to show the other person that their way is best and that “you are not the boss of me.”
What minor thing is your spouse doing that you need to let go of?
I’m not suggesting you sweep major issues under the rug. Major issues pile up under the proverbial rug, and eventually your marriage will trip over them. I’m talking about minor things, differences in opinion, preference, method, or habit that won’t matter over time.
Letting go of “it” means you stop trying to convert your spouse to your opinion or way of doing things. No more sharing the gospel of correct dishwasher-loading methods.
You accept that he is a different person than you, and as an adult, entitled to his own opinions and preferences. You don’t go behind him and reload the dishwasher, redress your kids, or restack the glasses (ouch, that last example hurt!). No heavy sighs or eye rolling. No more giving your kids lectures on how to do things correctly whenever he’s within earshot hoping he’ll finally learn.
Just. Let. It. Go.
And when we can let the minor things go, we have energy left for enjoying one another. My husband does many things really well, and he even does some things better than I do (who knew?!?). I need to train my eyes to notice what he does well instead of zeroing in on what isn’t done my way. And really, who am I to assume that my way is always best?
It also helps to ask myself “Is this really going to matter a year from now? Does this thing he’s doing differently than I would have eternal consequences?”
And if the answer is no, it’s time to let it go.