Treat your spouse as you well as you would an acquaintance.
Hear me out. We would all try to not be snappish if a coworker or our child’s teacher asked us a question or to perform a favor. But yet that is an ‘okay’ response for a spouse!?! Again if we were spending time with our Pastor would we spend it with our eyes glued to our iPhone? Of course not. Our spouse too often is the last to receive the basic courtesies we extend to the bit players in our lives. We say our spouse is the most important person in our life, our actions should match that sentiment.
Your mess is not less irksome than his mess.
I think a basic truth in life is that someone else’s mess is always more of a bother than one’s own. This is important to remember when you’re living in close quarters with someone else so it applies to roommates as well as spouses. My husband comes home from a long day of working on his feet, strolls into our living room, sits down and takes off his heavy work boots and then leaves them. Right there. On our living room floor. Will walk away and the boots are: STILL THERE. Every. Single. Day. Drives me batty. But I need to remember that my habit of taking my shoes off at our back door and then walking away drives him equally crazy. Especially as it becomes a big pile of shoes within a couple days. In my mind his shoe habit is far worse: muddy job site boots in our living room. In his mind my habit is worse: cluttered pile of shoes creating a safety hazard on our back staircase. In truth we are both right. So when I begin stewing about his work boots, I remember how much my shoe pile annoys him and I check myself.
Comparison is the thief of joy:
Truth. Don’t compare marriages. People share the good bits on social media and very rarely the difficult ones. I posted this picture on Instagram a couple of days ago:
It is a Nordstrom Rack bag that my husband handed to me upon returning home from errands. He has picked out some clothes for me as a sweet surprise. But what I have no photo of is the empty toilet paper roll in our bathroom, the unrinsed cereal bowl in the sink, or the annoying car show he was watching at top volume.
And now some happy pictures.