Prior to our wedding I asked other seasoned couples and good friends for advice on how to maintain a marriage. A lot of people suggested we learn to communicate effectively and forgive quickly. I was told not to take myself too seriously and to never stop dating my spouse. Then I was reminded to pick my battles wisely. The former pieces of advice are gold but if the past few months have taught me anything, it’s that the latter will save me lots of turmoil and save us from pointless arguments.
I’m a control freak. I’ve known this about myself for quite some time but I don’t think Chris knew this until we moved in with each other. I take my responsibilities in our home very seriously and anyone who tries to impede on my system of doing things will suffer the consequences – which is usually a stern side-eye or loud sigh. I get flustered when I enter our apartment and see clutter. I get agitated when the trash overflows and the dishes aren’t put in the dishwasher correctly (read: my way). I huff and puff when I trip over Chris’ shoes or pull clean clothes out of our dirty hamper.
I’m a ticking time bomb ready to spew passive aggression more times than I care to admit but I can no longer stay that way and expect our relationship to grow. For the sake of my marriage and sanity I’ve got to learn to let some things roll off my back. I need to pick my battles wisely and realize that the things I get worked up over truly aren’t that serious. Prior to writing this post I sat on my couch watching television when my eyes wandered to the living room I needed to clean. My focus shifted to a pair of Chris’ shoes that I actually love but hate seeing left in common areas. I could have muttered under my breath that I had to pick up after him. I could have told him how much I dislike messy spaces. Or I could pick up the shoes, put them in the closet, and move the heck on. I chose the latter and it was liberating. I celebrate the tiny victories I win every time I crucify my flesh and do things I don’t particularly want to do. I don’t always win but I’m working on voicing my concerns about things that truly matter to me instead of nagging about mundane things and misplaced shoes.
I’m hopeful that I can apply this concept to all of my relationships. I want to be a better friend, sister, daughter, and wife. I don’t want to feel as if I need to control everything and everyone and starve out the beauty that comes with people being themselves.