Compromise in marriage is an art form.
Sometimes it’s a Picasso, filled with sharp lines and strange shapes as we try to create a life together. Eventually, though, a Rembrandt starts to emerge. Softer lines. Mellow light. Deeper beauty.
I’m not an art student, of course. Those are just my untrained musings on the subject. I’m not a marriage expert, either. But I have been married a while. (46 years this week. Happy Anniversary to us.) And I have discovered an amazing truth:
Stuff doesn’t matter that much.
Especially now, when we are all living with the threat of Covid-19 hanging over us, stuff just doesn’t matter. I mean the stuff that drove us crazy in the Picasso days. Say you love the beach, and he hates water. It doesn’t matter. Rent a condo next summer and let him stay inside and watch the ballgame without hearing you complain. You can swim all day if you want. Just make sure you reconnect around sunset.
Some other things that are stuff:
Politics. My in-laws regularly canceled out one another’s vote at the ballot box. Yet they lived pretty happily together for over sixty years. They sang in the choir, raised a family, traveled, and never complained about being unequally yoked. Their union was solid enough to allow for individual thought.
Money. How you earn it and how you spend it. The big things matter, of course. You can’t steal it. And you want to avoid bankruptcy or joy-stealing debt. But you can find a happy balance between the spender and the saver in your marriage. Remember, money is temporary. People are eternal. So give in a little and trust God.
Socks. Whether they land in or out of the hamper. The division of household chores is obviously something to discuss. But, in the end, picking up the other person’s dirty socks is a small price to pay for the satisfaction of living together in peace. (My husband has never in 46 years left dirty socks beside a hamper, so I’m safe in using that example.) Those little irritating habits that gnaw at your mind are not worth the trouble. Move on.
I’m sure you can add to this list. Look around your life and figure out what stuff is getting too much attention. Then be like a Disney princess and Let it Go.
May you enjoy life together with the one you love – with less stress over stuff and lots more time for hugs.