Hi, I’m Fabienne of The House in the Clouds, a small style blog. I’m here today while Franca is enjoying getting married and taking her honeymoon. I’m grateful and honored to have her readers’ attention. Since the topic du jour revolves around love and marriage, I thought it might be nice to share a single, yet important, point of advice that was shared with me when I got married two years ago, on October 3.
“Don’t sweat the small stuff”
You’ve just had your big day. You married your special someone and you now have the rest of your lives together. The rest of your lives! On one of the wedding cards some wise soul left you with the following advice, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” While this colloquialism may be more popular in the United States, the message is pretty clear: Don’t worry about the little things, don’t argue about things that aren’t that important, don’t get upset over petty matters. Don’t fill the rest of your life with minor complaints about each other.
You’re told what to do but there are no instructions telling you how to do it. In my marriage there are several categories of such situations. One might be that I would like something done regularly because I not only like it but it is important to me, such as making the bed. Enter the husband. He cares little whether the bed is made, his logic also makes sense in this debate, we will crawl right back into it in the not too distant future and no one is going to see it, so why bother?
Viable options for behavior are: Argue both your points until one concedes, albeit unhappily. Or one party gives in before the argument starts but the seed of resentment is likely to have been planted. Or, upon realization that there is neither a right or wrong, only a difference of opinion, the person who feels strongest about it will do it without including the other. This last option really only works if it’s done with love and not resentment. Did you notice that there was no option for talking your partner into believing your way is best? That’s because that option is fictional.
If both parties throughout their relationship take this approach, it dissipates friction before it starts. But now you’re thinking, wait a minute here, I’m going to be making the bed by myself forever? Probably. This is the peace I’ve made with it in our home. On the other hand, I’m not really bothered by dishes stacking in the sink. My husband practically considers this a character flaw, but we have an agreement. He can wait me out until I’m ready to deal with them or he can do them himself. Either way, he’s not to complain. This, like the bed making, is small stuff. It does not need to destroy a relationship and there will be so many more options to practice these types of negotiations in life that we might as well get started now.
In relationships, that stuff starts small but it’s deceiving to refer to it as such. It gets huge. It takes over otherwise happy and loving partnerships until the other can’t see anything good through it. The natural dynamic of relationships ebb and flow through time, they cannot be expected to always be at their best. Contributing parties are obligated to behave well and with love towards each other through time, not just when it’s easy and convenient. So next time you find a pair of shoes strewn by the door and time freezes just long enough to show you both paths you can take, choose the one paved with love and “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” And with that, my friends, I leave you to follow your own path with love.
Wishing Franca and her beloved a lifetime of wonderful!