By Karla Downing
Do you know that the little stuff matters in your marriage? Sure, the big stuff matters too. You have to give attention to both for a healthy marriage.
Little Stuff Gone Wrong
My husband and I started a business together. That means we not only had to navigate our marital relationship, but we also had to navigate working together in a business.
We had a postal scale that weighed envelopes to go out in the mail. It told how many stamps you needed, and it also told you the dollar amount.
For example, it would tell you it took three stamps or seventy cents. Knowing the number of stamps was all I needed to know. But my husband only wrote the dollar amount in the upper right corner for me to put on the stamps.
We had multiple arguments trying to convince each other our way was right, and we never agreed. I backed off but it annoyed me every time he put the amount instead of the number of stamps, because that meant that I had to go back over and weigh the envelope again.
Little Stuff in Your Marriage
There are all kinds of examples of things like this that we disagree over, like when to fill up a gas tank. He does it when it is half empty; I wait until it is empty. He doesn’t button his shirts when he puts them on the hanger; I button them. He doesn’t throw magazines and newsletters away when he is done reading them; I do.
Neither of us are wrong; neither of us is right. These are just little things that don’t matter. Things that can be done different ways without anyone being able to insist that their way is superior.
The older we get the more we can clearly see the difference between the big things and the little things.
Choose What Matters in Your Marriage
The little things are of little consequence. They are not hurting anyone. They aren’t damaging the relationship. They won’t make any difference at all in the outcome of our lives.
The big things are of consequence. They hurt people. They cause damage to the relationship. They will make a difference in the outcome of our lives. These are the things that cannot be overlooked because they matter.
When we have differing ways of looking at little things now, we both usually know better than to argue about them. One of us usually drops it. We both know that there is no reason to waste any energy trying to make the other person agree. And even better is when both of us can laugh and say, “It’s just a stamp.”
Wife Step: Are you able to overlook little things or do you argue with your husband to make him agree with you? Are you able to confront the big things or do you cover them up and pretend they aren’t there? Take time now to pray about both of these questions, then take action on them this week.
Karla Downing, the founder of ChangeMyRelationship.com, offers Christian marriage help and Christian relationship help as a speaker, author, counselor, and Bible study teacher. Karla grew up in a dysfunctional family and then found herself struggling with Christian codependency in her own difficult marriage. Through her personal struggles, she discovered biblical and practical principles, which she now teaches to others.