The Little Things He Does
There was a time in our marriage when if it was reasonable to divorce my husband for leaving shoes laying around the house I would have checked the box and signed the papers. It’s beyond ridiculous, I know. Which is why I never even inquired about it.
But seriously, over the years and with the numerous women I encounter, it is amazing how easy it is to become irritated and annoyed by very common, very insignificant things our husbands do.
These little things somehow snowball into massive issues in our marriages and they wedge divides in our relationships.
So why does this happen?
Truth be told, for everything my husband does that irritates me, I’m very likely doing way more things that irritate him. Our minds and emotions as women differ from the makeup of men, and it can be easy for us to focus on details rather than the big picture. This tendency to focus on details can distract us from building connection with our husband.
Before we know it we’ve turned a mole hill into a mountain and so often our husbands don’t even know about what’s happening in our minds and hearts until we explode in frustration, anger or resentment. We display a colorful outburst over shoes. Or toilet seat lids. Or toothpaste in the sink. Or whatever it is that bothers us.
So how do we flip the narrative from irritation at our spouse to investment in our marriage?
Start by looking in the mirror. Take a good hard look at yourself and examine what you do as a wife that irritates or annoys your husband. Do you know what bothers him? Have you taken the time to ask your husband and have you been willing to receive what he says with grace? You’re not perfect, your husband isn’t perfect. Maybe it’s time to look in the mirror.
Shift your focus. Lysa Terkerust has a great quote I’ve heard her share many times, “You steer where you stare.” It’s true. Where we fix our gaze is where our minds and hearts follow. When I’m focused on the piles of shoes around my house I’m quick to be irritated or annoyed instead of grateful. We can easily see the shoes not put away, in our way. Or, we see those shoes representing different things. Work shoes earn a living for our family so I can stay home and raise kids. Tennis shoes are worn to the gym to stay healthy and strong for our family. Sandals because he slipped them on to take out the trash late at night for me. The list goes on and on. For every negative there can be a positive, if I’m willing to shift my focus. Once I start seeing all the reasons all the shoes are not in the closet my heart shifts from resentment to gratitude.
Mark the little things that really matter. It’s true that we can make a mountain out of a molehill, but it works both ways. I can either allow the wrong little things to build up or I can intentionally work on building up the right little things. Spending time picking up shoes and folding laundry is a perfect time to be praying for our husband instead of grumbling about him. We can work on intentionally building life into our husbands with kind words instead of nagging comments. Small things like lunch notes, text messages, and different actions of love and respect to our husbands over time build strong, healthy marriages.
Let’s focus on building the right little things in our marriages and realize we have the power to change more than we sometimes think we do.
Wife Step: Take a moment today and ask your husband if there is one thing you do that he would prefer you not, or one thing he would prefer you do differently. Receive his words with grace and work on ways to adjust your behaviors to help lighten his pet peeves with you. Change in our marriage can start with us, and often we will see change in our spouse as we submit to the Lord.
Natalia Drumm is a writer, speaker and teacher with a passion for building community and engaging women in the Word of God. She is married to her high school sweetheart, and they are raising three little boys in their home town of North Port, FL. Natalia and her husband serve in their local church as marriage small group leaders and life group coaches. They have a passion for healthy marriages as they have seen the restorative power of God in their own marriage and family.
Natalia is an assignment writer for Lifeway Women and serves as the Bible Study Content Editor at Living by Design Ministries. She also volunteers at Proverbs 31 Ministries on their proofreading team and leads a COMPEL Discovery Group. Natalia writes over at www.nataliadrumm.com where she creates devotional study books on issues relevant to womanhood and living in the fullness of God’s design for womanhood.
When not writing, or serving at church, Natalia spends her time running, reading and enjoying a good Netflix binge. She’s also not be one to turn down a cold Coke and hot chocolate chip cookie.