the little things

After 10 days leading up to Valentine’s Day of leaving and doing little loving things for my husband (who was a wonderful sport about it, by the way), it seems like an appropriate time for a word on love.

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine

Song of Solomon 6:3

In the myriad of marriage advice available for the about-to-be or newly married, it seems that “don’t sweat the small stuff” is a common theme. When he leaves his dirty socks on the floor, be thankful that you have a husband who needs you to do that. I’m not sure what my husband would say are my annoying qualities, well, no I do know what he’d say: “you’re working on things and getting better”–the ultimate optimist.

So I researched what other men would say are their wives most annoying habits (“bahh google!”). Things like being insecure, clingy, and threatened topped the lists. To me, as a woman, those seem like minor things that pop out of my mouth after a night of consoling sick children or a day when they’ve refused to nap (in other words my filter isn’t working properly). But to men, are those like the socks we find all over the floor?

When he doesn’t pick up his socks (or when you find that a mysterious geyser erupted at the bathroom sink sometime when he was shaving this morning), do we as women feel like our husbands are intentionally leaving messes for us to clean up? When we comment on how fat we look in those pants or on how good of terms he seems to be on with a coworker, do our husbands believe we are purposefully devaluing their opinion of us?

One common sentiment stands out when I read or hear of divorce: it was the little things. It’s like the women are giving all the marriage advice (ignore the “little things,” the physical messes the husband makes) but all the men are speaking up after the marriage dissolves (it was all these “little things,” the attitude the wife had towards herself and other women). Maybe guys should give more marriage advice. Maybe the ladies need to give different advice.

Let’s pledge to not 1) care about the socks 2) proceed to grudgingly pick them up or 3) claim it a blessing that we have a husband while grumbling about the dirty socks. Because it’s not about these outward issues. It’s about our hearts. If I believe, as the verse above says, that I am his and he is mine, then the messes aren’t even on the radar screen, and I make an effort to turn my heart from comparing myself to other women.

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