I have a confession -- I've been nagging at my husband a lot lately.
You see, I’m a minimalist and he’s a hoarder. I despise clutter and Pete accumulates piles of paperwork and mail on the kitchen counters until it antiques. I like to rid of things as we outgrow them or otherwise don’t need them, while he saves everything he’s owned since college. I like an organized garage, while he is quite content stacking bicycles on top of boxes on top of garden tools. We are both well aware of these character traits – it’s no secret. But man, does it get my water boiling to trip over a pair of his shoes or knock papers onto the floor that have piled a mile high on the kitchen island.
Then today, out of nowhere, a colleague voluntarily began spouting off negatives about his wife and it impacted my perspective profoundly. From his facial expressions alone, I gathered he’s not her biggest fan. He went on to express a “dreadful 2-hour drive” he’ll have with her tomorrow night, and while I listened, I couldn't help but feel sorry for her – her husband…speaking of her that way. Referring to her as “demon wife.”
You know, even though it would be preferable and polite for my husband to pick up after himself, in the great scheme of things, he is doing things mostly right. And he most certainly does not talk about me in *that* manner. I’m pretty sure he loves me, respects me, and honors me. But still. Knowing that I might be brewing resentment in his soul is devastating to even think about.
There are quite a few people in hopelessly bad marriages, yet most are perfectly capable of happiness. Do you find yourself nagging your partner a lot? Or do you find yourself saying your partner never does X or always does Y? If you answered yes, that may be the thing that’s ruining your marriage. Your nagging is more destructive than you think.
Being married over a period of time, we tend to get comfortable. Some get bored. Sometimes we become unhappy with ourselves. Or sometimes we get down over our circumstances like money issues, unemployment, or pregnancy loss. Whatever it is, we’re usually making our spouse the fall guy for our unhappiness. And the thing is, you may not even know you’re doing it.
Spend a little time each day and try to focus on his or her goodness. Do it until it becomes part of your everyday routine. And chances are, you are investing value into your partner…into your marriage, that will be returned. I know it’s cliché but you will ‘get out of it what you put into it.’
At the end of the day, marriage is saying “I love you too much to be without you, even if you drive me crazy!”