Yesterday my husband and I celebrated our tenth anniversary. Over dinner he asked if it’s been everything I hoped it would be. My honest answer was, “Yes, and it gets better every year.”
Trust me, we’ve had our differences, but my husband and I decided before we got married that divorce was not an option. When we made our vows to each other and to God, we entered into a covenant. No amount of “Irreconcilable differences” would tear us apart.
As it turns out, most of our differences weren’t irreconcilable. When you are committed to somebody, you do whatever it takes to work things out. For one thing, you are willing to receive help. Over the years we have called trusted friends in the midst of our most heated arguments. When we simply could not come to agreement or when one felt the other was being unfair, we welcomed outside advise. It was embarrassing sometimes. I always ended up blubbering into the phone, but in the end, it was good. Our friends knew us and could usually put things into perspective. The biggest issue for my husband and I has always been communication and sometimes we just needed our friends to explain what our spouse was saying.
Sometimes what it takes is simply changing. There’s been a fun debate in the forums about who’s responsibility it is to check the pockets before doing laundry. Some say the person who wears the clothes should check their pockets and others say that the person who does the laundry is responsible for this task. It just may be that if this is a serious area of contention, somebody is going to have to suck it up and change their ways. If your spouse continually forgets to empty their pockets, just do it for them. It requires a lot less energy then having the same fight, over and over again.
Forgiveness is a vital part of any marriage. In the course of ten years, I have needed to be forgiven, a lot. I can be a real brat sometimes! Thankfully, my husband is very gracious. He is the kind of guy who honestly forgives and forgets. And, yes, I have had to forgive my husband a few times as well. Again, forgiveness is hard sometimes, but it’s a whole lot easier than lugging around a bunch of bitterness. Beth McHugh recently posted a blog that talks about how exhausting bearing a grudge can be.
There are more elements that I could go into, but these are the three biggies that come to mind. These are the top ones that I personally have had to grow in. Have you and your spouse ever had to overcome irreconcilable differences? What did you learn along the way? Please feel free to share!