Every spouse, regardless of how wonderful they are, will do things that drive you nuts. They do this because they are human, and you get annoyed because you are human. This is just part of marriage – or any relationship, actually.
For instance, I was washing dishes this morning, and found a ton of plastic forks in the sink. Why? Doesn’t washing plastic forks sort of undo the magic of having them in the first place … so you don’t have to wash them? It’s silly to let something like that irritate me, and I shouldn’t get worked up about it, but sometimes I just do get more irked than I should.
How do we overcome our irritation when these little things happen?
We need to recognize that they really are just little things. My husband is a wonderful guy. He does stuff for me all the time, he supports me, he loves me, and if he wants to wash our plastic forks, why should it matter? I shouldn’t let that little quirk override all the amazing things he does for me and for our children.
We should understand that sometimes the little things do matter. Last year, my husband had the tendency to let water splash all over the place while he did the dishes, and he wasn’t wiping off the counters. Irritating? Yes. But also destructive—some books had been left on the counter, and the water crept over there and destroyed the books. I asked him to stop leaving books on the counter, and also to wipe up after himself. Some annoying habits should be curtailed if they mean destruction of property or danger to someone in the home. I’ve found it useful if I explain that I’m not trying to just be nitpicky, but that there really is a reason I need a certain behavior to stop.
We can also work on becoming ducks. No, we don’t need to quack and grow feathers, but you know how water just runs off a duck’s back and doesn’t absorb? Be that way with your irritations—let them run off you without absorbing them. Don’t rehash everything he’s done that’s ever bothered you. Don’t pile all his past transgressions on top of each other to make a tower so tall, it will bury you both. Stay focused on the wonderful things your spouse does do, and remember that your relationship is far more important than plastic forks in the sink, socks on the floor, or anything else that might be bothering you.