3. Don’t sweat the small stuff
In marriage, as in life, all problems are not created equal. It’s good to remember this fact when you find yourself focusing so much on little things that it makes you complain about your spouse. There are some issues in marriage that will stop a couple dead in their tracks. Adultery, physical and emotional abuse, and abandonment are just a few of the things that will surely cause a rift in any relationship. Most of the day to day things that cause conflict, however, tend to be “first world” relationship problems. You’d be amazed by how much energy couples can waste and how many disagreements are started over how one person folds the towels or some other minor matter of preference.
Oftentimes it is easy to focus so much on the flavor we’re not getting that we lose sight of the necessities we are getting.
It’s also easy to lose perspective on the person you chose, if they don’t exhibit all of the personality traits you desire. A husband might not be the most exciting man in the world, but his wife might never have to worry about whether he’s telling the truth when he says he’s out with the boys. The stability he brings to the relationship might not be appreciated but that doesn’t make it any less valuable. There’s a difference between relationship staples and relationship seasonings. The former (e.g., honesty) are absolutely necessary for a successful relationship while the latter (e.g., spontaneity) give a relationship flavor. Oftentimes it is easy to focus so much on the flavor we’re not getting that we lose sight of the necessities we are getting.
One of the primary foes of teamwork is selfishness. It rears its ugly head whenever one person is determined to get his or her own way, even if comes at the expense of the relationship.