365 Days of Fun in Marriage

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Overreacting to Insignificant Things


Tip 199

It’s Not a Supreme Court Case

from Clipart.com

Do you handle insignificant things in your marriage as something to submit to trial in a Supreme Court case? Come on, fess up. There are more people than just me who’s done this.

Yes, I’ll admit, this is one area I’ve had to overcome. We all have something that needs improving, and this was one area that I needed improving on. Confession time.

One of my main issues was when Jack would break things–and it sure seemed like he broke a lot of things. When something got broken, I ranted and raved like someone on a Jerry Springer show. I hate to admit that, but it’s true. I sensed very early in our marriage these tendencies Jack had, so for things I was especially partial to, I put those items in places that couldn’t be reached too easily.

A few years after we got married, we lived in an older style house which had those little shelves going up the sides of the kitchen cabinets at each side of the kitchen sink. Normally people put decor-like things on these shelves. So, that’s where I put a candy dish and lid we’d gotten for a wedding present. On a top shelf like that, it would be out of reach and safe from everything, unless maybe an earthquake, tornado, fire, or flood. Well, it wasn’t one of the natural disasters mentioned that caused the candy dish to come crashing down into a million pieces.

Jack was mopping the floor. As he rinsed the mop in the kitchen sink, the mop handle hit that top shelf and the candy dish crashed into the faucet, sink, cabinet, and finally the floor.

Yes, if the Jerry Springer show had been in existence at that time, I’d have made a wonderful participant.

Years of marriage rolled on and broken dishes and knickknacks piled up—well, maybe not so many as to make a pile. Having Jack say, “I didn’t mean to break it” never helped.

I can be hard-headed, and it wasn’t until many years later that I began to honestly take into consideration that 99% of the time when Jack broke something, he was helping me around the house: dusting, mopping, sweeping, dishes, cooking. Jack has always been very helpful to me around the house. I never took into consideration that he has big hands which naturally aren’t going to be able to handle little breakable items as easily.

Did I focus on that? No.

Did I focus on things he was doing right? No.

Did I ever give him the benefit of the doubt? No.

In my mind he was a heinous criminal awaiting the court’s decision for his crime of breaking things once in a while (caused by his helping in cleaning around the house).

What if the court had decided in my favor and said, “The court hereby commands you, Jack, husband to Glenda, to never help around the house again so that nothing will be accidentally broken as you are cleaning.” Would I have been pleased “at his punishment” for being found guilty of helping too much?

I know in hindsight all this sounds so silly. Any outsider would have been able to see how caring and helpful Jack was and still is. Yet, when you are in the midst of a situation, sometimes all you can see are the tiniest specks of things which get magnified way out of proportion.

Are you overreacting to anything in your marriage? Do you make a monumental Supreme Court Case out of every little infraction you feel your spouse is doing? If you are guilty of acting judge and juror, have you considered clemency for your spouse? Is it possible you might be acting like a Jerry Springer participant on things in your marriage that truly aren’t that important?

Life doesn’t seem short when you are in the midst of troubles, but when you can look back at things, life is short. Every moment spent in “court” as judge and juror of your spouse lessens the amount of time you can focus on having fun and enjoyment in your relationship.

~ Glenda (gj)

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