There are some fundamentals in marriage that are always worth the fight: honesty, faithfulness, and trust to name a few. But in the everyday grind of making a living and raising a house full of kids, there are a million other opportunities for conflict. However, many of these are not worth the fight, especially if the fight inflicts real damage on the relationship. Here are some of our favorites on the “not worth it” list.
1. The housekeeping squabbles.
Yes, it would be ideal if our houses were always perfectly put together and the laundry perpetually done, but how often does that happen? Sometimes, our drive for some type of magazine-like perfection in the home can make us turn on our spouse, demanding that he do more to help, pick up those socks, etc. And sure, everyone needs to pitch in, and some helpful reminders along the way are fine. But when the division of household labor turns into an all-out fight, you’re off the track. Who wants to sit in a clean home with someone they can’t stand?
2. Secondary parenting issues.
Yes, there are some primary parenting issues that are worth going to the mat for: the values you’re teaching your children like discipline, etc. But if daddy occasionally gives your toddler ice cream outside of your ideal dietary plan for the tyke—chill out. If daddy doesn’t dress her just like you would—who cares? Save your energy for the parenting struggles that matter most. Look over our list of 10 Things NOT to Say if Your Husband Watches the Kids to see if you’re guilty of these.
Unfortunately, in-law struggles aren’t completely imaginary. They’re quite real. But don’t let the tension you feel with your mother-in-law get between you and your husband. Understand that your spouse has just as much control over his parents as you do over yours—which is very little. Don’t transfer in-law frustration onto your spouse, and hopefully, he’ll refrain from doing the same to you. Remember: the two of you are a team. Just get through Thanksgiving dinner and let it go.
Unless your spouse’s hobby has gone extreme, impacting the family’s finances or relationships in a significant way, try to give some grace. Even if you wish he didn’t want to golf every weekend, he could be doing so much worse. Ask for what you’d like when it comes to boundaries for his hobbies, but don’t turn it into an all-out conflict.
5. Style issues.
He wants stained cabinets in the kitchen remodel, and you had your heart set on painted? Trust us, it’s not the end of the world. Work out a compromise on matters of taste without getting too emotionally invested. After all, it’s just stuff. And all the stuff in the world isn’t as valuable as your marriage.
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