I don’t write on here much about getting articles published now and then or that I did my 20th radio interview this morning, but I thought I’d share this little tidbit of an article with you. For National Marriage Week, Feb 7-14, our publisher asked all their marriage authors to answer the question: What is a marriage lesson you’ve learned, and what story illustrates this?
What I sent back was brief, so it was turned into a short article to flesh it out. I thought I’d share because it’s a funny story, and it teaches a decent lesson on making marriage work. Have a read!
Always Keep a Sense of Humor
While they probably won’t admit it, every married person holds on to some little things that annoy them about their spouse. It may be the way the other person brushes their teeth, or makes the bed, or chews their food. It is always something minor, yet irritating that can turn into something very annoying.
Betsy Kerekes, author of 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage, learned a valuable lesson when it comes to these little annoyances.
“Keep a sense of humor,” she says, “and let minor things go.”
Betsy’s husband loves their kids. He wants them to be safe and make good choices. Like any parent, he tries to stop the kids when they are doing something wrong.
When he sees them doing something wrong, though, he would say “Stop! Stop! Stop!” three times. Always three times. He did this repeatedly.
This started to bug Betsy to the point that she confronted him saying, “When the kids are doing something wrong, you can just say ‘stop’ one time! You don’t really have to repeat it over and over.”
Now, this confrontation might have led to a fight for a lot of couples. He could have gotten defensive, even angry.
Instead, though, he responded, “Okay . . . okay, okay, okay.”
They both laughed.
“I love his ability to keep things light-hearted,” Betsy said about the event.
It didn’t take long for Betsy to realize that her husband was having a hard time breaking his triple (or even quadruple) stop admonition. She realized, though, that instead of being annoyed, she should just let it go. He clearly couldn’t help it and what was the big deal, anyway?
Now, whenever that triple “stop” comes out again, she is reminded of their little joke instead. She smiles now rather than being annoyed because she’s able to keep a sense of humor about the situation. There’s no reason to turn it into a conflict because now they have a little inside joke to make each other smile.
“Little things are not worth getting upset over,” Betsy said, “and a sense of humor goes a long way to marital harmony.”
What marital advice would you give, dear readers?