It’s the simple things
“Come visit muh, come live wid muh is two different things” is a common saying of the more experienced in society.
Fitz and Olivia are a newly married couple who love each other dearly, but there is one thing that Fitz does that rubs Olivia the wrong way. Every single day without fail Olivia speaks to Fitz about leaving his shoes in the doorway. Day after day, week after week, Olivia reminds Fitz not to leave his shoes there. One evening Fitz comes home from work only to find all the shoes he had left at the door thrown outside across the lawn. Fitz enters the house upset and enquires from Olivia how his shoes got outside.
Olivia simply replies, “I am sick and tired of asking you not to leave your shoes at the door. I found a solution to the problem”.
Dennis and Carol just arrived at their villa accommodation in St Lucia to celebrate their wedding with a one-week honeymoon. It is the first time the couple are sleeping in the same room and bed together. As evening falls, the couple get ready for bed. Dennis enters the bed first and waits for his wife to join him.
As Carol leaves the small living room and enters the bedroom, she closes the door, locks it and proceeds to get into the bed. Immediately Dennis asks, “Honey, why you close the door?” She replies, “I sleep with my door closed.” Dennis responds, “But I sleep with mine open.” “But I sleep with mine closed,” Carol rejoins. “Look, woman . . . .”
Romance and being in love can easily blind us to the simple things that have great influence over the balance and peace of our relationships. If we take an inward look into our relationships, we would realize that the small things do matter and though they may seem insignificant, they can represent the small rudder that steers the boat of love.
It is important that we value and recognize our partner’s uniqueness and experiences, which were shaped somewhat by the environment and structures they were raised in.
Let’s take a look at a few of these small things that can cause friction or tension in a relationship and, by extension, the home by my asking you a few questions.
After opening a bottle of ketchup, mustard, biscuits or bread, do you put the remainder in the fridge or back in the cupboard?
Do you sleep with the bedroom door or window closed or open?
Do you wash the dishes immediately after using them or do you allow them to pile up first?
When you put on a new reel of toilet paper, is the piece that you pull at the back or at the front?
I have heard of couples who have stopped speaking to each other because one person squeezes the toothpaste from anywhere while the other believes it should be squeezed from the bottom. And because one person can only sleep with a fan and the other can’t stand it. One couple had a very challenging time deciding whether when using the washing machine, the order should be water-detergent-clothing or clothing-water-detergent.
I must confess that it annoyed me when my wife tried to correct me on the correct way to hang out clothes. I hang my shirts from the bottom, while she hangs hers from the top. Three years later, we have decided to try something new and hang the shirts on hangers to dry – a technique that we both have found to be efficient and saves plenty space.
There are many other simple things that can become great challenges that I have not mentioned here. For example, deciding on which brand of cleaning detergents to use.
As simple and as funny as these things may sound, they do matter. I have found that arriving at a simple compromise through healthy dialogue would keep that molehill from becoming a mountain and help maintain a sense of peace and harmony within the home.
Most issues within relationships are due primarily to one thing. It may come in different shapes and sizes but when you analyze and study it, selfishness is its name. If it isn’t addressed and disposed of, it has the ability to change that boat of love into a shipwreck of loneliness and regret.
• Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth youth ambassador. Email [email protected]