Steve and I have been married for 27+ years. We've known each other since junior high (he asked me to go steady in 8th grade ~ he gifted me a bottle of Jontue from the drugstore ~ that should have been a warning sign). We dated through high school and then off and on through college, marrying at the ripe old age of 24.
I have a list of reasons why I want to divorce him and he knows them. And yet he continues to do these very things cheerfully, blithely, probably on purpose.
As I type his wet towel from swimming sits on my dining room table, he never, ever puts anything into the dishwasher, he will walk into the living room plop down, pick up the remote and change the channel while I'm in the living room watching TV "Oh, were you watching something?" he genuinely asks. In his office you will find wadded up paper on the floor (oh so close to the trashcan), and he mistakes the edge of the bathtub for the laundry basket. This is the short list and if I were presently grumpy with him I am certain a dozen or so other "deal breakers" would come to mind. And this isn't a cute list of "Oh they really don't have problem problems." Yes we do and the real problems will be written about some other time, but these things can drive me crazy and be the cause of full blown fights if the mood strikes.
Here's why I stay: He's a super sentimental softie, he is the best dad (ever, period), he brings me coffee in the morning, he dreams and plans and talks about our (yet to be born) grandchildren, he sings often and anywhere (kitchen, garage, shower, the car) he's an awesome spooner, and he makes me laugh. A lot. Oh, and he's the guy who recently shaved my head. Ya, I am pretty sure he never imagined that as part of the going steady plan back in 1977 when he handed me the Jontue... His spiritual journey looks and sounds different than mine. And truth be told I might be more comfortable talking about my faith, but he is quietly and faithfully walking the walk. Every. Day.
Here's the deal. I am not talking about serious, legitimate issues that threaten the fabric of marriage. I'm talking about the annoyances, the daily things that drive us crazy, and if allowed to fester and grow into bitterness, become the reasons why we leave. In your world what can you forgive, overlook, let go? Find the qualities that are kind, charming and endearing and focus on those.
The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14:1