We have all heard this saying over and over throughout our lives. But have we really thought about what it means?
I never really thought about it until the death of my loving husband in August 2008.
Many times we get angry at our loved ones for what seems like a “big deal” at the time. We can say things we really don’t want and then regret, but they may have left a scar on the relationship. Nine times out of ten the discussion or disagreement is resolved and ended until the next one arrives.
In the grand scheme of things:
- Does it really matter that much if you left the toilet seat up?
- What’s the problem if you left the cap off the toothpaste?
- So he or she didn’t call when they were going to be a little late.
- Who cares if you leave clothes on the floor?
Life is too short to worry about these little things. This is a person whom you promised to love and with whom you will spend your life; overlook it. As they say “don’t worry about the little things”.
Now that my husband is gone, I think about the things he used to do that bothered me and I know I did things that bothered him and none of that was that important. Fortunately we got along really well and learned early on not to “worry about the little things” and I’m very glad we did. We had our disagreements and times where we “agreed to disagree,” but we got through those times and made a special effort not to say things we would regret.
Ours was not a perfect relationship, but we loved each other a lot, we respected each other and we gave each other space. I don’t think there is a “perfect relationship,” but looking back, I’m glad we didn’t “scold” each other over little things that didn’t really matter.
Think before you say or react to something, because one day your loved one may not be there. Another saying we are all familiar with is “choose your battles wisely.”
Some suggestions that we use and that you might want to think about:
- He put the toilet seat back up, your first thought is to yell at him or make a comment about it. STOP. It will only take a second for you to lower the seat again.
- He put down the cap on the toothpaste. It would take a total of 2 seconds to put it back on.
- He or she did not call when they were going to be late. Unless it’s an unusual amount of time when you’re worried something has happened to them, like a car accident or worse, be patient and keep busy. When he walks through the door, be glad he came home safe and sound and is still with you. Tell them that you love them, that you were worried about them, and so relieved that they are safe at home.
- He left the clothes on the floor. Again, it only takes a few minutes to collect them. If something were to happen to them, you would gladly have the opportunity to return to pick them up instead of putting away their clothes or giving them away because they are no longer with you.
Take a minute and think:
- “Is this that important to start an argument?” Probably not.
- Go to another room to resist the urge to argue about it.
- Get involved in something to distract yourself. Read a book or watch television, etc.
- Make sure each of you has “your own space” to go to.
- If you’re in a bad mood, don’t take it out on your spouse. Most likely, he or she did not cause your bad mood; Take care of it on your own without blaming them.
My husband and I had what some may think is a silly ritual, but it worked and we had a lot of laughs in our neighborhood. We had a shirt that had the word “Cranky” on the back. If either of us got up and was in a bad mood, we would put the shirt on and we knew we should leave the other alone until the shirt was off. As silly as it may sound, I prevented disagreements, resentments, or arguments about “nothing.”
Think about how much you love your spouse and cherish every minute you have together. The little things that come up from day to day are no big deal. Not having your spouse by your side after death IT IS a big problem and you’ll wish you had him around to “tease” you yet.
Follow my blog for my thoughts and lessons I have learned as I go through the grieving and healing process of losing my dear husband.