Marriage Monday: Letting Go

This is a guest post by Emily Ozer.  Since becoming a MOT Emily strives and struggles to merge academics with real life to end up with authentic observations. Most of her time is spent working towards her Nursing degree, blogging at, and being Army Strong. She is blessed to be married to her beshert, who (grudgingly) agreed to naming their rescued Boxer Gracie Lou Freebush.  This article was first published on on July 2, 2012.
I came home from work on Friday  around 4:30.  I had spent the day moving big heavy things around at the armory and then drove home in gross Minneapolis 494 traffic.
I was tired and the question of what to make for dinner was in the back of my mind.
I opened the door and was immediately greeted with the smell of garlic. I stepped into the kitchen to see Husband whirring green stuff in the blender.  There was a gorgeous challah rising on the stove, the KitchenAid mixing up pasta dough, water almost boiling on the stove waiting for the fresh pasta to be dropped in.
“Dinner will be ready in about 20 minutes.”
How lucky am I?!  I nearly had to pinch myself to make sure that this is really my life, my good fortune.
But . . .
The thing is, just like I don’t fold shirts the way Husband prefers, he doesn’t cook the way I prefer. There was flour everywhere. All counter space was occupied either by dirty dishes or the previously mentioned flour. The dishwasher hadn’t been emptied so all the dirty dishes couldn’t be loaded into it. It looked like clean up would take far longer than the dinner itself had.
As I was looking around the kitchen he apologized.  ”Sorry it’s so messy.”  I gave him a look that told him he was crazy.
“Are you kidding?  You’re making dinner!  I’m not going to complain!  I’m going to go shower.”  I grinned at him, kissed him, and went to clean my sweaty self. As I headed up the stairs I realized (happily) that I meant those words.  Sure, he wasn’t doing things my way, but did it matter?  Nope.
Too often I get caught up in the “this is how it needs to be done” mentality.  The “my way or the highway” groove.  I haven’t even celebrated one wedding anniversary but I’m confident when I say that those mentalities are recipes for resentment.
If I had groaned and rolled my eyes at the mess instead of grinning and kissing him, he would have been hurt and or angry, rightfully so. I’ve tried to do something nice for someone only to have them critique me and it sucked, so I try not to do that to others, especially not Husband. It doesn’t always work, but being aware and taking that step back to see the big picture help tremendously.
Sure, when he asked for tips on how to braid the challah I offered them up and when he questioned why the pasta was gummy I told him what I know: pasta needs to rest before you work it through the machine.
Husband doesn’t refold the shirts I’ve folded, he says thank you and puts them away.  I like that. When he does laundry he folds things the way he wants. There are so many ways to do things, and very few things need to be done one particular way.  So if Husband wants to sprinkle the floor with flour and twist the challah rather than braid it,  it’s not a big deal.
I don’t remember how long the kitchen clean up took on Friday but I remember how tasty the pasta and challah was. I know how sensational it is to have a spouse who goes all out and makes such tasty dinners for us.  That is the big deal.
(Photo: HannahWebb)