So here’s an interesting anecdote. Last night after my husband cooked me a mouth-watering plate of pasta vongole accompanied by a delicious Chianti, instead of showering him with compliments and affection I felt annoyed because he ended the evening by breaking a new crystal glass of wine. Oh yes. No joke. My dysfunctional mind chose to focus on the one, measly wrong that happened in an evening full of rights. In my defense, it wasn’t so much the broken glass that left me irritated as much as the fact that he didn’t listen when I asked him, several times, not to place the washed dishes over delicate glassware. While I knew better than to mention my unjustified annoyance, it did unnecessarily consume me for a little bit. I could have easily chosen to overlook the five dollar loss and concentrate on the awesome meal, great wine, clean kitchen and romantic effort but, alas, I am not so great a person.
Not that it really matters, but it seems I’m not alone. I’ve listened to a fair share of husband knocking to know that good portion of long-time couples tend to concentrate too much on the peeves and too little on the pleasures. Apparently, years of the same annoying quirks can sometimes be hard to look past. When hubby shuts the TV earlier than usual to cuddle with you in bed, it’s hard to get over the fact that you can’t sleep because he’s snoring in your ear or when he decides that it’s been a while since you’ve gone on a date and takes you to the same shabby Italian restaurant you visited for his dad’s birthday the week before, it’s difficult to feel grateful. The fact remains that in the grand scheme of your life together these are the small things that we’re not supposed to sweat. Don’t want to go to that Italian restaurant? Well then pick a place and never bring up the fact that you had to plan the night, just enjoy it. I know, easier said than done right. But why? Why is it so hard to look past the immaterial and enjoy the good? Maybe it’s ego; the need to control every situation and always be right mixed with the fact that sooner or later you start taking each other for granted. I read somewhere that the natural trend of marriage is for romance, affection, appreciation, and communication to decline over time, not because couples start to dislike each other but because they become too comfortable together. That you need to make a habit of what comes naturally in the beginning. All the good exchanges that are second nature to us at the start of a relationship are something we need to make a conscious effort to maintain in order keep our marriage alive. If not, you’re left alone sitting in front of the TV with no one to laugh at the Big Bang Theory with.
For now, I’ll ignore the fact that I also read that the success or failure in 85% of marriages depends more on the behaviour of the husband and try to focus my attention this new year on being a better wife. So what if I have to drink my pinot noir from a beer mug 😉