Marriage is not just spiritual communion, it is also remembering to take out the trash.

-Joyce Brothers


One of my buddies at work was talking with me this morning about some differences that he and his girlfriend have—nothing too extreme or out of the ordinary really.  He was telling me he has some pet peeves that he figures must drive his girlfriend nuts.  One problem he shared is the age old toothpaste tube dilemma—he has to have it squeezed from the bottom (makes you wonder what couples had their biggest disputes over before Crest was invented?).  My buddy and his girlfriend have recently solved the problem by purchasing the competing brands they each prefer—Aqua Fresh for him and Colgate for her.  

The whole conversation got me to thinking later on this afternoon as I was running around the golf course I work at while I was finishing up my projects for the day.  Let’s say that Dan and has girlfriend both liked the same toothpaste—what would they do then?  Easy—get two tubes of the same toothpaste, and if they happen to share a bathroom they could have a designated spot for his and hers

When you stop to consider—there is usually a solution to most relationship problems.  I mean—there is no reason to have the same argument time and time again unless bickering is your idea of fun—a resolution or remedy probably exists.  And it all comes down to good-considerate communication.

 I have a serious concern to bring up with you, my friends, using the authority of Jesus, our Master. I’ll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common.   (1 Corinthians 1:10, The Message Bible)

Dealing with problems creatively that we encounter in our marriages is sometimes the last thing we try.  Trying to change someone else—or even ourselves could very well be going at it all the wrong way.  We are quirky, temperamental, emotional, and even strange—like it or not—and that isn’t going to change just because we like to tell ourselves so.  As I have said more than once—normal is nothing more than a setting on your dryer. 

We might grow up, we might ease up, and we might even give up—when it comes to our pet peeves and preferences—but a better approach may be to recognize our differences and handle them better than by fighting over them.