This is our bedroom.
On the right side of the bed is our nightstand. It’s nothing fancy. It has ugly, dangling cords hanging from it. But that little nightstand taught me one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in my marriage: it’s not always about me. Ouch! It kinda hurts to type that.
When Ben and I first got married, I assumed that life would carry on as usual, and that we would do things the way that I said and I did. Because my way is the only way. It is, obviously, the best way.
Can I get an amen?
We were total newlyweds, like 2 days into marriage and living with each other for the first time. I had just arranged our bedroom with all of our hand-me-down furniture. Our bedroom felt cozy and comfortable. It felt like our room. It was arranged just as I wanted.
As we were getting ready for bed that night, Ben asked, “where is my nightstand?”
What the heck is he talking about? We’ve got a nightstand and its on my side of the bed. I’ve had a nightstand beside my bed for the last 2827 years of my life. And my married life will be no different.
“What are you talking about? We’ve got a nightstand right here.”
“Yea, but I want it on my side of the bed”.
“No, it needs to be on my side of the bed. Plus, aesthetically speaking, it only looks good and fits on my side of the bed”.
“Well, let’s just switch sides of the bed”, he said.
“Are you kidding me? I’ve slept on the right side of the bed my entire life. If you make me move, it will probably disrupt my sleep patterns, and permanently change the woman I am.”
“Okay, just move the nightstand then”.
“No, it looks better over on my side”.
“You don’t always get to have it your way”, he said.
WHAT??!?!?!? Things are just supposed to be done my way. Family vacations, traditions, mealtimes, meal choices, tv time, I just assumed we would do things the way that I have always done them when we got married. That’s in the Bible, isn’t it? Hello? Since when did he get to have a say in things?
I pouted the next day. I did the ‘idunno’ shoulder shrug the majority of the day. You know, when you’re acting like a baby, and someone asks you a question and, although you know the answer, you shrug your shoulders and say ‘idunno’. No? Am I the only one? Okay.
“What do you want for supper tonight?”…………idunno
“What time are you going to the store?”………….idunno
“What is your name?”………idunno
Ben told me that I was acting like a baby and that I needed to grow up. He told me that we were married and that we should share things now and that we needed to compromise.
UGGGHHH. Don’t you hate that moment when you realize you are wrong? And that you are totally acting like a baby, but you don’t want to admit it? Been there. Done that. Story of my life.
I guess it hadn’t hit me yet that we were two different people living together, trying to be our own family. The traditions and way of life I was accustomed to was simply that. My way of doing things. Ben had his own way of doing things. I couldn’t expect him to drop his own lifestyle completely, and live just like me (although that would have been much easier;).
So the next day I put my big girl panties on. I compromised.
Look closely. Do you see that mess on the left side of the bed?
That’s my compromise. That’s Ben’s nightstand. Barely visible. Barely fits. Messy. Just the way he likes it. He keep all kindsa stuff down there. Playbooks, Bibles, flashlights, floss, ink pens, chapstick, Kleenexes…you name it, its probably down there. I don’t mess with it.
I found an old, short stool and crammed it on his side of the bed. He was happy. I was happy. It was my first real compromise as a married girl. It was a good lesson for me. When things didn’t go my way, I could choose to pout (which was/is always a favorite reaction of mine) or I could find a way to make it work for both of us.
Letting go of my stubborness has been and is still one of the biggest challenges of my married life. I’ve realized that now, more than ever, I need to keep that in check. I want PB to see good qualities in his parents. The older he gets, the more I see him imitate Ben and I. I want him to imitate the good qualities, not my stubborness and bossiness. I want him to see compromise. That’s been another one of the unexpected blessings of having a baby. It holds me accountable to be a better wife. I know, one day, when PB is looking for a wife of his own (sniff, sniff) I’ll want him to find someone with admirable qualities. I’ll want him to find someone who values compromise in a marriage. And I can only pray that he will learn that from Ben and I.
I do still think my way is best, though 😉