the lesson-giving nightstand.

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”.

Ummm….no?

“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 😉

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15 thoughts on “the lesson-giving nightstand.

  1. Oh do I ever know about putting on those big girl panties!
    I've been married for 18 years and I still have to put mine back on every once in a while. Over time, we just learn to pick our battles. I sometimes think just seeing it his way (sometimes) is just easier. It lets them think they've accomplished something. We gotta give'm that every once in while.. right? HA!!

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  2. That's funny. We put a pair of matching nightstands on our wedding registry, which my parents bought for us, so this wasn't an issue for us. I do wish my husband's nightstand were the one that's barely visible though since he has a habit of leaving DIRTY LAUNDRY on top of it. Maybe our next home will have a better door placement. 🙂

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  3. Wow, we must live the same life in 2 different states. That sounds like the first couple days of mine and Brad's married life. The moment we got home from our honeymoon and hit the door of “my” house (we literally moved into my house), we were in a fight. Brad and I dated for 5 years before we got married but boy was it a reality check to actually live together. It took me about a month to figure out he wasn't going to do things MY way in MY house. Our first month of marriage was NOT marital bliss. HAHA.

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  4. Definitely hear you on this one. I had to really learn to compromise (and I am still learning). But I had to put my foot down to a beer light in the dining room. Nope, that ain't happening.

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  5. Oh honey. Welcome to my world. I often do the “I dunno” pout/shoulder shrug and my husband often tells me to quit being a baby. I'm learning to compromise on a lot of things (my husband doesn't like sushi – tragic) and I'm still learning (or attempting anyway) to be unselfish…

    By the way, we had the exact same bed for 9 months. My jaw dropped when I saw this. We were borrowing the whole set from a friend (which included 2 nightstands so no issues there…) and just a few months ago, they asked for it back so we replaced it with an Ikea set. Caaarrraaaazzzyyy….

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  6. What a great story. Compromise is so important in a marriage. I feel like that is all we do some days! It's a good way of you each getting part of your own way. 🙂

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  7. Hahahahaha I've been trying to convince Nick lately that his new life
    Motto should be “My wife is always right.”
    So far he's not cooperating. He and I ate both very stubborn and I can be quite bossy, but somehow we make it work.

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  8. Amen, and yes, I do the shoulder shrug too! 🙂 I can def relate to this post. I thought Chris and I were coming from very similar families…both parents still married, baptist, etc etc. When we moved in together I learned that two similar families can do day to day life very differently, and that it's hard to break old habits. I think that's why marriage makes us better everyday…it's a constant “rubbing” at your edges & selfishness.

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  9. Hilarity! I am totally the same way….still. I ask an opinion…because you are supposed to get your significant other's opinion on things….and if it's not the answer I like I push until I get it. He reminds me of this all the time. And that's when I go to my drawers to find my big girl panties! Haha! Love that! And your compromise works for me! You still get the pretty one!

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  10. Haha! I don't like putting on my big girl panties. I am like you, I like it my way. But also like you when you have kids and a husband you have to give both ways. I don't like it all the time and my way will ALWAYS be the best way, lol.

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