How to Create a Kinder, Gentler Marriage
There's a time and place to talk about the "work" of a marriage, because a marriage (or a SigOth relationship, or whatever your partnered situation is) is indeed a lot of work. But sometimes I think we focus too much on the labor involved, and take the easy way out by making sly, wry comments about our partner's failings, whether it's their inability to put away laundry or fill the dishwasher. We fall into the habit of those side-of-the-mouth comments about our bumbling husbands' inability to get the right milk at the grocery store, snap at our partners for minor indiscretions, collect bitter seeds to add to the piles of who's "right" and who's "wrong." I didn't learn the lesson of the price those comments make until my marriage was over—for reasons far beyond those comments, but still, it made me pause.
Kelcey Kintner of The Mama Bird Diaries and her husband had their own pause, together. And then they took a vow to focus on being kinder to each other. She wrote about it this spring, but her wisdom seemed so simple and useful (and beautiful, to boot), that I thought I'd share it again here. We can go back to those familiar bad-husband jokes after this sweet little break—but only if you promise to also make time for kind and gentle.
The Kinder, Gentler Marriage
I'm literally on my third round of antibiotics this month trying to kick strep throat. In fact, everyone in our family is on antibiotics. And when you have strep, you need to buy new toothbrushes so you don't reinfect yourself all over again.
So I asked my husband, Rick, to pick up new toothbrushes for the girls.
He came back from the store with adult toothbrushes. He swore they were in the kids' section.
I sent him to the store again. He came back with toothbrushes for ages 0-2. My daughters, Dylan and Summer, are 6 and 4.