Acronyms are great reminders to do something we otherwise might forget.
Businesses and government agencies often use acronyms to ensure consumers will remember them. IBM. AOL. AT&T. NASA. IHOP.
I don’t know what A&W stands for, but I do know they make wonderful cream soda.
In marriage, there is an acronym I’ve found to be the most effective in helping a couple grow in love, become more patient with each other and remove common frustrations within most relationships.
A.E.O.D: Accept Each Other’s Differences
You may not know me, but I’m a bit of a klutz.
I stumble over my own feet, run into walls, and step on my husband’s toes often. For the first few years of our marriage, it got so bad that he’d brace himself whenever I came near. I also pace in front of the television and yell at the players on my favorite team. I’m not a fan of the word no or the phrase “you’re wrong” and can list many instances in which I did not respond well to either.
What I just described about myself is the polar opposite of my husband.
He’s calm, collected, rational, reasonable, well-spoken, and never, ever says anything without thinking about it first. He’s a diplomat who weighs all sides of an issue prior to addressing it. He has great poise (doesn’t ever run into walls) and enjoys sports but is never fully invested in the outcome of the game. He loves feedback and can accept positive or negative types. And he doesn’t mind being proven wrong.
However, he can sit in front of a television for hours watching back-to-back episodes of Mecum Auto Auction or Landscapers’ Challenge.
“Really?” I’ve asked. “Are you kidding me? Didn’t you just see a garden that looked just like that in the last episode?”
He unwinds by doing random internet searches on topics like, “What happened to Ralph Macchio?” or “Where’s Tutti from Facts of Life?” He’d also rather spend Sunday morning waxing his car or pulling weeds than relaxing on the couch.
When my husband and I first married, we couldn’t have been more different. But through the years we have morphed into one another’s likeness.
The transformation is amazing to watch.
We still have a lot of differences, but we have found ourselves sharing more similarities with each passing day.
And because we’ve chosen to accept each other’s differences, our differences don’t annoy me as much since I understand they are a part of who he is. They are part of what makes him uniquely him.
Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that the qualities that make our spouses different – are also what make them great.
So the next time your spouse does something different from the way you would, rather than stewing, try considering how the action makes them special.
Marvel in the unique characteristics of your husband or wife and accept them.
And remember … marriage is not a sprint, it’s a well-run marathon.
Today, I run into fewer walls, step on my husband’s toes less frequently, can stomach the word no and the phrase “you’re wrong,” and only yell at the Spurs when they are in the NBA playoffs or finals—giving up the game!
It’s not perfect, but for me, it’s growth.
You can read more from Fawn on her site, Happy Wives Club.