My spouse is starting to irritate me.
Now the oxytocin and dopamine are wearing off. You both are noticing irritating differences about each other. One is outgoing one is introverted, one is a filer one is a piler, one a saver one a spender. Then there is the legendary toilet seat; does it belong up or down?
You may start to wonder what happened to that loving feeling.
Congratulations! You are moving beyond the honey moon stage and you both have the opportunity to learn to develop the qualities of humility, patience and respect. These are essential elements of lasting love in marriage. Coincidentally, they are also essential for developing love for Krishna. Marriage is fertile ground for cultivating spiritual advancement.
Navigating differences is like learning to dance. In the beginning you step on each others’ feet but, if you keep at it, with lots of practice you will learn to move in graceful harmony. In the words of Dr. Sue Johnson, author, and clinical psychologist, “Love is a constant process of tuning in, connecting, missing and misreading cues, disconnecting, repairing, and finding deeper connection. It is a dance of meeting and parting and finding each other again. Minute to minute and day to day.”
Couples may ignore or attempt resolutions to these annoyances in ways which are not constructive. This can lead to resentment and power struggles, the topic of the next section.
About the issue of whether the toilet seat should go up or down; this was a minor issue for years in our marriage. Uttama had just toilet trained one of our children. I had left the seat up and our poor kid practically fell in and was afraid to go near the toilet for months. Guys, take my advice and go with gravity and put it down.
By Partha dasa