My husband, Dave, and I get along really well for the most part, but there is one subject that has tripped us up and made us argue A LOT in recent years. That subject is the real estate website called Zillow.com. I know, I know, this seems utterly ridiculous, right? Well, let me explain. Dave and I are both fans of Zillow because it makes browsing houses for sale pretty easy, and it also includes a lot of information on the homes and neighborhoods, including a little figure they call the “Zestimate.” This number is Zillow’s estimate of what your house is worth based on an algorithm that takes into account recent home sales in your general area. However, any real estate agent out there will tell you that the Zestimate isn’t always accurate because it doesn’t look at the real estate market as a whole.
Over the years, Dave has looked at the Zestimate for our home just in case we needed to sell and almost every time he would get upset because he felt like the Zestimate was rather low. Then, he would say things like, “Sweetie, we’re just not going to be able to sell this home for what we thought we could sell it for because everybody looks at the Zestimate.” Then, I would tell him that the Zestimate isn’t always right and that our house is worth more. Then he would get upset with me because he felt like I wasn’t taking the Zestimate seriously enough. Friends, we would have this ridiculous back-and-forth bickering about a silly algorithm. Yeah.
Eventually, we both realized that arguing over the Zestimate was getting us nowhere, and honestly, it just wasn’t worth it. Our relationship was and still is more important. So, we decided that we wouldn’t talk about Zillow or the Zestimate anymore and we both couldn’t be happier about it.
There are major issues that a married couple must work through that are worth hashing out in a healthy and respectful manner. But there are also minor, preferential things that we honestly will just have to let go in order to pursue peace over pride.
You and your spouse may not disagree on the Zestimate, but here are 5 silly things that married couples often argue about (and how to stop this madness):
1. What To Watch on TV
Dave and I have a lot in common, but this doesn’t necessarily ring true when it comes to television shows. As one who lives in a home full of boys, I love to watch the girliest shows possible like, “Gilmore Girls,” “Say Yes to the Dress,” and “Four Weddings,” when I have the remote. Dave, however, could not care less about these–even though he has graciously watched a few of them with me on more than one occasion.
So, what’s a couple to do when you can’t agree on what to watch? We do what we tell our kids to do. We take turns. We try and engage in what our spouse likes to watch, and we share our favorite shows with him/her too.
For Dave and I, this has been fun. We’ve found some shows we can enjoy together, but we try to take turns watching some of our individual favorites, too. Just recently, the NFL Draft was on and I knew Dave wanted to watch it. He didn’t ask, but I went ahead and turned to that channel. I loved seeing his face light up. As I watched it with him, I asked him questions about how the NFL draft works and honestly, I really enjoyed it. Now I know a thing or two about it that I didn’t know before–which was nothing at all. Gotta start somewhere, right?
So, get in there. Take turns–or, better yet, turn off the television and go for a walk together. Fighting over television shows just isn’t worth it.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18
2. How To Arrange the Dishes in the Dishwasher
I’ve talked to numerous couples who actually fight about this issue. One feels strongly that the dishes must be pre-cleaned before placing them neatly in the dishwasher, while the other crams every dish possible in the dishwasher and hopes it will clean them efficiently. I get it. Both sides have a point. This issue is NOT worth fighting over.
So, what’s a couple to do? If you feel strongly about the dishwasher being super organized and all dishes being pre-washed by hand, then do it that way. Don’t make your spouse feel like he/she is a slob because they don’t follow your exact method. You can kindly give him/her some pointers, but it’s NOT worth fighting over.
In the end, how the dishes are arranged and get cleaned doesn’t really matter. So, make peace with one another in this area, and stop fighting about it. Let it go. You’ll feel so much freedom, and you’ll still have clean dishes at the end of the day.
Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:18
3. To Cuddle or Not To Cuddle
All you cuddlers out there are excited about this one, aren’t you? Married people should cuddle from time to time, but the frequency and cuddle-style can greatly differ from person to person. This discrepancy can cause some arguments. This is one of those things that will take some compromise from both spouses. Those who are more affectionate may need a little more cuddle time, but too much cuddling can wear on those who feel suffocated by it.
For example, in our home Dave is the cuddler. I like some cuddling, but prolonged cuddling feels too binding to me. Crazy, right? But, I know I’m not alone in this sentiment. I can’t cuddle all night long because I move a lot when I sleep.
So, what do we do? We meet in the middle. I cuddle some with Dave before we go to bed, and then he gives me the space that I need to go to sleep. It’s honestly become this big joke between us, but we both have our needs met without any tension between us.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness… Galatians 5:22
4. How to Fold the Clothes/Linens
There are some of us–ahem, me included–who like order. We like our clothes, towels, and linens folded a specific way, and when they are not, it drives us bonkers. And, we let our spouse know it–only to cause more frustration in our marriage. It’s just not worth it. They are pieces of fabric, for crying out loud! And, our life will not fall apart if everything isn’t folded the exact same way.
So, what should we do? If how the clothes and towels are folded means a lot to you, then kindly show your spouse how you prefer it to be done. But, if they don’t get it exactly right every time, don’t lay into them about it. Just go back and refold it when they aren’t in the room, or learn to shake it off and appreciate that the garment/towel is folded and put away at all. It’s all about choosing PEACE OVER PERFECTION. Let’s let go of the petty stuff and focus on the important things. Let’s make a conscious effort to choose peace over perfection each and every day.
The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11
5. What Temperature a Space Should Be
We all want our home (and even our cars) to be comfortable, but we usually have a different “ideal temperature” than our spouse. So, we end up fighting over how hot or cold our house or car needs to be. How silly is that?
Dave and I used to disagree over this, but we’ve found a way to compromise. I like our spaces to be really cold. At night, I lower the thermostat and even turn on the ceiling fan, and Dave bundles up next to me. We’ve learned that we can both have what we want in this situation, and the temperature of our home is simply not worth the fight.
Do you and your spouse struggle with this one? If so, see how you can meet in the middle and stop arguing over the temperature. There is no right or wrong temperature for your home, but it is wrong to allow this silly issue of preference to drive a wedge between you and your spouse.
Let us, therefore, make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Romans 14:19
Do you and your spouse struggle with any (or even all) of these 5 things? If so, talk about it, and let today be the day that you both make peace with one another and collectively decide to stop fighting over these unimportant things. You’ll be so glad that you did and the two of you will enjoy a much happier and healthier marriage and home.