Daily Archives: November 8, 2012

The Small Stuff Can Drive You Crazy

Worchestershire sauce bottle

Today’s post is about Worcestershire sauce. I know you think you read that wrong. Isn’t this blog about marriage and sexuality? Did I click in the right place?

Yes, you did. But one of the eye-openers about being married for a while is that the small stuff really will drive you the point of insanity if you let it. My illustration is the Worcestershire sauce in my home. It goes inside the refrigerator door, bottom shelf. That is where it belongs. To make sure that everyone in the family understands its proper placement, I even whipped out my handy-dandy label maker and put a sticker sign on the shelf that reads “Condiments.” Yet every single time that I cook something that calls for a little sprinkling of Worcestershire sauce, I come back later to find that the bottle has been returned to the middle shelf, not in the door.

I have asked nicely, I have labeled, I have reminded, I have restated, I have patiently returned the bottle over and over to its proper location, I have prayed, I have pleaded, and the other day, I opened the refrigerator door and found the Worcestershire sauce back on that middle shelf! An unbidden thought — God forgive me — raced through my mind: That of slamming that slender glass bottle over my sweet husband’s head. *Gasp!* Am I really that concerned about where the stupid Worcestershire bottle goes?!!!

Yes. Yes, I am.

But while some of you are secretly chiding me (or maybe not so secretly, since I can’t actually see you), the funny thing is that most of you know what I’m talking about. There is some very small thing that you wish your spouse would do and you ask them to do . . . nicely the first 53 times, then less nicely the next 128 times. You wonder why, why, why he/she would not make it a point to get this teeny, tiny thing right when they know it matters to you.

It’s such a small thing after all. It’s not like you asked your spouse to scale Mount Everest or win a hot dog eating contest for you. You’re not asking for a kidney or bone marrow. You don’t expect them to take a bullet for you or vote for your political candidate (almost as bad as a bullet to some of you). This itty bitty request is a chance for them to prove you are important, to pass a test of their love for you!

Yes, I know for me that it is just a bottle of Worcestershire sauce. But I could make the same point to my husband: IT’S JUST A BOTTLE OF WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE. PUT IT AWAY CORRECTLY.

Why am I obsessing about this on my marriage and sexuality blog?

Because the small stuff will drive you crazy if you let it. You can let that small stuff curdle up in your belly and become resentment and frustration — the very things that make you disinterested in sharing time, affection, and lovemaking with your spouse. You can come to bed so hurt and angry about the laundry he won’t put away or the clutter she keeps on the kitchen counter, or him drinking the last soda or her buying another pair of shoes, or whatever that you forget to focus on the big stuff.

And the big stuff is growing your intimacy.

That small stuff really isn’t a test of love. My husband adores me. In fact, he’d happily take a bullet for me. (Well, maybe not happily.) He would scale a mountain, give me a little marrow, or eat a hot dog or two. But at home, he forgets to put the Worcestershire sauce where it belongs and remembers to cuddle up with me.

Believe me, when I forget to pick up his shirts at the dry cleaners, I honestly did just forget. It was not intentional. But it has happened more than once (too often, I admit) . . . because, as much as I absolutely love and commit to my hubby, my brain skips sometimes.

Today’s goal is to ask yourself what small infractions have you keeping score in your marriage. Are they hampering your ability to feel receptive toward your husband? Are they interfering with your desire for him? Have you given the small stuff more import than it deserves?

I promise I won’t be smacking my husband with the bottle of Worcestershire sauce. (So nobody call the cops. It’s okay. I promise. He’s safe with me.) However, I will be smacking him with my lips and snuggling up to his hot body.

And after a great night of marital intimacy, I’ll be lying on my bed with a goofy grin murmuring, “What Worcestershire sauce?”