As newlyweds, my husband, Perry, and I received advice that has proved golden: “Don’t count!” At the time, we didn’t know it related to competition in our marriage.
I’m a counter by nature—I did dishes five times this week, and he did it only two times. I tidied up errant socks three times and made the bed. The numbers used to swirl in my head, sit heavy in my stomach and upset my heart.
Our competition in marriage
In time I realized I was looking for ways to count myself better than my husband. But my counting proved petty and competitive in our marriage when I considered how many ways I count on my husband.
Together we trained ourselves to stop counting up chores and favors and start counting on each other. He counts on me to know the exact location of every obscure item in the refrigerator. I count on him to wash out the compost bin.
Counting on each other
He counts on me to make his favorite dessert; I count on him to always offer me the biggest piece. He counts on me to remember dates, milestones and traditions; I count on him to help guide our kids into the Father’s arms.
We count on each other to be true and to look to the Word before the world. When we said our vows, we counted on marriage having hard days. But learning to count on each other, instead of counting ourselves better than each other, has been the greatest blessing and the beginning of the end of our competition in marriage.