I have been married nearly 25 years. When you are in a relationship for that long, over time you learn and accept there are some fundamental differences in expectations.
In order to keep the peace long-term, many times your only option is to agree to disagree. I think it is important to pick and choose your battles carefully – choose wisely when to stand your ground, when to give some space, or when to let go entirely.
Letting go can be hard because it may mean giving up something that feels important or means a lot to you, or maybe it just appears to be important.
My latest frustration is in regard to personal preferences in the bedroom—which can be a minefield of needs and expectations. My husband is what I refer to as a minimalist. I, on the other hand, am a maximalist … and, yes, maximalist is a real word.
Let me explain—much to my husband’s chagrin—our differences.
In the bedroom my husband wants a bed, a set of sheets, a blanket and a single pillow.
In my bedroom I want a bed, a cushy bed-topper, and feather mattress pad, and set of 1,000 count Egyptian cotton sheets, a goose-down comforter, a handmade quilt and a dozen pillows.
I also like a humidifier, white-noise machine, and an open-window, but it is the pillow count that seems to be the deal-breaker between us. We have a queen size bed that at this very moment is resplendent with 11 pillows of various colors, sizes, patterns and fabrics. It can be a bit cumbersome, I admit. But it is just sooooo pretty!
Is there such a thing as a niche hoarder? I seem to collect a lot of bedding ensembles.
Anyhow, my husband has pretty much resigned himself to this particular need of mine, until the other night. When he came to bed he began his nightly ritual of tossing all the pillows onto the floor. He was doing great. He didn’t grunt, hrumph, or roll his eyes. It was going well until he had tossed them ALL to the ground and he asked, “Where is MY pillow?”
His pillow is the only pillow on the bed not in a sham, and this has been kinda bugging me for me while. So, I purchased a special pillow-case for it.
“It’s right here!” I said, handing it to him. “Isn’t it pretty?”
“It’s in a sham!” he said. “I can’t sleep on it.”
“It’s not a sham,” I quickly explained. “It’s just a specially-finished pillowcase so it looks nice. Isn’t it pretty? You can sleep on it!”
“Nope. It’s a sham. Just a sham. It’s just not right.” With a single flourish he removed the sham to reveal his plain, beige, pillowcase. He tossed the sham on the floor, put his head on the pillow, and was snoring within a minute.
Yep, I thought it’s just a sham. And I let it go.