He leaves his clothes on the floor instead of in the hamper. She makes plans for you without telling you. He has three cars in various stages of repair in the driveway. She has more shoes than any one closet can hold. And he just won’t throw away that “lucky” shirt!

These kinds of idiosyncrasies are enough to drive you crazy. So how do you keep those little habits and annoyances from driving a wedge between you and your spouse?

Recognizing Unique Quirks

We all have our own little quirks. I love books and magazines, so I could easily open my own bookstore! Bill has overlooked and adapted to a constant stream of new bookcases entering our home over our 36 years together. He knows I love him – and books. We are a package deal, me and my paper products.

Meanwhile, my husband, Bill, loves his coffee. But along with Bill’s love of coffee, he also seems to have an aversion to gettting the coffee mugs into the dishwasher. I find coffee cups every place imaginable: in the garage, in the car, in the truck, in the closet, on the sidewalk, on the deck, in the shop, in the office, on the stairwell, in the bathroom … you name it, and I have likely found a coffee cup there.

Reminders Of Love

Now, coffee is not on my personal priority list. I might drink a non-fat latte here and there, but for the most part, coffee makes my heart race, and I prefer that only Bill makes my heart skip a beat! Bill says that I am naturally caffeinated by God and it takes Bill drinking three cups of coffee just to keep up with my energy.

So how did God lead me to handle the mugs issue? I learned to use his quirk as a reminder of love. Coffee is a part of what makes Bill who he is. One day, as we were preparing to move homes, I was doing that “last load of dishes” and I realized it was composed of all coffee mugs – 47 of them to be exact! It made me smile because, years ago, I decided to pray for Bill every time I saw one of his empty displaced mugs. I was seeking to apply the principle “love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8). I have embraced the ever-reappearing dirty coffee mug with fond affection because it reminds me of my hard-working man who requires caffeine to do all the wonderful acts of service that benefit so many – including me.

Celebrating Our Differences

For Bill’s 50th birthday, we celebrated by having Bill roast his own brand of coffee. It took one afternoon to visit a coffee farm, select the beans, roast it to perfection and design the label. I knew I had a winning date as he lingered a moment to savor the aroma of his “Farrel Family” roast. He took a sip, then I watched a big grin appear on my husband’s well-caffeinated soul.

I take note of when Bill’s supply of “Farrel Family” runs low as I know a mug of his favorite blend will endear his heart to mine, just like that empty dirty cup does when I discover it in the next unusual place. Praying for Bill when I see a coffee mug, even when I travel and might be away from Bill, has become my life rhythm.

So what is driving you nuts about your spouse? Today, take that thing that is driving you crazy about your mate and make it a prayer prompt or something to celebrate.

You may also be interested in 3 Steps For Accepting Your Partner’s Perfect Imperfection

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