Just Married

I Love You, Dripping Faucet and All

By Simi Lichtman

  • Print
  • Share Share
Simi and Jeremy, in a moment of non-annoying bliss.

Before Jeremy and I got married, the rabbi who performed our ceremony asked us to make a list of three things that excited us about marriage and three things that scared us. We both said that we were scared of living together and perhaps coming to resent certain aspects of each other’s personalities that didn’t bother us or didn’t come up when we lived apart.

Maybe one of us would be messy; maybe the other would get anal about messes. These were things we couldn’t know about each other until we’d lived together, and we both were smart enough to know those were things that could nudge their ways into our happiness and make us squirm with exasperation.

“When you get married, you vow to love your spouse for better or worse. Most people think this means you support each other through the big things in life — getting sick, going broke, or your dog throwing up all over the house. I think what it really means is you need to love your spouse for their better habits, along with their worse habits,” writes Leslie Rasmussen, creator of Marriage-Project.com, in The Huffington Post.

I couldn’t agree more. I can easily envision devoting myself to Jeremy should he, God forbid, fall ill. But occasionally I come home to find the bathroom sink dripping, and that drives me berserk.

And he would support me emotionally and otherwise if I lost all our money somehow — but it makes him crazy to know that I’m going to assume he’s the one who left the sink dripping.

Of course, the sink is just one thing. I’m addicted to my iPhone, and it drives Jeremy nuts when I ignore him because I’m on it. But Jeremy does the same thing. He gets so wrapped up in whatever book he’s reading or video game he’s playing or work that he’s doing that it’s like his ears don’t work.

Usually we’re able to control ourselves when it comes to the small things. We try to avoid doing things that will irk the other, or we try to avoid being irked by little things like nail-biting or being late. It doesn’t always work. We expect the ones we love to be as perfect as we imagine they are; that is perhaps what makes it so difficult when our partners are annoying. If a friend has a weird affect, well, we all have flaws. But our spouses — we love them, and we think of them as wonderful. That’s what makes it so much harder when they act less than wonderful.

The same rabbi warned us before we got married not to expect each other to fit a certain image. That advice makes perfect sense now. If I expect Jeremy to be the tremendous Prince Charming I sometimes think of him as, it will drive me crazy when he does something that I find annoying.

But if I simply allow him to be who he is, love will carry on.

That’s not to say we can’t work on ourselves and help each other grow in the big ways, but we can’t hope to change the small quirks, and we shouldn’t get stuck on them either. If we love each other deeply and respect one another for the real things that form our identities, then things like a messy counter shouldn’t be allowed to get in the way.

But as I’ve discovered, it’s not that easy. Love can fight the big things. It’s the little annoyances that worm their way in there and make love back away, hands up in surrender.

After four months of marriage, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that we can’t stop being who we are when we’re married; we just have to learn to love who our partners are, dripping sinks and all. And when that’s not possible… well, that’s what ignoring people is for.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: wedding, spouse, faucet, annoyances, dripping sink, Jewish

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • "I feel great sorrow about the fact that you decided to return the honor and recognition that you so greatly deserve." Rivka Ben-Pazi, who got Dutchman Henk Zanoli recognized as a "Righteous Gentile," has written him an open letter.
  • Is there a right way to criticize Israel?
  • From The Daily Show to Lizzy Caplan, here's your Who's Jew guide to the 2014 #Emmys. Who are you rooting for?
  • “People at archives like Yad Vashem used to consider genealogists old ladies in tennis shoes. But they have been impressed with our work on indexing documents. Now they are lining up to work with us." This year's Jewish Genealogical Societies conference took place in Utah. We got a behind-the-scenes look:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.