It was like every other week night. I was home all day with our newborn son and my husband had come home after working a long day outside. It was time to begin the nightly ritual: cook dinner, eat dinner, feed our son, get our son to sleep, clean up. It was safe to say I was hoping to have some “adult” time with my husband.

I had high expectations for the night. I had this idea in my head that if we could have some time together then we could work on us. You see, our marriage was not all the butterflies and rainbows after welcoming our son into this world. Our marriage had not been good for quite some time. The pregnancy and birth of our son masked the bigger issues in our marriage—lack of communication and resentment. But we were both committed to making it work. After some very intense sessions with our marriage counselor, we were given the homework assignment to spend one hour on the couch together. One hour watching any show on TV but the caveat was we couldn’t talk or look at our phones. I craved this time together. For me. For us.

Halfway through the first show, my husband’s phone began dinging. At first, he ignored it but by the third and fourth ding his attention was on his phone. I wanted to let him know that I saw him checking his phone by saying something like, “You’re not supposed to be on your phone right now.” In that moment, I caught myself before I spoke and heard God whisper to me, “Let it go.” I watched my husband look at his phone, however to my surprise he did not respond. He picked up his phone, silenced it, and turned it over.

Let it go.

In that moment, I realized I needed to let the little things go. I truly thank God for coming to me in that moment. I heard His message loud and clear. I used to hold onto those little things that drove me crazy and I made sure my husband knew it. It’s those little things that added up to very big things over time that led to resentment. Over the course of our marriage I wanted things done “right” or my way while my husband was feeling that his help wasn’t good enough.

Does it really matter if he swaddles our son perfectly?

Does it really matter if he doesn’t put the diaper on correctly?

Does it really matter if he doesn’t make the coffee strong enough?

Does it really matter if he puts the laundry in first then the detergent?

Does it really matter if he doesn’t vacuum the right way? Since when is there a right way?

All that matters is that my husband and I have chosen to put forth the effort to make this marriage work. Since that night on the couch, I find myself looking for opportunities to let the little things go. When I decided to let it go, I made room for more love in our marriage. I made room for my husband to feel appreciated and helpful. I made room for allowing myself some relief in doing the housework and caring for our son. So now, I choose every day to let the little things go.

Caitlyn Roels

Caitlyn was born and raised in the Midwest and currently resides in Michigan with her husband and their baby boy. In her professional life, she is a social worker at a community mental health agency. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, golfing, and spending time with her family.