Our new rocker recliner arrived on Saturday. I had mixed feelings about the chair. I knew that our living room needed more furniture, specifically more seating, but I have a real dislike for recliners. Frankly, I find them ugly. I think they are large, cumbersome, and unattractive. I did not want one in my living room, but my husband did. When we lived in Florida he had a large oversized chair that he loved. When we left Florida, and moved to Atlanta, we sold all of our furniture and I promised him that when we bought new furniture we’d buy him another big chair. That had yet to happen. When he first mentioned buying a recliner I resisted. Strongly. He conceded and agreed we’d buy something else.
Then I realized I had my priorities messed up.
I realized I was prioritizing the aesthetics of my apartment over my husband’s feelings and comfort. I was marginalizing his preferences and his feelings. What I was saying, without saying it, was “Your preferences and desires are not as important as mine.” That was unfair. Because I know my husband, I know what he loves, and I knew what he would want, I went online and I ordered a recliner.
My husband is more important than a chair.
I also started thinking about all of the things that I have bought for our apartment, without any input from my husband, just because I liked them and they made me happy. I’ve bought things like:
This little gold bird from Hobby Lobby.
This silver candle holder (and cinnamon pumpkin candle) from Target
These Fall kitchen towels from Target
The list goes on, and on, and on. I bought dishes, our bedroom furniture, and our bedding without consulting his opinion. Was I really going to begrudge this man a chair? Granted, it’s a rocking recliner and I think they are cumbersome and unattractive but is my husband’s joy and comfort not more important?
Was it really worth making him feel like his preferences and comfort are unimportant to me?
Was getting my way really worth belittling him and making him feel like I don’t value him as much as I value having “pretty” furniture? I also thought back to my parents. My parents are a beautiful example of a strong marriage for my husband and I. They have been happily married for over 35 years, they raised three children who are all now successful adults, and are still the best of friends. My husband and I have often asked ourselves, “How would Ashley’s parents handle this?” and let that be a guide for resolution to our own conflicts. When I applied that question to the recliner issue I realized that my Dad had a recliner. My mom, like myself, has a strong dislike for them yet my Dad had one. He loved it and my mom conceded out of love. So, I bought it and now it’s in my living room. My husband is happy, and I am happy. That’s what marriage is, it’s about compromise. It’s about picking your battles. It’s about considering this question in all things, “Is _______ worth fighting with my spouse?” When I asked, “Is a recliner worth fighting with my spouse?” The obvious, and very clear, answer was, “No.” I have a happy husband, and that’s worth everything to me.
- What do you think of recliners? Am I alone in not caring for them?
- What was the last time you compromised in your marriage? What was it over?