A couple of weekends ago my family was at the beach. We were only there a couple of days so we didn’t let the kids take a bunch of stuff. To play on the beach they had to use their imagination, find stuff, play in the sand, or play in the water (which they did and it was cold).
As long as they didn’t have toys or anything to play with they got along fine. As soon as they found an interesting palm tree branch there was an instant argument over who it belonged to or whose turn it was to play with it. Of course I intervened and took it away because in it’s absence there was peace.
I think we come in to marriage with this problem. When we first get married we don’t really have much or what we do have we are still thinking of as our own not as shared with our spouse. So we start out with nothing to really fight about. Before we know it we’re having to share all our stuff and our money, and our bills and responsibilities- everything.
The problem with that is any two people at some point are going to have different ideas about how to manage something. So as soon as an interesting palm tree branch comes in the marriage there is conflict. One spouse wants to wave it in the air like they just don’t care and the other spouse wants to use it to draw a treasure map in the sand. As long as they didn’t have that branch everything was fine.
It gets much more complicated than that example when it is money, jobs, house, cars, savings, etc. What are the palm tree branches in your relationship? Are they really worth fighting about and causing hurt in your marriage?