#3 – The little things that drive me nuts … are the little things I love
Seriously. There will always be small personality traits, habits, and quirks that drive you nuts about other people; these little things are magnified when they manifest themselves in a spouse. But it struck me long ago that all these little tiny quirks that drive me nuts about my wife are also the tiny little things that make her up into the whole person she is. And who she is, is who I love.
This plays off of #2. I can focus on these small things and let them drive me slowly insane, or I can realize that they are a part of the personality of the person I love. I wish that she wouldn’t bite the fork and drag it through her teeth when we eat, but she does, and it’s part of who she is, and who she is, is the person I love. When we are apart, and I eat alone quietly … I miss the sound of fork tines on teeth.
#4 – Aircheck, Aircheck, Aircheck
In radio if you want to become a better on-air personality then the aircheck is a must. This is where you or others listen to recordings of your show and offer critique on how to improve your delivery. The most difficult aspect for many on-air personalities is the fact that you must open yourself up to critique. When I first began in broadcasting I knew that I was amazing and would likely become radio’s greatest ever DJ. One weekend I was preparing to make the long drive back to my hometown and I made a tape to aircheck on the way. I pushed play excitedly to listen to that week’s shows and was quickly saddened to hear my voice as the audience heard it: monotone, stuttering, and mispronouncing words & names (did you know Bruce Cockburn is not pronounced – well, never mind). Years of airchecks and critique have made me into a better broadcaster and preacher, and there’s still lots of room to grow.
It’s the same with marriage, and with life in general. When I first got married I was sure it would be easy, because I’m an amazing person, and would therefore automatically be an amazing husband. Remember lesson #1? Turns out, because I’m not perfect, I’m also not always the most amazing person or husband. However, if you’re open to critique and honest with yourself, the personality aircheck results in us becoming better spouses, and better people.
Nobody’s perfect, and it shouldn’t hurt for us to find out that we aren’t, but it of course does. Because my wife is my biggest fan and spends much more time focussing on my positives than my negatives I’m able to handle her critiques. They aren’t mean or vicious – they aren’t meant to bring me down. Most often critiques arise because a personality trait of mine causes hurt for her. If I’m not willing to be honest, and if I refuse to change because, “Hey, that’s just who I am!” then what happens to her, or anybody else I treat in the same way? I’ve had to learn – and I’m still trying – to slow down, respond instead of react, and change many traits. The personality aircheck has meant that I have grown and changed as a husband and a person and will, hopefully, continue to do so.