One of the things my parents have taught me about marriage is that you don't have to be 100% the same to be happy together. My parents have a lot of things in common, but there are a few things in which they differ greatly. One being that my mom is a night owl and my dad is an early bird. My dad always goes to bed first and has learned to sleep with the lamp on while my mom stays up into the wee small hours of the morning reading. In the mornings my dad has no trouble getting up and at it, but my mom has to wake up slowly (which meant a later start for our home school!) Every morning, for the vast majority of their marriage, my dad has brought my mom a cup of coffee in bed to help her wake up and ease her way into a new day. (This is something I've pointed out to Alex maaaany times.) My dad has no trouble waking up, but my mom does, and he helps her out with that.
My dad likes the house to be tidy. My mom definitely appreciates a clean house, but I don't think a cluttered kitchen and a sink full of dishes bothers her the same way it does my dad. So she always made an effort to get things picked up before he got home from work. I remember many evenings growing up, mom rallying us and hurrying us to clean up our toys, load the dishwasher, and clear our school work off the table, because dad was on his way home. We of course would complain and grumble and ask why we had to. She would say because dad likes a clean house.
Loving, respecting, and serving each other. That's what they've taught me.
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