It's 4am and I am up in the quiet of the morning. I love the early morning and how peaceful and still it is. I have always been an early morning person and have never been able to understand people who don't like this time of day. I listen to people say that their day shouldn't start until 10am and I can't relate. However, I also can't relate to staying up until 2am and then going to bed. It's not that I go to bed super early but I would rather greet the day in the quiet of the early morning than stay up and watch one day end while another begins.

As you can imagine, I am married to a man who is not an early morning riser, although he does get up earlier than he did in the beginning of our marriage. He is the one to stay up reading after I am sound asleep and he is the one to sleep in on Saturday mornings. It used to be a problem in our marriage because our internal clocks worked so differently but now we accept that we just march to the beat of a different drummer in that area.

Thinking about this leads me to wonder how many couples focus on issues that only drain their energy and create conflict. How much does it matter that I am a morning person and my husband is a night owl? How much does it matter that I squeeze the toothpaste in the middle and he pushes it up from the bottom? How much does it matter that I don't care which way the toilet paper goes on the roll and he likes it to dispense rolling forward? How much does it matter that he likes to eat beets and I think beets were meant to stay in the ground?

Now, believe me when I say that Michael and I lived for many years in our marriage focusing on all the differences that bothered us. We poured great amounts of energy into arguments over little things that were never going to change. One day we realized that we were missing the value of who we were as individuals and not allowing each other's strengths and weaknesses to grow our relationship. You see, if we major in the minors then we will never grow as a couple. Focusing on all the little things that bug us means that every time we turn around, there is something to be upset about. Let's face it, if you want to be happy as a couple, then you have to learn to flow together in what you love about each other and what is difficult about each other. You have to keep in mind that the very things that drew you together and attracted you to your partner should not become the things that repel you from each other.

I encourage you to think about your relationships today. What are you focused on and is it possible that you are missing the greater things because you are caught in the minors? Is it possible that you are creating disconnection and distance because of your differences. What can you do today to focus on what's right and express that to those you love. I know for me, when Michael gets up at 6:30 am I will be there to greet him with a cup of coffee!!

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