This Guest Post is from Courtney Murrell of   This post hit home with me, and maybe you’ll relate some too.  It’s great to be able to see others in the Fire Life experiencing the same things, even when it isn’t technically fire life related 😉  Want to share your own story, advice or tips on all of the topics that impact our marriages, families and us as individuals?  Become a guest blogger by clicking here!



Don’t sweat the small stuff (but when is it small stuff?)

The alarm goes off, you snooze, he gets up and gets ready for the day (or maybe vice versa) and before your feet hit the floor … you just know the washroom looks nothing like it did the night before. You mosey over to check it out. Smirk at your partner, “morning” and roll your eyes not surprised at all that the water he used for cleaning his razor between the strips of shaving his face, are ALL OVER THE VANITY TOP.

Yup. Droplets are on the taps, some hit the mirror, its down the front of the doors of the vanity, and though he said he wiped it up. He missed some. Of course, it’s you who found it. Maybe water droplets on the vanity top don’t bother you at all, but surely, there is something your partner does or doesn’t do that has the potential to drive you bonkers! Right!!??

You know what else? There are things about YOU that drives him bonkers, too! When exactly do we know though, if the things that annoy us are actually little things or, a sign that things aren’t really working? I am no marriage expert, but I have been married long enough to say I have experienced both worlds. The water droplets still drive me up the wall, but at this point in my marriage, I do not think about how much it bothers me after the morning routine has passed! Why cry over dirty spilled shaving water, right!? Let it be.

Well, once upon a time, I felt as though a lot of things, many things drove me nuts about my partner. Silly things, but oh boy could they make my blood boil!

There were times over the years where I wondered how I could be so annoyed by this person I fell completely head over heels for.

These little things built up, and naturally, when one day… I let him have it. All of it! Years of it. Yes, I will own it. I had held on to the dozens of mornings of annoying water droplets, socks and pants left on the floor BESIDE the hamper, dirty dishes in the sink when I had announced earlier they were ready to be washed. The list went on.

I hung onto these things, these little things for a long time. Sadly mistaken, letting go doesn’t mean just moving on… it actually means ACCEPTING something so that you can move on!

Light bulb moment. We are in the middle of our argument when he asks me, point blank … “If these things have bothered you for so long, why did you wait until now to tell me?”

Remember, my blood was boiling, I was mad, really mad … you know why? Because he had been extremely busy with work during the day, training and meetings in the evening as well as working out when he could, and our kids and everyday life took the front seat, while our marriage took the back. The past few years, I have come to acknowledge that how others act, is actually none of my business. How I act, IS. This goes for feelings and reacting also.

So, back to the blowup. We eventually, after an hour maybe, got around to the fact that I was feeling unappreciated and neglected. He was feeling like he couldn’t keep up and could never make me happy.

Well there it was. Both of us “dropped the armor” and simply did what we should have done all along, communicated. Truly, communicated.

You see, anyone can blow as kiss, give a quick hug or say I love you, but what makes a marriage is the grit every day, its communicating without armor, and operating as a team.

It takes ongoing effort, and will never be perfect, but I promise it will be worth it.

As you grow in your marriage by being open and vulnerable, you are also growing as an individual. 17 years strong, and looking forward to so many more.

Are you sweating the small stuff?


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Jessie -

A small town girl from Southwest Georgia who happens to value your marriage as much as she does her own. She is married to a firefighter who was a volunteer for several years, then transitioned into a career fireman the same month they married in 2008, and he is now a Captain at his full-time Department. They have two daughters, have been in the FFW family since 2012 and know marriage takes a lot of work, even when it's in the best seasons.