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By Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A.

In this day of recycling, we would be wise to, in the case of marriage, and especially remarriage, to NOT do so.

Recycling may be healthy when it comes to the environment, but when it comes to relationships, recycling becomes dead weight.  

How many times have you found yourself in a fight with your spouse, and fighting—not only about the present day conflict, but YEARS AND YEARS of those horrible arguments that just don't go away with time?  

So, you're not fighting about the bills of today, you're fighting about ALL the financial fights you've ever been in.

In the middle of a fight like this, one gets a feeling of complete and total overwhelm.  As couples, we end up fighting harder or retreating for longer periods of time.

What's the solution?

marital trash

Take out the marital trash on a daily basis at the end of the day.

Most of us have heard the expression "don't go to bed angry".  Well, as we all know, it's easier said than done.  What we can do though at the end of the day is to let go of any built up resentment and tension and just let it go.  

Acknowledge any problems we are having are just going to be there in the morning.  In the evening, letting go of all unwelcome feelings and letting them dissipate into the clear night air is good for the soul and your marriage.

When we do this on a daily basis, we cultivate a nightly routine that rids us of the emotional dirt and grim we've accumulated during the sun-lit hours.  

Recently, I took my dog on a beautiful and peaceful hike.  As dogs do, I had to bring a plastic bag to scoop up his "doggie duty".  I find this most unpleasant and downright nauseating, but something as a good citizen I need to do.

I left the bag on the side of the path to retrieve on my way back.  I happily went on my way and forgot about the smelly sample.

Returning, I saw the offensive bag and picked it up.  I couldn't wait to get rid of it at the end of the trail.  It suddenly hit me as to the amount of emotional crap I carry around on a daily basis and how I've become accustomed to the putrid smells and repulsiveness that are surely evident in my pent-up feelings.

Those thoughts of, "My husband isn't really listening to me", or "My husband views other people or things as more valuable than me." Etc. etc. Ruminating and building my case against my husband can become a morbid hobby.

I realized I no more wanted to hold on to those rank feelings then I did the bag of dog poop.

To err is human, to forgive divine.  And, let's face it, when it comes to marital trash, to dispose of it is just plain sanitary!

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