I've been married to The Guy for twenty-two years. Happily. I'm not saying I haven't thrown some hissy fits for valid reasons. I can even remember how I felt and some of what we said to each other. Oddly enough, I don't much remember what brought on those fits so he must have reformed or it wasn't that bad to begin with.
I have to say that, as husband training goes, I've done well and he's been accepting—to a point. I have accepted what I cannot change.
This is what I've learned about my marriage:
- If I don't tell him what I want, someone is going to be disappointed (me) and someone is going to be mad (him). He is not a good guesser. In truth, do I want him to sit around and think, "Now what can I pull out of my oh, so very romantic soul to please the love of my life, Jean?" I do not, I tell you. I wouldn't have that kind of man. If you want that kind of man, train him up and enjoy it.
- If I want to see a Woody Allen movie, I'd best make other arrangements because he's not going. Ever.
- It takes less energy for me to remove the sticky notes that he puts on the floor lamp by his chair than it does to yell at him to stop it. Besides, he isn't going to stop it. Nor is he going to throw away the blister pack that held whatever treasure he has procured for himself. Furthermore, he doesn't care if there are blister packs and sticky notes all over the place. I do. So I remove them.
- He once had an altercation with J.C. Penny's and will not shop there. He would like for me to support him in this. I must do this since, to my knowledge, this is the only altercation he has ever had with the world at large. I'm glad it was J.C. Penny's and not somewhere I like to shop.
- He has his list of household chores. 1. Clean the liter box. 2. Take the garbage to the street. 3. Keep the refrigerator stocked with soft drinks (which he does not drink.) 4. Pay the bills and keep the household accounts. 5. Keep our vehicles clean and gassed. 6. Pay the yardman. He does these things like clockwork. He will do almost anything else except cook, but I have to ask. He will walk past a basket of folded clean laundry that is sitting by the stairs 43 times and never see it.
- " Do we have any butter?" means "Will you get me some butter?" It is not productive to say, "Of course, we don't have any butter! When have we ever had butter? And if we did have some, it would be upstairs in your sock drawer!"
- If I want to see Barry Manilow in concert (and I have), I'd best make other arrangements because he's not going. Ever.
- I do not pack for him. I have friends who pack for their husbands. Not me. I am not going to be held responsible when he hasn't got the exact pair of socks he wants. Luckily, he likes to be in control and has no wish for me to pack for him.
- When we go to the movies, we are going to leave long before we need to. I've accepted it.
- When we get in the car to go somewhere, he is going to have to go back in for something. Probably.
- If I want to eat at Cracker Barrel, I'd best make other arrangements because he's not going. Ever.
- No matter how long he's been waiting for me to get ready to go somewhere, I end up waiting on him because he's thought of one more thing he has to do.
- He is always, always, without fail, going to say to me. "Go to conference. Go to Moonlight and Magnolias. I don't care if you didn't cook dinner. You have a job too. What do I need to do to make this work for you?"
What have you learned about relationships?