Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Monday, June 13, 2011

What I've Learned about Marriage

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?


  1. Compromise - a hard word for me to accept. I have learned that you have to give in, sometimes, and meet on the middle ground. I am with you on the getting ready part. I can shower, blow dry my hair, curl my hair, put on makeup, get dressed and I will STILL be waiting on him to get dressed. I also never pack for my hubby and I do not help him load the car (I can't arrange the suitcases in the trunk correctly - as if it matters).

    The biggest lesson is that you can never stop being interested in each other's lives. You can't fall prey to a comfortable relationship (falling asleep in the recliners at night without talking). You have to keep working at it or you will lose whatever brought you together. Kind of like a job. LOL

  2. Relationships are constantly changing. I guess this is because the people in the relationships are constantly changing as well. That has probably been the biggest lesson that I have had to learn about relationships of all types.

  3. I'll go see Barry Manilow with you! And we can eat at Cracker Barrel on the way to the concert!

    I'm not going to go off on another divorce rant and bore y'all. Suffice it to say I now have serious trust issues with men.

    Sticky notes, blister packs, JC Penney and all, you've got a keeper.

    Marilyn (who will be humming Copacabana all day now)

  4. It is comforting, being newly married, to know that other people have similar issues, and work them our just fine too. There are enough bad relatinships about to be horrified by, I like seeing how the good ones work.

  5. Jean, this is priceless! I love it! What have I learned in 26 years with the same man (yes, I was a child bride, and I'm actually counting from when we met, not married)?

    We don't speak the same language. Even when we think we understand the words coming out of each others mouths, there's a good chance we don't. Men really are from Mars.

    The one that drives me crazy is that basket of laundry (or choose your item) sitting there that he will pass every day without seeing. It's still hard to accept, but you're right, they won't ever see it.

    Like you, I do not pack for my husband. I also do not iron his clothes. He's better with the iron than I am anyway. I will, if he's running behind and asks me to, but mostly it's his job.

    I'm not quite sure how we've managed to stay together this long, but we must be doing something right. Like Cheryl said, it's a job. You can't ever get complacent about it and think this relationship is so solid it'll never break. It can and will if you don't put energy into it. No one wants to be ignored or taken for granted.

    It really is all about compromise, isn't it?

  6. Cheryl--A relationship certainly is a job--I hope a good one!

    Stephanie--That which does not change, dies or get stale. Wait. How can that be? If it doesn't change how could it die? I'll get back to you on that.

    Marilyn--Barry and CB--Mos def, as the girls in cabin nine from Kerrelyn's fan letter said. But he is a keeper. I am lucky.

    Gwen--Just remember to keep liking each other. Love is easier than like and like is essential.

    Lynn--I'm with you. It's amazing we've done so well so long. Say a prayer and knock wood!

  7. Aw, I love the guy, Jean! He's so good to you, even if he's got a slight instruction book. Don't they all? ;)

    LTC is very much like the guy. He used to say, "he robbed the cradle because he couldn't find a woman like he wanted. Decided to raise one, instead." LOL! Guess he can't complain too much that I've finally grown up and decided what I want to do with my life... write.

    We've been married 29 years and have known each other 31. We're doing something right! ;)

  8. Aw, this is so sweet, Jean. You two are the cutest couple ever.