I’m not what one might describe as HAPPY-GO-LUCKY.
I’m more HAPPY-GO-MY-WAY.
While, more often than not, this trait gets me what I want, it comes at a cost. People are afraid to tell me their truth. Or I argue. With people. Mostly my husband.
And why am I the meanest to the person I love the most? The person who is MY PERSON. The only man that I would ever marry*
*seriously. the other day:
Scott: Could you imagine dating anyone else?
Me: Well, yes. I mean I just have to think back to ten years ago when I WAS dating someone else. I could never imagine MARRYING someone else. I mean if you die, I don’t think that I’ll ever remarry. You are the only person who could get me to commit to this.
Scott: Okay, this is NOT the direction I was going in.
Scott: Um, thanks?
Me: Okay, I should probably stop talking now.
Anyway, I love this man. Yet, I spent last night arguing with him over a toothbrush. He bought it for our son. It’s fancy. But our son has eight cavities and two dental surgeries. It’s cheaper than more teeth issues. And it’s a way to help. It’s his way to help.
I KNOW this. But January is a stressful financial month. Property tax, tuition for the kids, car insurance all come due.
Did the toothbrush mean we will be foreclosed on? Our kids kicked out of school? We will illegally drive our cars hoping to not get into an accident and with Scott’s driving record know that is impossible?
It meant one less pair of shoes. Or dinner out.
I am the idiot who put a toothbrush before getting along with my husband.
At our first house, a fax machine called every few days. We eventually named him The Beep. As in:
Scott: Oh, who was that?
Me: It was the Beep.
Scott: Did The Beep asked about your day?
Me: Nope, The Beep just wanted to know what’s for dinner. What a jerk!
We grew close. The Beep and us. Also, to each other.
One day, Scott and I are MAD at each other. I mean ANGRY. And we are about to yell at each other when the phone rings. Scott picks up. Which annoyed the CRAP out of me.
After he hangs up the phone, he looks at me and says: The Beep thinks I’m right.
I began to laugh. Hysterically.
To this day, I cannot remember what the fight was about, but I can still picture where Scott was standing when The Beep took his side.
So my husband and I argue. With guidelines. No yelling. Not cursing. No name-calling. No threats of divorce. Interpretive dance and show-tunes encouraged.
Do we always follow these guidelines? Well, for most of our marriage. But we are not perfect. Much to both of our disappointment.
I mean, isn’t that in the wedding vows: Do you take this man to be your perfect spouse? Me: YES! And he better stay that way!
But whether I’m a jerk or he’s a jerk, I always do something nice for him (as suggested by a friend who has a lovely marriage). He does the same for me.
So there are weeks when our refrigerator is full of Boston Creme donuts (his favorite), and my desk is full of cards (my favorite).
I finally understood WHY this worked when a friend asked me, while I was LIVID at my hubby:
- Is he a good husband?
- Is he a good father?
- Is he a good provider?
And the fact is, YES. YES. YES.
Even when he’s BEING A BUTT-HEAD (hi honey!), he is an amazing man.
Scott is always good at the things that are important. His faults are never bigger than who he is. In fact, the only thing that he’s gotten worse at through the years is giving into what I want the second that I want it. Instead, he’s forcing me to grow. Forcing me to make our relationship less about me. CAN YOU BELIEVE I PUT UP WITH THIS CRAP?
I’ve realized that those three questions are supposed to give me perspective on my husband and my marriage. But really they just gives me the ounce of willingness to buy him a donut. Which is usually enough to enjoy giving him the donut. Which usually makes me feel good enough to let go of what was SO IMPORTANT.
Off to Krispy Kreme. Yum! Oh wait, it’s for Scott. Dammit, this marriage stuff is hard.