It’s hard to believe I have nearly 20 years of marriage under my belt. Even more incredible is that all of those years have been with the same woman. I’m scratching my head on that one, too. After featuring my wife and two daughters in this column for the past four or five years it seems I get the same question over and over, “How do you stay married?” I was taken aback by the question the first time it was posed. What do you mean, how do I stay married? Husbands began telling me, “If I would say the things you say about your wife I would be in the dog house.”
As those comments began to pile up I began to realize how special my wife is. I’m not saying I didn’t realize she was special before. She was even more special to allow me to honestly and sometimes humorously have our family and our lives go to 28,000 households via The Early Bird and countless more through Bluebag Media, which receives over a half-million views each month. (That line was for my boss. There’s nothing like a little self-promotion.)
This next part is a message for you young ‘uns that aren’t married yet or are newly married. It may come as a shock, but you and your spouse aren’t always going to agree. Here’s another shocking statement. You aren’t always right. However, you could be like me and be right most of the time, but even I have to admit I’m not always right. In fact, the longer we stay married the less right I am. How do I know that? She told me so.
Nobody ever said marriage was going to be easy. Nobody ever said raising children was going to be easy. There are times you are going to be mad at each other. There may even be times when you storm out through the front door vowing to never come back again. Then you realize you don’t have much gas in the tank, your wallet is still in the house, payday is still a week away and walking to Florida to live like a homeless person on the beach would take way too long and way too much energy. It’s much easier to tuck your tail between your legs and go back home to work things out.
Here’s another surprise for anyone thinking about getting married. You won’t always get your way. If you truly want to work things out neither one of you will be completely happy with results, but you will still love each other. My wife and I compromise all the time. We have a rule that I will wash the clothes and put them in the dryer. She will fold and put the clothes away…unless she doesn’t want to. Neither one of us are completely happy with the arrangement. That’s compromise.
I have to admit I sometimes take a juvenile approach to make my point. Although I look incredibly handsome with a goatee, my wife doesn’t like it. The last time we had a disagreement I decided I was going to grow a goatee until she admitted I was right and she was wrong. I still have the goatee. We may need to come to some sort of compromise soon. This thing itches like crazy. I’m proposing that I will shave the goatee if she admits I’m right…but only if she thinks I am.
She has been part of my life for almost half of it and our ups certainly outnumber our downs. Our marriage has definitely been worth the work.