Friday, July 15, 2016

Same-Page Marriage Woes

     Anyone who has been married for any length of time has had their share of disagreements. I've been married for thirty years, which qualifies me as a professional "argument" arbitrator. Some of the feuds I've had with my husband have been more serious than others, but you have to know when to  pick your battles to get on equal footing.

     The two of us come from very different backgrounds, each with our own set of emotional baggage. For the most part, we're on the same page, especially when it comes to parenting. But there are other issues in our marriage that have reduced us to foot-stomping, sulking toddlers when neither one of us is willing to give in. The issues we are argue over most include:

Children: We want the best for offspring, but sometimes we disagree about their choices. I have no problem with my children dating at the age of sixteen, but my husband would rather they wear a chastity belt until they're thirty-five.

Money: This is the one subject that consistently pops up in our disagreements, because there is never enough of it to cover our expenses. My husband would love to drop some bills on a new bicycle, while I'm out scouting deluxe critter condos for my five chinchillas. And neither one of us wants to fork over five-hundred dollars for a new water heater. Sudsing up in the oscillating lawn sprinkler just might be worth saving a few bucks. 

Sex: My spouse is a morning person, and I'm a night owl. I preferred to hide my imperfections by candle light. He, on the other hand, rises with the sun and is as chipper as a toddler cracked out on Coco Puffs cereal.

Friends: Everyone has a friend that their spouse doesn't like. My husband has belligerent buddies who get drunk during sporting events and embarrass me with their rude comments. I have gal pals who love to chat it up all night over a bottle (or three) of wine. My husband refers to them as "yappers" who need to be muzzled after midnight.

Pets: My spouse would be happy if there were no pets in our house. The little accidents on the carpet and hairballs rolling around on the floor like tumbleweeds drive him to distraction. He feels that raising children is enough of a responsibility without adding critters to the mix. The night I brought home a stray bunny to add to our growing zoo population, my husband threatened to make rabbit stew. We argued for days, but he finally relented because the nibbling critter keeps his mustache hairs neatly trimmed.

Time Management: After financial issues, this is the second biggest issue on which we don't see eye to eye. When the kids were toddlers, we argued over whose turn it was to stay home and change diapers while the other person had free time with their friends. Now that we are older, free time is not an issue, since the adult kids have left the nest (and thankfully no one is still in diapers). The problem we face is trying to coordinate our schedules for family gatherings. Between strip bingo and pancake breakfasts at the Elk's Lodge, we rarely have time to schedule our colonoscopies together.

Technology: I was like a bear coming out of hibernation when it came to technology. I was the last one to own a cell phone, Kindle, or laptop. My husband brought me into the twenty-first century with my first iPod, which I had no clue how to use. When he tried to teach me the basic steps, I became frustrated and impatient. I couldn't grasp how something so small could be so complicated. The Hubs made the mistake of asking if I was born during the Jurassic period when I couldn't figure out how to use this wondrous gadget. The conversation ended when I chucked it at his beer belly.

Chores: The biggest question of the week at our house is: Who's turn is it to clean the bathroom? No one wants to scrub that toxic dump without a pressure cleaner and heavy-duty gloves. The kitchen isn't much better, since it looks like a bacon grease bomb has been detonated. We usually flip a coin to settle the argument. The Hubs still hasn't figured out why I always call "heads." (It's a two headed coin.)

In-Laws: When you exchange wedding vows, you inherit more than a spouse. You inherit their crazy-ass relatives as well. It's like Forrest Gump's analogy of a box of chocolates: some might be nutty, and some might be rotten. And some might be deceptively hollow inside. The best compromise is to move a continent away from anyone else who shares your DNA.

Jealousy: When we're at parties and I see my husband flirting with a bleached blonde or a buxom brunette, my temper rises. I become like Medusa, my eyes zeroing in on him, willing him to turn to stone. If necessary I bring out the big guns and publicly share that little tidbit about his painful hemorrhoids.

     Marriage is never easy; it's a give-and-take relationship that needs to be nurtured in order to bloom. Trust, communication, and respect are the keys to a healthy marriage. After being together for thirty years, my husband and I have to learn not to sweat the small stuff. In other words, there's no point in arguing over whose turn it is to change the grandchild's blow-out diaper. Pretty soon, we'll be changing each other's adult-size ones.


***This story originally appeared in "Clash Of The Couples" (November 2014), published by Blue Lobster Book Co. I'm honored to be a part of this anthology with so many talented writers. If you would like to read more humorous stories about lover's quarrels, feel free to order the book from Amazon HERE.


***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? This week I had articles featured on MOGUL--- "The Seven Dwarfs Of Menopause"  and on THE FIFTY PLUS LIFE----"From Empty Nest To Full House."

     


43 comments:

  1. It is a wonderful connection made by God for a boy and a girl from different family situations. At first there may be some misunderstanding, People who overcome that will lead a wonderful life.
    I enjoy my marriage life. it has been 12years of my marriage.

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    1. Happy to hear all is well---keep up the good work!

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  2. Ah yes, the underbelly of "real" relationship. We all have our flaws, and in spite of what we may be led to believe, no two people are completely the compatible. You do eventually find a rhythm, but there will always be the little things where you need to "agree to disagree." As you might imagine, I prefer a clean space, while my husband is content with piles. Hence, he has a small office room.... with a door.... that I close.

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    1. OMG I know how organized you are---I never would have guessed that your husband would leave clutter---it must drive you nuts! My son is like that---so I do the same thing you do---just close the door and walk away!!

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  3. Hahaha oh yes! This all goes with being married. I wouldn't change it for the world tho. If you can find someone to put up with you, you hold on tight lol!

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  4. Your husband actually takes turns with you to do chores!? Feeling a little jealous. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. My daughters would say I have him well trained.....

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  5. Today is our 7th and our 44th. You think we didn't need that 26 year break in between? We share chores. Thankfully.

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  6. Fun! Yes, marriage is quite a dance of compromise. We've been married 23 years and it's always interesting.....and, wish MY husband would do some of the damn chores!!!

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    1. You may have to bribe him a bit, hehehe!

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  7. I'm the sole toilet cleaner, but I can soooo relate to all the rest! Good to know we're all in this together and can learn to laugh about it.

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  8. After 45 years of marriage, I think we ran out of things to argue about at least 10 years ago. We never did argue much, however, which is a good thing because we have always worked together 24/7 for most of those years.

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    1. That's fantastic----hard to find a spouse like that.

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  9. Been married 32! Yes, the foot stomping toddler analogy sums up some of our fights too. We've learned to let a lot of the small stuff go, but it's amazing what creeps in every once in a while!

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    1. My husband always accuses me of bringing up stuff that happened YEARS ago. Yes, I have a bad habit of doing that.

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  10. After 30 + years of marriage, we fight a lot less than we used to. Now it is more disagreements- one of us wants to go out to eat the other wants to stay home kind of things. That morning sex thing- we joke that I would rather IRON!

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    1. I think I'd just rather sleep more than anything.

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  11. I have been single longer than I was married...I married my ex twice, I really wanted it to work for my kids and myself. I have to say I am happily single!

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    1. Twice? Wow! Well hey, you really did try to make it work, then. Glad that things worked out the way that was best for you and that you are happier.

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  12. I find that as we age, hearing loss (real or selective, as the case may be) helps keep the number of arguments down.

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  13. I'm going to the store tomorrow to get some ear plugs....

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  14. Loved your post! I have thirty years of marriage to an extremely mellow guy. Unless he's hungry. Then the temperature rises! I've become a very very good cook and my pantry is always overflowing.

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    1. My hubs is grouchiest when he's tired.

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  15. Oh my gosh I was reading thinking "had she published this before? I remember laughing out loud about scheduling colonoscopies together.... maybe she just talked about it before?" and then boom- I'd read it in COTC!!! Just as funny now as it was the first time :)

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    1. Thanks, Kristi! I do love that book---all the stories are hilarious!

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  16. I think it's awesome that you and your hubby have been together as long as you have Marcia... It must be quite the work to compromise... that is what all relationships are about... it's great when you can get through those tough times and get stronger xox

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    1. It certainly is----I couldn't have made it his far without him.

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  17. I've been married for 42 years and these days there's only one thing we argue about---the thermostat, which I haven't touched in years.

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    1. Congrats----42 years is remarkable! And I totally get the thermostat thing!

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  18. This was fabulous, Marcia. You had me nodding and laughing. The in-laws and jealousy were hilarious!! Although I'm surprised your hubby doesn't LOVE your critters as much as you...hairballs be damned. I once stepped in cat puke first thing in the morning---before my first cup of coffee. I understand the frustration, but then they look at you and meow. Great post, Marcia! Your hubs sounds so sweet!

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    1. He really is a sweetheart----I am blessed!

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  19. Hehe. This has been fun to read.
    I'm spared from these experiences for now, but I might be sharing my bit soon.

    I'd like to have a copy of this book. :)

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    1. Thats great! I placed the link below if you'd like to order it---it really is funny!

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  20. Great post! Since I'm still a newlywed without children, I can avoid a few of these. I think finance is a biggie. One thing is for sure, my husband and I keep things humorous.

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    1. I think humor is one of the best things to help couples survive the tough times.

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  21. Me and my lady have been together for 36 years (29 as man and wife). The only thing we tend to argue about is her obsessive cleaning and her accusations of my 'making a mess'.

    Interesting, amusing post - as usual.

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    1. Thanks! My husband probably WISHES that I was obsessed about cleaning the house, ha-ha!

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  22. I missed reading and laughing at your posts..This one is as good as the others are. 14 years here and we fight less now after our daughter is born..Both the kids keep us busy..I think I nag too much..let me admit it here :P

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    1. You're to funny! And thank you for the kind words about my blog <3

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