Monday, July 18, 2011

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. ~ Paul Boese

I've been married to this man for a long time.  37 years, to be exact.  I met him on a blind date.  When I opened the door to let him and our mutual friends into my parents' house for the first time he almost blew me away.  He had long dark brown hair that cascaded halfway down his back.  He wore a leather jacket, jeans, and boots.  He had the most piercing brown eyes I'd ever gazed into.  I was in speechless awe.  At the end of the evening, after he and our friends had dropped me off at my parents', he told our friends, "Someday I'm going to marry that girl".  They laughed him to scorn.  5 months and 4 days later, he made those words true.

You learn a lot about another person after being with them for close to 4 decades.  I sometimes feel as if I know him better than he does himself.  But that isn't true.  There are parts of each of us that are never revealed to the world around us.  But I do know the important things about him.  I know he's a man of impeccable integrity.  I know he's honest and true.  I know his strengths and his weaknesses.  He has proven to me many times that he's in this for the long run, 'til death do us part.  He has been with me in good times and hard times.  He has stayed by my side when I've been very ill, so devoted that even the nursing staff has commented to me how lucky I am to have someone who loves me so much.  They have seen many women dumped off at the hospital, the husband never to be seen again until he comes to pick them up to take them home.  Dear Hubby has been an awesome father to our two children...and still is.  And I don't think there is a Papa in the world who could be loved by his grandchildren as much as he is by our two grandsons.

For a life change as huge as the one we've undergone these past few months, learning of a possible move to Michigan from Oregon around the first part of November last year and then making it so in March of this year, it's gone remarkably well.  We hit a pretty big bump in the road when we first arrived in Michigan, only to find a mortgage mess of - to us - catastrophic proportions.  We ended up living in a hotel suite for over two weeks while everything got sorted out.  Beyond that, it's been pretty seamless.  We've settled in and already grown to love our new home and surroundings.  But Dear Hubby and I began sniping at each other, a little here, a little there.  We were irritable and short-tempered.  Instead of doing what we've always done in the past by talking such things thru, we let it fester.  With all the adjustments to a new home, a new city, a new state, and a completely new job for him I don't know if we weren't aware of what was happening or if we were too distracted to give it much thought.

It came to a head a week ago.

We sat out on our porch on that Saturday morning.  Grumpy.  Not very talkative.  And then Dear Hubby opened up like a dam and let all his frustrations, his hurts, pour out of him.  I sat and listenend in rather stunned silence, letting him say his piece, mulling over all that he had to say.  And I found myself agreeing with him.  I told him it was too bad he hadn't opened up sooner instead of bottling it all up inside.  But I'd done the same thing.  So after talking these issues thru we decided we'd start from square one, from that point forward, and put all our grievances and gripes behind us and move on.  We also agreed if we saw ourselves falling back into that rut, to point it out to the other one and change it right then.

You see, communication is the secret to a happy marriage. 

We have had many people say to us thru the years, "If you guys could bottle up what you have and sell it you'd be billionaires".

There's no bottling up of any secret formula.  There's no magic elixir.  What there is is the want-to to make this relationship work.  It's mutual respect.  It's realizing that my opinion, my feelings, are only half of a whole.  His are the other half.  It is leaving selfishness behind at the marriage altar.  It is a building process, one day at a time.  It is what you make of it.  It doesn't just happen.

There is no white knight in shining armor, coming to sweep you away.

If you're lucky, as I have been lucky, you find a good man you want to spend the rest of your life with.


HORIZON said...

Hiya Kris.
That was a wonderful post to read through!! So so agree with you about 'wanting-to' make it work and being aware that our feelings are only half of the equation. Don and you make such a lovely couple and l DO wish you all the very best for the next 37yrs! ;)
Speaking for myself and my own hubby l feel it is also about being BEST FRIENDS. About sharing and caring and being there for each other -just like Don was for you at the hospital.
I also count myself blessed to have a wonderful man and can't imagine life without him.
Incidentally, we had a grumble at each other earlier so l will go and take him a wee cup of tea now :)
PS- on 'Communication'- l think women find that easier then men. l personally talk about everything going on and dear hubby listens- he is a good listener BUT when a he is ready to talk well then it is time for me to STOP and listen too ;)

LC said...

This post should be required reading for couple's planning to wed!

Rob-bear said...

LC gets my vote, after 40+ years of marriage. (Yes, some "Bears" do get married.)

Molly Finley said...

LOVE your blog!!

TWBookmiss said...

Since I don't know you, even though we have seen each other at times over the last 4.?years that we moved to PDX, I see that you have set the example for others to follow and a very good one.