Sunday, April 1, 2012

What's Your Secret?

"Hey!"  I say into the phone.  (*SM's been in Vegas the past few days and we haven't talked at all.)

"Hey, Sweetie.  So you finally decide to call me!"  SM admonishes.

"I know, I know...Sorry!  It's just been an insane couple of days at work."  I sigh.  "Seriously, I don't think I've spent 2 waking hours here at the house the last few days.  I didn't get home last night until after 7 and this morning I was on the road again by 6 (am)." 

It's after 6 pm now. 

"God, my legs are killing me!"  I whine.

"Don't you miss me at all?"  SM asks.

"Honey, I didn't realize you were actually gone until today."  I reply.

"When you didn't return my call, I was thinking that I'd come home to find the house empty and the bank accounts cleaned out."  SM responds.

"Ha!  You wish!  You ain't getting off THAT easy!  You think you're just gonna come home some day and find me gone?"  I ask.

"What do I have to do?  Can't you take a hint?"  SM tosses back.

"You know what your problem is?"  I ask. 

"What?"

"I like you too damn much."  We laugh. 

"You ain't ever getting rid of me so you'd better stop whining about."  I tell him.  "Besides, you're in Vegas!  Why don't you just win a million or two and disappear off the face of the earth.  People do it all the time.  Go ahead and run away while you still have the chance!"

"Would that stop you from coming after me?"  SM inquires.

"Probably not."  I'm grinning.

SM and I have been together for a while.  28 years together...26 of them married. 

I didn't think much of it until a divorced friend told me how amazing she thinks I am for being married as long as I have.  She wanted to know my secret.

Oh please!  That's the kind of crap Yahoo puts on their home page.  I can see it now...Ten Secrets To A Long, Happy Marriage.  With a picture of a beautiful guy and girl cuddled up together.

Psst....You want to know what the secret is?  There is no secret.  It's a pot shot kids and you either have the stones to hang in there together or you don't. 

Life tosses too much crap at all of us.  And we are all essentially selfish human beings. 

Toss in kids, money problems, drugs, alcohol, his family, your family...there's no good way to say it.  You can work on your marriage till you're blue in the face and it won't make a difference if your partner isn't on board with you.  It either works or it doesn't.  So stop feeling guilty.

Now while there may not be any secret to a long lasting marriage, I do think that there are some things that can help.

Marry your friend, not your lover. 

Trust me...Romantic love comes and goes.  But your friends hang in there with you through thick and thin.  

Some days you'll wake up and you'll want to poke his eyes out, he's pissing you off so badly.  Other times you'll slam the door in his face as you lay on the floor in front of the toilet puking your guts up.  It ain't pretty and it's no place for your lover.  But your friend will stick around to apologize for pissing you off and your friend will be there to hang a wet washcloth around your neck.

Don't over think it. 

Oh yeah, when I was younger I used to cross examine every thought and decision that flitted through SM's head "because I am a part of this marriage too and don't you want to know what I think about that?" 

"Yes" there is communication and "yes" there is trust.  But trust should come first.  And trust me...if you do end up together for a long time, the measure of that time has already explained itself.  You will know far too much about what your partner is thinking at any given moment.  And you'll miss the mystery.

It's OK to fake it.

I bet you thought I was thinking about sex right?  Actually, I was going to say that it's good to fake interest in the things that make your partner happy.

Only in the last few years has SM discovered that I really don't give a crap about football, basketball, golf etc.  For the first 20 years or so of our marriage I would go to the games with him and watch the Superbowl and inquire about how Tiger is doing.  I was very good at faking it.

In reality, I could care less.  But if it makes him happy do these things and talk about this player or that...Really, how hard can that be.  I care about him.  I just don't care about all that other stuff.  So I just tune him out.  Blahhh, blah, blah.  White noise.  It's OK to fake it.  Really. 

Humor is a good thing in a marriage.

I think I've shared enough stories about SM and I here in this blog to give you an example of how important I think a sense of humor is.  Ya gotta be able to laugh.  Period.

And lastly...

I promised.  So did he.  And that means a lot. 

8 comments:

  1. You and SM have done well :)

    Add to all the above - "be prepared to adapt" - neither of you is the same person that you married. The longer that you are married - the more everybody and everything changes.

    If you can only take, you're not going to make it. Marriage is first and foremost a give and take - in all spheres!

    And, was you say, KEEP your PROMISE.

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  2. Your "lastly" comment is the one that most people forget....

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  3. Yes yes yes!!! I so agree. Everything you said. There are so few us that think this way today. Marriage is a throw away item these days that people don't take to heart. My husband and I have been together for 23 years 18 of them married. He is one person that can make me the most angry but he is the one person that I know will stick by me too. Marriage is hard work but worth it.

    @ 3Beeze Homestead

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  4. We may be the longest married in our little blogging circle here. Forty-nine years this year. (But, honestly, no way on earth does it seem that long. Puleeze, I'm not old enough to have been married 49 years.)

    Your points are EXCELLENT ones. Hubby and I have been through a lot (I'd say more than most couples would have hung in there through -- obviously, look at the divorce rate) but we both took our marriage vows seriously. You're right; like you, we promised and have chosen to do the hard work required to keep those promises. Great post! Happy Sunday to you!

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  5. Ditto what Mama Pea said.
    Happy Weekend!

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  6. A secret to a long marriage is don't die young. I'd be married 53 years if he hadn't passed away before our 45th.

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  7. Very good points and definitely trust and sense of humor has to be there. We've been together only 7 years but we knew it was for the long haul from start - we give each other space, trust what we're doing is for both of us, no gameplaying, respect each other opinion and agree to disagree if needed and keep each other happy.

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  8. Well since we're counting, my wife and I have been together for 22 years, almost 20 years married. Sometimes we can't stand each other, sometimes we tolerate each other, sometimes we hold hands while walking through the farmer's market. Day by day is our motto. It's kinda funny that recently a close friend of mine inquired as to whether we were considering moving back to WV to be closer to family and I told him no, that the jobs were here and the weather is a bit nicer (except August, I hate August.) He told me that it was for the best and that he was proud of us for being together for as long as we have been. That made me feel good. It would have made me feel better but he's been divorced three times so I'm not aptly to take his advice. Congrats to all!

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