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