Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Til Death Do Us Part

My sister was talking to me on the phone, telling me the reasons why she couldn’t get any sleep the night before. Evidently, her husband had been keeping her awake by being noisy, getting in and out of bed, and generally being a nuisance. Then, when he was finally ready to settle down and go to sleep, he rolled over and said, “Honey, are you awake? I have gas.” I supported her in the way that only a sister can. I said, “Do you ever look over at your husband and think, if only I had held the pillow down over his face just a few seconds longer, we would not be having this conversation?”

Marriage is an interesting institution. I have had many people ask me what makes a good marriage, and by many, I mean no one. Of course, not being an expert has never stopped me from giving advice before and it won’t stop me now. Who needs expertise when you have drive, ambition and a general lack of good sense? So let us take a moment to explore this establishment we call marriage.

I really do wish I knew what the secret to a good marriage is. Is it, communication, intimacy, romance, quality time, freedom to be oneself? Who knows? Each book, movie, and video says something different. One book I read said the secret to a good marital relationship is knowing how to fight together. The book purports that if you can’t fight fairly with your spouse then your marriage won't last. I was talking to a recently divorced friend about that theory and she said her ex didn’t care enough to fight in their marriage. It would be safe to say my husband and I don’t have that problem.

Him: “Where did you put my sweatshirt?”
Me: “What sweatshirt?”
Him: “The black one.”
Me: “I didn’t take it.”
Him: “Then where is it?”
Me: “I don’t know. Where did you put it?”
Him: “I didn’t put it anywhere. I had it yesterday and now it is gone.”
Me: “Well the hamper is empty and there are no clothes in the dryer or in the laundry basket, if it isn’t in the closet then I have no idea where it is.”
Him: “Why are you hiding it from me?!”
Me: “What?”
Him: “Just tell me where it is!”
Me: “I don’t know where it is!”
Him: “Yes, you do!”
Me: “No! I! Don’t!”

10 minutes later.

Me: “I was vacuuming and found your sweatshirt shoved in between the bed and nightstand. It must have fallen off the bed.”
Him: “I knew you had it.”

Of course we all know that cheating is usually a marriage killer, there has been a lot of talk in the news recently about how infidelity is affecting the marriages of movie stars. This person is having an affair, this person is having multiple affairs, this one has cheated on his wife so many times he has a hard time remembering what she looks like, etc. It makes one wonder if anyone’s marriage is safe from unfaithfulness.

Me: “Honey, have you ever had an affair?”
Him: “What?”
Me: “You know, have you ever cheated on me? You can tell me. I just need to know, for my own peace of mind.”
Him: “Listen, I can’t make one woman happy. What in the heck would I want with two?!”

I went to a ladies-only bible study where the instructor encouraged us to stop bossing our husbands around. One thing she insisted on is that we stop telling our husbands to ask for directions when they are driving somewhere (even if he is lost) because doing so would make him feel “adored.” I decided to ask my husband his feelings on the subject.

Me: “If I didn’t tell you to ask for directions would you feel adored?”
Him: “No.”
Me: “How about if I stopped telling you how to drive?”
Him: “That isn’t the word I would use. I might feel more relaxed; but adored, no.”
Me: “What if I stopped suddenly gasping every time we passed someone on the freeway? Adored?”
Him: “Um, still no. More relaxed still, but I would wonder what is wrong with you.”
Me: “So if I can’t tell you how to drive why do you get to tell me how to drive?”
Him: “I tell you how to drive so that you won’t hit things.”
Me: “You think I am a bad driver?”
Him: “No, I didn’t say that. But . . . .”
Me: “What???”
Him: “You did hit a parked car pulling out of the driveway.”
Me: “It could have happened to anyone.”
Him: “You ran into the drive thru box at Subway.”
Me: “It was in an awkward location.”
Him: “You go the same speed on the highway as you do in town. If you can call 35 mph 'speed.'”
Me: “No one needs to go 70 mph.”
Him: “You hit a pedestrian!”
Me: “I hit one pedestrian and no one ever lets me forget it!”
Him: “Most drivers don’t run over people.”
Me: “He wasn’t even in a crosswalk.”
Him: “How many bodies do you need to leave in your wake before enough is enough?!”
Me: “I see your point. So I shouldn’t give you driving instructions?”
Him: “Affirmative.”

I was reading the news and came across a headline that read “Woman Stabs Husband Over Honey-Do List” and all I could think was, man, haven’t we all been there before? Every time I go to a wedding I think of when my husband and I took our vows. “Richer, poorer, sickness, health, blah, blah, blah, ‘til death do you part.” That end part, that is my favorite. "Til death," which loosely translated means someone ain’t gettin' out of this thing alive. When Ruth Graham, wife of famed evangelist Billy Graham, asked if she ever considered divorce she said, “Divorce? No. Murder? Yes.” I like the way she thinks.

The other night I rolled over in the bed and my husband flinched.
Me: “What are you flinching for?”
Him: “I thought you were going to try and suffocate me with a pillow.”
Me: “It was at least a foot from your face.”
Him: “Yes but I had my eyes closed and when I opened them the pillow was coming toward me. My instinct is to move away from someone that I think may be trying to kill me.”
Me: “I would not kill you by suffocation. You are bigger and stronger than me, you could just push me away. So what would be the point in trying?”
Him: “True, I always figured you for a poisoner anyway.”
Me: “What?”
Him: “You would try to poison me. With arsenic or anti-freeze or rat poison. Something like that. You would just offer me something sweet laced with poison, because you know I can’t resist the sugar. Then next thing you know, I’m dead.”
Me: “You are crazy. I couldn’t even get a hold of poison. It isn’t like they sell it on every street corner.”
Him: “They do sell rat poison everywhere.”
Me: “Oh yeah, where?”
Him: “Like I am going to tell you.”
Me: “Oh. My. Gosh. You are certifiable.”
Him: “Well, if you must know, you can get it at the hardware store.”
Me: “Where they have video cameras? They have video cameras in more places than they have rat poison. So that would be a ‘no’ on poison.”
Him: “Lucky me.”
Me: “Well, since you are being morbid, how would you ‘off’ me?”
Him: “I would tell you something so scary you would keel over from a heart attack. That way I am sort of innocent. I mean, it isn’t my fault you’re a scaredy-cat.”
Him: “Yeah, more bang-for-my buck, so to speak.”
Me: “You really are nuts.”
Him: “Sleep tight.”
Me: “Like I could go to sleep after this conversation.”

I have heard the saying “If you love something set it free, and if it comes back to you then it is truly yours.” Or some such nonsense. My motto is: If you love something, keep it close to you, smother it if you have to, it is your sworn duty to make it miserable for life. After all, you did promise ‘til death.’


  1. Ha ha ha ha ha!!! I always look forward to your posts!!! Thank you!!!

  2. Sonia! Oh, my word, that is too funny! I was laughing out loud and then Aaron walking into the room and started looking at me funny. You're a nut! Love it!

  3. I can relate to the missing item of clothing conversation. That is my hubby pegged, right there!

  4. Sure, honey, I stole your sweatshirt! That's almost as good as stealing the remote!