I came across something recently that was meant as advice to newlyweds that gave me pause. It said that you would be married to many people across the course of a marriage.
I had to read that again to be sure.
But the advice presented laid out the scenario of how over the course of a marriage, you’ll be married to many different people, all in the same person, so when you make that vow you’re making it to all of those future versions of your spouse as well.
Even though it took me a minute to grasp it — I made the mistake of reading something pre-caffeinated — once I did, it made perfect sense.
In a lot of ways, I’m not the same person my husband married and that’s probably a really good thing.
He’s a bit different too.
Ours was a second marriage for both of us, so we both knew of all of the potential problems and issues that could come up, even if those problems were with a different person this time around.
He probably had no idea how anxious and high strung I could be at times over things.
I am, basically, a human cat, and when I get irritated I’m about as pleasant as one whose fur has been petted backwards.
He’s discovered I am not a domestic goddess in any way, as I prefer reading, writing, or doing anything else besides housework.
His mother discovered that about a week after we married when she came by the house in her Cadillac, smelling of some high dollar perfume, and wearing a dress suit to go grocery shopping as she rubbed one polished nail across my coffee table and asked, “This layer of dust? Is it protective?”
She also brought me a broom one Saturday morning. Lamar nearly snorted his coffee out of his nose when she handed it to me.
He’s dealt with me going through hormonal surges and changes that had me tossing his bike off the porch one morning when it was in between the coffee and me.
“Is that my bike outside in the yard?” he asked looking from the kitchen window.
“Yup. It was in my way,” I answered.
He just sighed and shook his head as he headed outside to retrieve it.
I’ve complained that he doesn’t love me like Jim loved Pam or Mike did Molly.
“You know those are made up people, right?” he asks.
But someone had to be the inspiration for them.
He had to finally put a kibosh on watching reality romance shows because he said those weren’t true love or any love at all.
As Lamar pointed out once, none of them were sober and they were being jetted all over to exotic locales for dates.
“They want to find true love? Give them a date night with a $20 budget,” he’d comment.
“That’s how they’d know if it was real or not. It’s easy to feel like you’re in love when you’re being flown to dinner and have been drinking since breakfast.”
Over the years, I’ve learned to be a bit gentler, a bit more compassionate, and how to pause before I fly off the handle about the tiniest of things, thanks largely through his patience and calm grace.
Instead of meeting my hissy fits with anger or arguing, he’s often been the voice of reason and the one who helped me see the other side of my temper or anxiety.
And it’s usually anxiety manifesting as anger, and he realizes that and has helped me find ways to calm down a bit too. In return, I hope I’ve grown, even if it is a tiny bit.
I’m not sure how — or why — he’s put up with me and some of the tirades and histrionics I can come up with, but I’m thankful he has.
His stoic resolve has usually met me with a sigh and rather than trying to change me or make me do something to ‘behave’ — something the ex often did — Lamar has let me do whatever it is I’m going to do.
Sometimes I make a horses’ tail out of myself, but he never says anything. He just helps me figure out what to do to un-horse-ify myself.
Our 19th anniversary is this week. I’m glad he’s hung in there and managed to put up with me and I’m thankful for every moment with him.
Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist residing in the North Georgia Mountains among the bears, deer, and possibly Sasquatch. You can connect with her on Facebook at Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Humor, and Deep-Fried Wisdom. Her recently published book, ‘Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Wisdom, and Deep-Fried Humor’ is available in paperback and Kindle download on Amazon.