So 2 days ago, as you know, I (and my husband) celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. It wasn’t quite the celebration I had hoped for…(secretly I was hoping he would come home, plunk airplane tix on the table and announce that he was whisking me off to some tropical destination)…THUMP~then reality set in.
He called me that he was running late…meetings at work, got held up…”let’s go somewhere nice for dinner” (this, in our marriage is a landmine waiting to be stepped on by both of us).
And so the 25 year old dance begins…”where do you want to go?” I asked. “I don’t care”, he says…”somewhere nice”. “Well there are many “nice” places” I say somewhat exasperated. “What did you have in mind?” “I don’t know, how about that place in Northeast?” “Benjamin,” (using his full name as his big, big clue that I’m starting to get impatient) which place are you talking about?” “You know the one, where you and your girlfriends sometimes go for lunch.”
Ahhh…ok, now the lightbulb has gone off! “OK, that’s fine” I say. A moment of silence, then he says, “Oh by the way, I want to go somewhere after the holidays to celebrate our anniversary.” REALLY?! (that’s me with my eyebrows raised…because I KNOW where this is going). The only way a get away trip is happening is if I plan it. “Great” I say, “where are we going?” “Well, I don’t know, but somewhere.”
“Any thoughts on where?” I ask. “I don’t know” he says…”you pick.” DUDE!!!! Didn’t we just have this conversation?
To spare you any more agony, I can safely relate that we did have a very nice dinner and a nice time together.
So why did a tell you (tongue in cheek) about a brief phone conversation? Well, there are a couple of lessons in today’s post that I have learned after many years of marriage.
- Marriage is freakin’ hard work! Don’t let anyone fool you or tell you otherwise. Quite frankly, ANY relationship worth having IS work….sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s not so hard. Sometimes you want to not only throw in the towel, but wrap it around his neck in an extremely tight bowtie! Too many times when things get tough or hard we want to just throw up our hands and move onto something else thinking that it will be better.
- YOU can’t change SOMEONE else! Now I admit that this lesson has had to hit me over the head many times before I actually “got” it. Don’t get me wrong…would I LOVE for my husband to surprise me with a trip or flowers or to take the trash out without me “gently” nudging him? You betcha…would he love for me to stop wanting everything done immediately…no doubt.
But what I have learned is that MY happiness is MINE to control. I get to choose my mindset every moment of every day. Does that mean I don’t ever get annoyed, frustrated, angry, hurt-no, of course not (remember that WORK thing?), but ultimately no one controls what goes on between my ears but me.
That, quite frankly, has been one of the hardest lessons I have ever learned in my life. I think I went through the first 10 years (yea, I’m a bit dense) of our marriage trying to change or force my husband to do what I wanted him to do or be…the problem is unless that person wants to change, it’s a temporary bandaid and in the end won’t make either of you happy.
And…quite honestly, he doesn’t need to change. He’s a great father, a good husband, a caring friend and most importantly…a really wonderful human being.
So…your 2 A.H.A.’s? (Amazing, Happy, Actions)-
Roll up your sleeves and get messy. ANYTHING worth having and appreciating is going to take some work.
Start changing YOU before you try to change someone else!
I’d love to hear your marriage/relationship A.H.A.’s!