|Photo by patpitchaya|
When my husband and I got married our marriage vows included the phrase “Do you promise to love, honor and cherish and cling unto him till death do you part?” I have to be completely honest; sometimes I want to cling to my husband with my hands right around his throat! Sometimes my husband and I both wonder how we ever got ourselves together in the first place. We have very little in common and we don’t like to do the same things. I have learned over the years, however, to not worry about the issues that aren’t important to me. For example, which vehicle we drive to church is not a huge deal in spite of the fact that I would rather drive the van simply because it is more comfortable for the entire family. Instead of arguing about something stupid, I agree to take the truck. But the bigger issues, like how many “emergencies” need to go on the credit cards, are definitely going to be discussed.
We may be opposites, but that only helps us react differently to different situations. For instance, some days my husband can tell, when he comes home from work, that I no longer want to be a mom. He takes the kids and occupies them so that I may have a few moments to recover. The opposite is also true. The days I can tell just by the tone of his voice that he is frustrated with the world, are the days I make sure everything is done just the way he likes before he even walks in the front door and I also make sure the kids don’t add to his frustrations. Just about the time either one of us is angry beyond all that we can handle, the other automatically steps up and takes charge and begins to make progress where the other has lost control of the situation completely.
We had an episode that I like to call our “fridge fiasco.” We had bought a brand new refrigerator along with an extended warranty because it was the first brand new appliance we had ever bought and we figured that with three kids getting in and out of it regularly, it was a good investment. It turns out it was only a good investment in gray hair! After only about six months, our refrigerator began to fall apart. The drawers broke and the supports that held the drawers broke.
I called the store where we had bought the fridge to see if they carried the parts we needed.
“No, ma’am, you need to call the factory.”
So I did. The costs were astronomical, I thought.
Next, I called the people with whom we had bought the extended warranty. They told me it wasn’t their responsibility; it was the store’s. So, I called the store back. They gave the number for the manufacturer. The manufacturer sent me back to the people with the extended warranty and they told me I had to call... I’m sure you get the picture. This went on for three days. No one wanted to take responsibility for our stupid refrigerator! I was so angry for constantly getting the run around.
When my husband came home from work the third day, I filled him in on all that I had been through. My heart was pounding and my pulse was racing I was so furious. I even had to say a quick prayer for forgiveness one time after hanging up the phone. I was not at all nice. In fact, I had become the person that customer service represen-tative’s hate! They knew me by the sound of my voice. They would not ask for all my information, they just asked, “Is this Mrs. O’Neil?”
Anyway, do you ever feel like your spouse is not listening to you and that they really couldn’t care less what you’re talking about. I told my husband some of the things these people had said to me. I hoped he would get angry that someone had dared disrespect his wife. His exact response was, “Did you do your hair today? It looks kind of funny.” Somehow, and I’m not exactly sure how, but the phone flew out of my hand right toward my husband.
This whole fridge fiasco had given me high blood pressure and all he cared about was that I looked good when he came home from work! Apparently, having a fridge we could actually use wasn’t as important to him as it was to me.
I wanted him to be mad about the situation, but he wasn’t. He was calm. He was cool. And he was collected. That evening he called all the same people I had been calling for the last three days, only he was nice. He got results.
My hot headed self wants just results, whereas my husband at times could care less, especially if he has to put up with a hassle. He would not have put up with everything I did; he would have just bought another refrigerator. Sometimes I need my husband to be calm and take control of the situation.
This is often the case in so many marriages. Where one of us is weak, the other is strong and vice versa. People who are opposites often compliment each other. The one, who isn’t good with money, needs someone who is. My sister-in-law likes to bake, but not cook. It works because my brother likes to cook and not bake. We do need each other even though we don’t always think so.
So, next time your spouse makes you angry because they don’t think like you do, look at it as a blessing. Living happily ever after only happens in fairy tales. We all have opinions and sometimes they are not the same. There are also no promises of matches made in heaven. Marriage is a job and some days it is hard. Some days you may not want to do the work anymore. Some days you may not feel as if the payment you are receiving is worth all the effort. But it is and you will be rewarded with a better relationship with your spouse if you stick together and let your differences make a difference. Be thankful for the things you don’t have in common. And if you want your marriage to last forever, don’t buy the extended warranty on any appliance!