The Give and the Take in Marriage

My daughter posted this recently and it cracked me up. Those eyeballs. That mouth. Uh oh. He’s a bit worried.

Early in marriage I used to get miffed and hold it in, if George wouldn’t do something I thought he should have already done. He finally asked what was wrong one day. I don’t even remember what it was. Might have been the yard needed mowing or a heavy box needed to be moved out of the way or more likely just “his stuff” everywhere in the common living areas. But he told me, if you want me to do something just ask me to.

I guess I never wanted to be seen as bossy so I kept a lot of things to myself until I felt it was time to do otherwise. I grew up amidst MANY women bosses of the family who controlled EVERYTHING- their schedule, their meals, their social calendar, the finances, what was repaired or not, made the major decisions and so forth. And much to my surprise, George wanted to do most of that in our marriage and he does control a lot of everything in our life in most of those realms. He asked to do the finances and he wants to do the cooking because he loves to. And I didn’t mind. And I also didn’t want to come across as “hand on my hips bossy” so I’ve gone along with it, but I was used to a world in which the women control things. But if something doesn’t please or suit, I usually let him know in issues that really matter to me. Being that he does control so much of things, I expect to be able to have a say when it’s important to me.

George had some very powerful women in his family as well that steered the way and certainly knew how to captain a ship. But while my Dad was very gentle and mild, his Dad was very mind set and independent, but also humorous and very kind – but he also was very head strong and knew what he wanted to do and where he was going. I am not an expert on his family and wouldn’t even try to figure out the dynamics. But I can certainly see enough that he had come from headstrong path and naturally so did I. I have more of my Dad’s spirit in me but Mom’s side seems to triumph on many occasions. I am very headstrong and know what I want. And while I can sit on the sidelines a lot of the time and let people steer the ship, I definitely know what I want and have surprised myself with my independent, relentless, resilient drive that I really didn’t know I had until it repeated itself and reared itself over again.

Boy did our heads ever clash. They still do. Lucky for him, I’m able to rationalize some, be patient some, wait some, understand some, keep silent some, let him have his way a lot, let him win an argument a lot, compromise a lot. However, I’m not one to let anyone run over me and if I’m treated as a doormat, ignored, feelings not considered, mistreated, misled, taken advantage of, and so forth – that is when there will be an issue. A big issue. I don’t put up with that from any human for very long before that ugly head will be raised and my voice heard.

George may not think I’ve been the above, but I could write a book on the times where I’ve done the italics. I don’t mind letting another steer my ship as long as I have input and a say so, an opinion, am heard, not dictated over, not patronized, am treated well, respected, and such.

I think we have come a long way in our marriage as far as communication, respect, and our ability to “get along”. Mostly it is being patient, keeping quiet until we are both in an open mind situation. But it has been a lot of give and take, and being willing to try and understand the other’s position. When one of us is closed minded and selfish, the conversation would never go anywhere. Marriage is just hard. Any relationship is hard. There are so many dynamics influencing each.

While things are never perfect, I’m happy that we have a safe place here where we allow each other to be ourselves, we weigh in on things, enjoy each other’s company, enjoy life, plan and execute things – even during a pandemic, rely on each other in tough times, and the good times. And then we eat well. We don’t always agree on where things need to be placed in the house, what dishes we will have or not have, when we will get the flooring, or the new car, what we will do in retirement, but somehow time passes and it figures itself out.

But this little pic above just made me think of all the marital fun of trying to figure out when to serve your partner and when to have a little individual time. Then you realize, oops I need to remember to be there a little more. So I need to work harder at trying to serve my spouse. And be more of a willing “help meet” that God intended. Things that would make him happy. I keep his laundry up for sure and make his coffee in the morning. I try to keep the house clean although I don’t go after all the spider webs in the deep corners – and don’t have time nor strength to do the windows. And sometimes I let it go to get in a video or two. When you quit being selfish and thinking of “me” and start loving your partner more, things start to relax and change. Once a partner starts demanding things the other one starts demanding too – so it’s nice to go the other direction and just love and help. I think that is what God intended for marriage to be. A companion that loves and helps. Who could ask for more?

I guess I better “suit up” (lol) and head to work. Monday and Tuesday were done in a 12 hour day yesterday. I had done lot of my Monday last Wednesday during those 3 longer days. It’s wild at the holidays. You may get holiday time but you betcha those hours have been worked either before or after. You get the time off in a row, but have to work it in advance or after because it all still has to be done. And it is being done. And it’s still nice getting the time off in a row – it just comes with a price. It’s not free for sure.

My mind wants to worry about when my grandson comes – about whether we will get to come as planned. We know from 2020 that plans don’t always happen. It’s been the most interrupted year I think I’ve ever experienced in my life. It’s been the year of testing one’s anxiety, one’s faith, one’s endurance. It’s been the year of giving up self and letting God take over. And in this instance He will do what needs to be done and will have it be as He wishes. I’ve turned all of this over to God – many moons ago.

COVID is now officially in my workplace I’ve learned. I do not know if I have been exposed or not. The time has come and gone, I believe, for any exposure I’ve had. While it once was in my coworkers’ family member’s only, it’s now officially arrived at the office. My first selfish response was that this better not mess with my trip or my plans. I began to let my anxiety spike because YOU KNOW how determined I am….Texas or bust! Throw in my being a Momma Bear to my Kate and determined to be there in her hours of need, does nothing to calm my determination at all. Dare anything mess with my plans. But….the Spirit kicks in…

Then I relax and remember that God is in Control. If he wants me in Texas at the time, He will place me in Texas at the time I need to be there. He will see that my daughter is taken care of if I cannot be there. But I hope and pray that God allows me to be there but I have to remember He is in control and none of us can see the virus germs. And as much as we try to steer clear of them, wear or masks, and clean our surfaces -it’s still around us everywhere. We negotiate daily what we will do and what we won’t. We still have to live somewhat of a life. We’ve given up so much of our lives this year. We have to work and even have to be somewhat social for our sanity. We negotiate everything. We gave up Thanksgiving but had Christmas. We go out today but we do take out another day. Lord please BLESS us and lead us in our decision making. It was wonderful seeing family at Christmas and I thank you. Lord please protect us all and keep us safe! And place our feet where we need to be when we need to be! Amen!

4 responses to “The Give and the Take in Marriage”

  1. Dear Sonya, I have know. You for a long time now…I’m not sure exactly how long but it seems forever…I see things from afar so see things differently from you looking closely at things. The change in you over the years has been amazing, and that of George too….both of you have come such a long way….God has led you back together again after some hard stress filled times. You are so much “ nicer” now …no that’s not the word you’ve always been nice…I think the word may be “ calmer”. God has led you from being so dogmatic to being much nicer at times, more understanding. This works the other way to with George. You are
    some of the nicest married couples I know, and for that I thank God. You are both going to be the loveliest grandparents……I can hardly wait for the baby to arrive..
    Won’t be long now. I’m hoping he will wait till 14 th would be nice to have him on my birthday…on the other hand he may come on an earlier date in January LOL that would make it even more exciting x….. I’m writing this from a very very cold village. It’s also never been really bright so the lights will be going on in about half an hour….by then it will only be 3.30 ! and it didn’t get light till almost 9 15 this morning….There has been snow only about 10 miles away from us but although it was very very frosty we only had it white from frost…..the forecast said we may get the odd shower that will be rain or fleet at worse we will get snow….I’m thankful that we have got a nice warm house and plenty clothes and plenty food. What more can we ask for…….keep safe love. I don’t like the thought of you having to work with the Virus all around you. I don’t know what offices do over here but most things are closed and people told to stay home…They are so insistant that a friend who works in London was sent home and next day they sent him a new computer which is high spec like the one in his office, following the computer a beautiful office chair…arrived, then a desk similar to one he uses in his office. So for last almost six months now he hadn’t had to go into the office at all….All his meeting etc are via zoom or other kinds of communications…..wish that could happen to you…..take care….

  2. Well in my opinion life is give and take. When I married this time I was in charge as I had to be in my previous relation or nothing would every have been taken care of, rent paid, groceries, etc. l After a couple of year Ken asked me why there was not money; I told him he could figure it out when I handed him the check book and the bills etc. after a couple of weeks I asked him for something I wanted and he said we could not do it. I asked him why where was the money as he had asked me. Okay he then understood we were just making it. Nothing left over. Over the years we have each established what we take care of in expenses and it has worked out. Funny you talk about coming from a family where women were in charge. I was not hap[y totally in charge, but circumstances had put me there and I was happy to get rid of it. Marriage is a wonderful acceptance of each other and their needs. Give and take and respect for each other and their needs and wants

  3. Stay safe as you can Sonya. I hope and pray for you to stay healthy so you can enjoy the new baby once he arrives. Being a grandparent is the best thing about getting older. I have been married for a long time. We both say no one else could put up with us. lol. We both have our quirks and do things that the other doesn’t like But when push comes to shove we are there for each other.
    We talk to each other about how we feel. That helps .. Communication is so important.
    I hope your daughter is feeling ok. I know the last couple of weeks seem to drag on forever when I was pregnant.

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