How we Managed to Stay Married for Thirty 30 Years / The Surprises We Found in Our Freezer

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How on earth did these two opposites manage to stay together? She is serious and focused, he’s all humor driven and laid back. I tackle a few ideas of how we managed to pull it off so far!

To top it off we decide to go through our freezer and well, there may be a few surprises in there. Take a few minutes this morning to be entertained or…amused – either one.

Ya’ll have a great Saturday.

Thirty Years of Marriage: How We Did It So Far

Good morning! At least it is here. Saturday here. Favorite time of the week. George made the coffee as he got up a few minutes before me and surprised me with “Happy Anniversary” greetings. I hadn’t woken up enough to realize it or say it. But today we have been married for 30 years. REPEAT: 30 Years!

Above is the Fall office decor. Just a little bit of “Fall Splash” there and a little bit of a fall theme going on –on the computer. Time is moving on. That is for sure. I think we have some cooler temps coming next week. I need to check. Since my office is 78 to 80 on a 80 to 90 degree day, I wonder what it will be when the weather turns cold? lol. I have a heater and I’ll need it, I think. Right now I have a fan that sits on my desk! I learned if I point the fan downward the coolness bounces up from my desk top and then gently into my face without a bunch of “wind” hitting my right eyeball, LOL! It knocks the pressure down some and gives a gentle coolness. Of all the things we discover in life – that was one I had not anticipated. ha!

Thirty Years of Marriage

So thirty years of marriage. That is quite the number. It doesn’t seem like that long. What attracted me to George was his love of family, his similar belief in God, his ability to sit and listen to me, his ability to have long, deep, and interesting conversations with me, his open candor, his playful candor, his sense of humor, and it made me feel good that his background was somewhat similar to my own.

I am not really qualified to give marital advice, in my book anyway, but I CAN NOW say that we have been married for 30 years and feel like that counts for something! However, with both of us having had failed marriages before — you never really get over those deep inside and you always feel like a failure, regardless of your successes. All I can say is that I truly have made decisions in my life that I always felt were the best for me at the time. And maybe they were. There were a few things I would go back and change if I could – those points in the road where you go hmmmmm which way? But I chose a familiar path instead of taking the new road. Could that have changed my entire life. Yeah it would have most likely. But then I’d have never met George and wouldn’t have my Katebug or my River so….I’m glad my life has gone as it has.

So while I feel I’m not qualified to give marital advice, I will say what I feel has kept us together for 30 years. There have been about three or four or five really really rough patches that were very heart wrenching times and for various reasons. Each one plugged away at us and took a lot out of us. I’m not really sure we totally recovered from them either. But for the most part enough resolved. These are not necessarily in order of importance but what springs to mind as I type:

  1. Deciding to stick together as we are better together than apart
  2. Learning not to push each other’s buttons
  3. Deciding not to keep a record of wrongs
  4. Putting yourself in the others shoes
  5. Genuinely just loving and caring for one another as a part of your pack
  6. Spending quality time together – doing what we love to do
  7. Getting some individual time and trusting the other with his/her time
  8. Not being controlling (this is hard as I like to control everything, lol)
  9. Letting go of a few things that are just not worth the burden of carrying (Forgiveness)
  10. Helping one another with anything/everything
  11. Planning things together and working on projects together
  12. Working on your home, nest, property together
  13. Shopping together
  14. Planning and taking trips together
  15. Taking simple excursions together
  16. COMMUNICATION if we are too mad to talk, we email. But also keeping each other in the loop. Saying the right things and avoiding the wrong things. Even periods of silence can be communication if it means keeping the peace until communication can happen. Notice I keep typing here as this is key! So much so I’ll make another point with it’s own number!
  17. Letting the other speak! We both have the desire to hog the communication lines to get our opinions out and at times neither of us would let the other have a say.
  18. Know each other’s “Love Language”. I think I’m a combo person. Words of affirmation, physical touch (hug and kiss), and quality time – I’m not sure which is the emergent one – probably quality time as without that I would be very lost and feel unloved. I also like my individual time though, lol. Hugs are important to me so I like to give them to others as an act of love and to feel love and care in return. I like to praise when it’s due and get praise so it’s hard to say but nothing says I love you and care for you more than spending time with you. I think George’s is Act of Service and Quality Time. He is always doing things for me like fixing me a glass of wine, buying things I like at the grocery, fixing me dinner, and doing things to make my day easier. Yeah this one is big too I think. I wrote a lot here!
  19. Check in on each other during the day or when we are apart says “you are my love and I’m concerned of your well being”. (But not checking up every minute – that is annoying and says “I am not sure I trust you”.)
  20. Trust – my motto is “trust until you are given reason or suspicion not to” — then we have a problem to work through.

Ok there are the top twenty that popped into my mind. Please suggest more if you have any in your head that works for you?

Other thoughts on Marriage

It’s hard at times. So hard. But it’s rewarding and promising too. There are always areas of improvement. Our own agendas, our selfish ways, the ways we each learned to deal with situations growing up – like how we were raised to respond to things that went wrong by watching our parents and how they responded (Your kids are watching and will follow your lead! Do you shout at your partner? They will too!), and all of these outside forces that come into play make a huge difference!

The devil tries hard to throw curve balls and destroy, to break trust, to make you panic, to do anything to try and make you insecure or fearful. Stand in his face and just say “Not today Satan!” And trust in God’s word to know that He is watching over you. So if George walked out on me tomorrow or died on me tomorrow I’d be devastated. But I have to trust that God would take care of me. This is my main security! I have a tendency to feel really insecure at times, even though I have a very strong persona within me. I can take a bottom of the barrel situation and be resilient and rise up from it. I know that about me now at this age. And that gives me great comfort. I also have a plan B in the back of my head if life deserts me and I will go and put that into action if all’s left is just me against the world. That gives a source of security to me too. But I prefer my life as is – being married, doing things together. But if I wasn’t, I have this plan B. Most of you know what that is! lol

Everyone needs a Penguin Badge. The “Penguin Badge”! I got a penguin badge – learning to ice skate – when I needed an individual project to concentrate on early in my marriage to George. Having a bit of individual time to concentrate on a goal made me feel secure that I was still me and doing my own thing and not giving up who I was totally as an individual. I had put too much time and effort in my relationships up to that point in my life and I felt I needed to connect back to myself. The other point here is to always have something in your back pocket – a hobby, to do list, projects, dreams, books, activities, shopping! When insecurity comes, when bad days come, when you feel unloved, forgotten, not important – you get the picture – you are not just left on the sidewalk to melt and or pine for what you thought life would be but isn’t at that moment. It’s just another way to “roll with the flow”, something to keep your attention, something to make you feel like you are you again, not lost, until the moment passes!

Improvements Needed in Marriage

There are some things I wish would improve in our marriage.

  • Communication could always improve
  • Hugs – could always use more of those at the beginning of the day for a send off and end of day for a release and sigh!
  • Return of my texts. Often they sit out there with no response. (Insert WTH emoji here!). He’s just not a big text-er in return. Not in the way of “ok’s, got it, etc.” Only when totally necessary, if he even seeeeeeees it – but often if I’m away he’ll text and say how’s it going? I like that.
  • More specific retirement planning. We didn’t already plan it so now it’s being planned for us ::sigh::
  • Deeper understanding of a few things – a few missing puzzle pieces
  • An unspoken thing that has always bothered me but won’t be resolved by me nor spoken by me ever!

Wow, I guess that is about it as far as improvement. Ha. We always have room for improvement. Both of us can improve. I’m often selfish and I will tell ya, I get it honestly. lol I’m always trying to do my agenda, my goals, my, my my! Maybe that is where the phrase “my, my, my” come from while someone shakes their head. I could always improve by being less selfish. I try not to be. But sometimes we have to look out for ourselves, our heads, our psyches – especially if it is a fragile as mine is. I have to develop a tough shell in life to get by. Still it touches me deeply at times. Part of the protection of one’s psyche is maintained by being selfish and protecting it and developing it and nourishing it. Because no one in this day and age will look out for you and care for you like yourself, and God, and then a good partner to pitch in if you are lucky to have one. I do feel lucky. I’m glad to be married to George, my kind Hubster. It’s not always easy. But it usually is. But I’m also glad to maintain the integrity of myself as an individual. I just think that is so important. I am one with him but the two parts make the whole! And we are bigger and better together and can accomplish great things when we choose to do them and plan forward and do things together.

So that is my take on the marriage front. At least regarding mine. I will take any thoughts you have on marriage? Sharing is caring. Usually. lol

So we are off to a couple of special places today. We have flood watches out —again. It was horribly storming and raining the day we got married. Afterward the sun was shining so big. Our future was bright.

Meanwhile in Texas

Prayers for River and his cough with croup! His meds are over but he’s still coughing a not so good sounding cough. The doc said it would take a couple of weeks. He’s some better. I guess there’s questions in our heads as to if she should call the doc or wait. I suggested she just place a call – as they are on hot line on the weekend and will call back. Someone is always on call for advice. So maybe they could call in some more meds for her or something. Please pray. He’s still so little and lungs can fill so fast. So I worry about him. I’m so thankful she face times us. He is saying “Da Da Da” and we think “goo gah” for “Google” his day care teacher. I discovered that he is mesmerized if I sing. He will stare and listen. So I need to learn some songs to sing! It made us all laugh yesterday at how intent he was. We have a blast on FaceTime. We make animal noises and bark and howl. Katy says she wishes she had that on video! Here’s my Little Roo. You see where that comes from right? He’s a little Buckaroo – which is their sports team locally! The Buckaroo’s! I just love him so much. Miss him and want to squeeze him and love on him. But so thankful for our Facebook time to watch him eat, play, learn to feed himself, hold things, say things, smile at us, watching him learn, how he acts, responds, doing his Johnny jump up, learning to crawl. WE love every minute.

The Weekend

Anniversarying, Police Report filing, cleaning, laundry, grocerying, keeping Mom happy, and whatever else we can get into! Ahhhh yes! Love my weekends!

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!