Showing posts with label Marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marriage. Show all posts

Friday, March 27, 2020

Love in the Time of Coronavirus, or How To Stay Together When You Have To Stay Together (Coronavirus 2020)

Sheltering in Place.  

Most of us haven't heard that expression or needed to.  But now with the threat of the coronavirus, it has become a common expression.  It basically means stay home.  If we are not out there around others, we are less likely to contract the virus or give it to others which in turn will stop the spike of new outbreaks.  So that's what we are all doing right now where I live and let's just say it has its downsides.

There is an old saying.  "Familiarity breeds contempt."  If that is so, sheltering in place for long periods of time for those of us who are living with a significant other could take a toll on our relationships. I mean, even in the best relationships, you need some alone time and that's not easy when you can't leave the house and that can be especially challenging if you and your partner have different schedules, e.g. he's an early riser and you are not or you are a night owl and he is not.

I know I have bragged about how to stay married (we have been married going on 36 years now), but these are terrible times and even the most robust marriage (or relationship) will be tried having to stay together inside for weeks at a time. How do you get some alone time?  

So in my quest to be of help to you all, I thought I would give you some tips on how to stay together when forced to stay together (and please excuse my use of the word "he." I know that if you are of the male persuasion you have your own issues with your female significant other, but tough. This is about me).

So here are Ten Tips on how to survive sheltering in place with your significant other:

1.  When he makes you watch something on TV that he wants to watch in the name of togetherness and then falls asleep, resist the urge to hit him with the remote.  Kick him instead. The remote would hurt more.

2.  When he coughs and clears his throat every morning while you are trying to sleep but does not have the excuse that he has the coronavirus, try to be understanding.  He is an old man.

3.  Meditating together can be a good thing...unless one of you falls asleep and snores mid-meditation (and it wasn't me).

4.  Likewise, earbuds are your friend.  They can cut out the sound of hacking, vocalizing and harmonica playing when you are trying to watch a Lifetime movie.

5.  If your significant other is antsy like mine, find excuses for him to get out of the house and go out to some of those places that are still open. Give him an incentive. "Hubby, will you run to the store?  I am going to make your favorite dinner and need some ingredients" or "Hubby, can you run to the hardware store for some nails/picture hangers/whatever. I would be ever so grateful (wink. wink.)"  He will enjoy having something to do (and something to look forward to - wink, wink), and you can have some peace and quiet for an hour or so when your natural inclination would be to bite his head off the next time he interrupts you while you are watching a Lifetime movie.

6.  When Hubby wants some together time watching TV and you just want to watch a Lifetime Movie and he doesn't (okay, I'm joking about the Lifetime movie thing.  It's a metaphor - well, sort of - it could be anything you want to do by yourself), instead of sarcastically saying "Oh, now you want some together time, now that you have nowhere else to go," compliment him profusely on what a good husband he is and then wait until he falls asleep (and he will) to go back to whatever it was you wanted to do by yourself, like watch a Lifetime Movie.

7. Play some two person games like Gin Rummy or Scrabble. But be careful with Scrabble.  If you are the least bit competitive, you could get into an argument over the spelling of a word or whether what you put down is a word at all, and then what might happen?  Oh, perhaps the board might get tipped over, especially if bourbon is in the equation? Not that I know anything about that.  I'm just sayin'.

8.  Let him help you cook. He can do the stuff you don't like to do such as mincing onions or pitting olives or counting out exactly 125 chocolate chips for the chocolate chip cookies (You don't really need exactly 125 chocolate chips, but that will keep him busy and out of your way)!

9.  Get outside and go for walks together with the dogs remembering to keep a social distance of at least six feet.  That will also give you some alone time (I'm walking six feet behind them doing some Forest Bathing).

10. If worse comes to worst, get in the car and pretend there is somewhere you can actually go!

Phyllis Diller was a stand-up comic that most of you have either never heard of or probably forgotten.

But she was one of the early and only women comics and her schtick was making fun of her husband whom she called "Fang."  Well, Hubby is my Fang with a little poetic license thrown in.  And he doesn't mind my having some fun with him in my blog posts because he loves me and he knows I do it with love and affection. And that's what this whole blog post is about.  Love.

Love in the time of Coronavirus. That's what we need. And I would like to add - we also need humor.

If we don't have love and humor during this terrible time, we won't make it.

So all kidding aside, and I'm mostly kidding, love is what we need and we are showing love for our fellow humans by staying home and not helping to spread the virus. We can show love to our significant others by being sensitive and considerate as we go about our days sheltering in place together. And we can keep each others' spirits up by sharing some humor. I hope I made you chuckle, and there are all kinds of other funny things out there on the Internet to take your mind off the virus. Share them with your friends and loved ones to give them a laugh.

It's a time of crisis like this when we find out what we and our significant others are made of, for good or ill. Do we band together or do we get on each other's nerves?  I know it's no fun to not have control over one's life, but we can't control events, only how we react to them. What Hubby and I are doing is trying to be grateful for what we have and to reflect on our lives and what we want to learn from this. And in my case, I am grateful for Hubby and I can't think of anyone else I would rather spend this time with.

But then this is only week two!

To be continued....

Thanks for Reading!

See you soon!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

How to Stay Married Forever

On our 30th wedding anniversary, I wrote a post about staying happily married for 30 years. Back then I said something about, who knows?  Maybe we won't make it to 31. Well, we've not only made it to 31, we have just celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary!  

Years ago, when we were first married, I read an article that said if you wanted your husband to remember your wedding anniversary, agree that you will take turns for deciding how to celebrate the event each year. That meant that every other year it would be his turn to plan something and every other year it would be my turn.  We have done that and the article was right.  Hubby has never forgotten an anniversary and we have celebrated it in locations all over the world.

A couple of years ago, it was Hubby's turn and he decided it would be fun to visit Walla Walla and do some wine-tasting.  As you know, we enjoy that little activity together.  Let's just say we wined and dined!

However, the year before that it was my year and we went to Italy, so go figure, but I'm not complaining. 

Anyway, while out and about in Walla Walla, I might have just mentioned a time or two that we were celebrating our wedding anniversary (you never know when that might result in a hotel upgrade, free drink or dessert!),

and two different people (younger ones, I might add) asked

 "So, what is your secret to a long marriage?"

I had never been asked that before, so it really got me to thinking, and it reminded me of some articles I had seen lately about how to not only stay married for a long time but....forever.

How have we made it this long?

Now I wouldn't presume to give advice...well, yes, I would, I do it all of the time in this blog, but since I have been asked the question, I decided to try to answer it.

The article from "The Huffington Post" about staying married forever made many of the points that I made in my blog post two years ago - have a sense of humor, be considerate, pull your weight, have common interests, the usual stuff - except the last one.  The last point was "Don't get divorced."  Ha!  They should have started with that one.  Sort of trumps everything else, doncha think?

So, yes, if you want to stay married forever, don't get a divorce.  Duh.  But if you want to stay HAPPILY married forever, there is more to it than that.

So what is the difference between 36 years and forever? Not many if you are already in your sixties, but thirty two years can certainly feel like forever if you are not happy.

Though I think it's a good idea to go into a marriage thinking you are not going to get a divorce, to stay married forever for that reason alone is going to make two people very miserable.

Since both Hubby's and my parents were married for 50+ years, 36 years doesn't seem like a lot, but for us Baby Boomers, who drove the divorce rate up to 50%, I would say that is pretty good.

However, I know my parents were in it for the long haul no matter what. No one got divorced, and if you did, you were tantamount to being a hussy (the woman always got blamed).  I had a cousin, whom I loved, who dared to divorce her husband and she was persona non grata within the family for the rest of her life.

I am sure my parents loved each other when they got married, but they had already gone together for eight years before that happened. 

I once asked my Dad about that and his answer was interesting.  He said, "What do you do after going with someone for eight years?  You get married."  Doesn't sound very romantic. I have a feeling my mother told him to get off the pot or take a hike. 

They had three kids. All of us three kids were about five years apart.  I was the youngest, so my sister was almost 10 years older than I was, my brother five. My brother was around during most of my formative years, but my sister was not.  When I talk to my sister about how she remembers my parents, it's nothing like what I remember.  I was 12 when she got married and moved away, and I was 14 when my brother got married.  By that time, my Dad was working all of the time and my mother was making my teenage life a misery.  What I know now was that my mother was frustrated and lonely and my Dad had mentally left the marriage.

So yes, my parents stayed married "forever," but it's not what I would call a happy marriage. Once we kids were all gone, my Dad should have left and become a cowboy like he always wanted.

And my mother should have gotten a job. I only say that because she talked longingly about her life before she got married when she had a "status job" as the secretary to the president of the local bank.  She was a very smart woman who was denied a college education and I don't think she ever got over that.

I remember her trying to get a job when she was in her 50's and not being able to, and I could tell it was upsetting to her. She lived out her days babysitting for the neighbors' kids.

Yes, my parents stayed together forever but I don't think it was a happy forever.

I think we can all stay married forever if we want to by gritting our teeth and if we are willing to put up with all kinds of crap, but the trick is staying married forever and being happy as well.

Now Hubby and I haven't been married forever, but if one of us dropped dead tomorrow we could say we had been.  Forever means what we vowed when we married - "Til death do us part."  But so far, Hubby and I are still going to the gym and don't need to carry around a respirator or anything, so I would say we have quite a few years yet before we get to "forever."

But now it's been 36 years and that feels like forever.  I only say that, because it seems like forever since I was that young woman of 36 who married Hubby (and just so you know, I was not on the shelf until I was 36 and Hubby rescued me from spinsterhood - a few men before him deemed me worthy of marriage as well.  Just so you know).

Anyway, here is finally the point. 

It's only been 36 years for Hubby and me, and considering our age, forever could be close by, but it's been 36 mostly HAPPY years.  We still like each other, we still hang out together and we still plan for our future together.

Over this last weekend when we were asked what the secret to a long happy marriage was, I quickly answered, "It has to be fun."  Hubby, of course, had to be a smart aleck and say, "Keep your mouth shut."  He meant his mouth, not mine.  You know, those usual "Yes, dear" and "Happy wife, happy life" clichés that I hate? Anyway, fun came to mind for me because I don't think marriage should have to be work.  Yes, we have to be considerate and all of that, but if there isn't more fun going on than work, then what's the point?

But as I thought about this more and more, I realized it was way deeper than that, and I came up with three things that I think will get you to the "f word"...Forever.

One is trust.

And I am not talking about trusting Hubby to not cheat.  At this point, after all of these years, if a beautiful young thing told Hubby how handsome he was and wanted to give him a lap dance, I wouldn't be surprised if he couldn't say no. 

No, what I am talking about here is more important to me than that.  I am talking about the kind of trust where you can expect your partner to be consistent in ways that affect your daily life.  For example, if the brakes went out on my car in the Whole Foods parking lot and I called Hubby to come help me, I can trust that he will drop everything and come right away.  I won't have to cool my heels until it's convenient for him to get away.  If he says he will come home after work, I can trust that he will.  If I am in the middle of a recipe with my hands full of flour and I realize I am out of sugar, I can trust that Hubby will run to the store and get what I need.  And when things go wrong, I can trust that he will choose to be there for me. And I will do the same for him.

But even more important than that is being known. 

If you feel someone really knows you, then you know it will last forever.  And that doesn't happen very often. Being known, really known, is what we humans all crave.  But to get there requires vulnerability and a level of intimacy that some of us are not capable of.  It requires listening, understanding, empathy and compassion. When we share our deepest secrets and insecurities and we are made to feel OK about them, then we know we are known.

Finally, I think for a marriage to last forever, you really have to enjoy each other

And I am not talking about enjoying each other's company as you go to the theatre, out to eat or visiting friends. That is important and we certainly enjoy those activities together, but I am talking about enjoying the little things about each other, still getting a kick out of each other's little habits and peccadillos after so many years. 

For example, I might bitch at Hubby from time to time.  Well, OK, a lot of the time. Though I am sure Hubby doesn't like me to nag and bitch at him, Hubby also gets a kick out of my pursed lips, flaring nostrils and narrowed eyes when I get going.  It makes him laugh which in turn makes me laugh. And what can I say?  He enjoys my company so much he will watch "The Bachelor" with me.

Early in our relationship, Hubby confessed that there was a time when he couldn't imagine being with just one woman for the rest of his life.  Hubby was a bit of a lothario when I met him.

When we got married, I used to tease Hubby about our being together "forever," as if that was something we couldn't possibly imagine.  We would say "We will be together forever and ever and ever..."

Now 36 years later, we are getting closer and closer to the "f-word."

So if you find someone who not only loves you, but who you can trust to be there for you when the chips are down, who really knows you, warts and all, and still loves you and actually enjoys being around you, if your partner is your "person" and you are his (or hers), then you have a shot at the "f-word" -


So here's to the "f-word!"

Thanks for Reading!

 See you Friday

for my review of

"Money Monster"


 The Week in Reviews

(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)

 and the latest on

"My 1001 Movies I Must See Before

 I Die Project."

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Has Your Spouse Checked Out of Your Marriage? How to Tell

One of my daily habits in retirement is taking some time to enjoy "The View." 

It's relaxing to spend time with the ladies mid-morning with my cup of tea and hear a little celebrity gossip, some discussions on issues of the day and the latest news. My little poodle Tarquin joins me on my lap so he can listen as well.

The show is often fodder for my blog too.

On "The View" recently, they were talking about this article from The Huffington Post, "Six Signs Your Spouse Has Checked Out of Your Marriage." Since Hubby and I will be celebrating our 32nd wedding anniversary next month, that has been on my mind and that article made me think I should check in with my marriage to see if Hubby had checked out.

And the more I thought about it adding up the times Hubby has checked out, I thought, "Only six?"

Now these could apply to any long term relationship.  I don't want to be discriminatory. Whether or not you are married to a member of the opposite sex or to a member of the same sex or even if you are not married but in a relationship, you, too, might want to do a relationship check-up to see if either of you has checked out.

Here are a couple of the signs listed in the article:

They spend a lot of time around you but not with you.

Mmm. That's for sure.  Hubby is always around but there is not necessarily any "there" there, if you know what I mean. He will sit and watch a movie or even episodes of "The Real Housewives" with me but when I turn to say something to him he is either asleep or reading something on his phone.  But then I think, that's OK because when he is awake he either talks to the TV or makes inappropriate comments, thus ruining the entire experience for me.

They go to bed at separate times.

I actually think this could be a good thing, because how many people really have the same biological clocks?  I would guess that in most relationships, one of the people in it is adapting to the other and going to bed when the other wants to.  Not me. Hubby is a morning person and I decidedly am not, so Hubby often goes to bed before I do.  It doesn't matter what we are talking about or if we are in the middle of a TV program, when 11pm rolls around, Hubby pulls himself out of the chair (that he has already been asleep in) and announces that he is going to bed.  Since I am retired and have always been a night owl, that's a bit early for me. Granted, Hubby is still working and he gets up at 6am, but he doesn't have to get up that early.  He works at home and could easily catch a few more z's and waddle down to his office in his PJs if he wanted to, so I am not particularly sympathetic. 

The other four signs in the article? 

Your spouse never includes you in his or her after-work or weekend plans, they never ask you about your day, no sex, and they are hyper-critical of your friends and family.  I would add that if your significant other never includes you in after-work or weekend plans, that one right there trumps all of the others because what's the point of a relationship if they don't want to do anything with you? Hubby is not guilty of that.  Like I said, my problem is more that I can't get rid of him.

But I have my own opinion about "checking-out behaviors" that the article missed. Of course I do!

I will use Hubby as an example.  He said it was OK.  In fact, he expects it.

  • Lack of conversation. When we are driving in the car, an hour can elapse with long silences punctuated by comments about the traffic, how bad the other drivers are or the Seahawks.  I have just given up trying to have a meaningful conversation so I look at my phone.  He has checked out into his own head (god only knows what he is thinking or not thinking) and I have checked out into reading magazines on my phone.  We are beyond the "what are you thinking?" stage of our relationship.  At this point, I either don't really care or am scared to ask.

  • He doesn't remember to tell you things. I wonder aloud why we haven't heard from a particular friend we had planned to see when traveling.  Hubby replies, "Oh, he got in touch with me and said he will be busy.  Didn't I tell you?"

  • He never tells you he is going to stop at the store.  He just swings by when he is out and about and gets what he needs.  Now this might not seem like a big thing, but when you have gone to the trouble to make a little list of what is needed and you are out of eggs and bread and all he brings back is milk for his cereal and some cheese puffs, it can be irritating.  He has completely checked out on what you might need.

       Speaking of going to the store.

  • Going to Costco has become a leisure activity. Hubby has a bad case of antsy pants.  I think he must have been ADD when he was young.  He probably still is.  He has to be doing something at all times, so if things slow down a bit at home and he doesn't have dog poop to pick up or we already have gotten the mail, he decides it's time to go to Costco and off he goes. Maybe that's because if he sits down in a chair he will go to sleep.  

  • Which brings me to the issue of falling asleep, the literal, and ultimate act of checking out.
Have you seen videos of narcoleptic dogs?  Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder often associated with pleasurable activities.  The narcoleptic dog starts to eat, which is a pleasurable activity for him, and then instantly falls asleep. 

Well, Hubby is rather like that. 

As soon as he joins me in front of the TV and settles into the comfy chair, it is not long until I hear the tell-tale signs of sleep, look over and sure enough, he is passed out.  I guess I should be flattered that it is a pleasurable activity for him to join me while I watch "Naked and Afraid (one of the best shows on TV, by the way)," but somehow I don't see it that way.  I don't think he has gotten through an entire TV program or movie in years.  Now if it's a football game, that's another story.

  • You have to always ask, "Did you hear what I just said?" I can never tell if Hubby is listening because he doesn't stand still long enough for me to get an entire sentence out.  I will be right in the middle of explaining something or asking a question and off he goes. Leaving the room when your significant other is speaking to you is checking out.

  • Being a boring person is a type of checking outHubby likes to meet for Happy Hour every day at 4pm when he gets off work.  If it's a nice day we will meet out on the deck and if not, we might sit in the kitchen or by the fire in the living room.  However, even though I am retired, I am a busy person and sometimes it is difficult for me to make it by 4pm.  I have to really hustle, so I have warned Hubby that if he doesn't have anything interesting to say and is just going to sit and listen to music or play his harmonica, I am not going to join him.  It's important to at least try to be interesting if you want to have a happy relationship.  You need to make the effort. I keep mentioning my blog post "How to be an interesting person" to him.

So I guess all of those are red flags that one, or both of you, has checked out of the relationship.

And lest you think I am too hard on Hubby, I am sure he could write his own blog post on how I check out:  shopping, going to the movies alone, watching TV shows he doesn't approve of, meditating, fantasizing about Chris Hemsworth...

But you know what?  Though I think it's a good idea to be aware of our behavior and the behavior of our significant other, I also think it's OK to check out from time to time.
For a healthy long-term relationship, we all need to be able to be ourselves and do what we want.  If you are a night owl and must make yourself go to bed earlier than you want to just to please your spouse, then that right there is not going to be a happy relationship for you.
As I said, next month Hubby and I will celebrate 32 years of marriage, and I am reminded of why our marriage has lasted that long when I re-read the blog post I wrote when we reached 30 years "How to stay (happily) married for 30 years."

Yes, we can irritate each other from time to time but taken as a whole, do the pros outweigh the cons?  Are there more happy times than bad? Has it been a meaningful ride?

If you can answer yes to those questions, then it's OK to check out by falling asleep, being forgetful and a little boring from time to time. 

We, all of us, may be in a relationship, but we are not joined at the hip.  We are still individuals and to be happy we need to be able to be ourselves, not become what our significant other wants us to be.  So it's OK to check out from time to time.

As long as we eventually check back in.

Now I am going to go watch "The View" while Hubby is at Costco! 

Thanks for Reading!
See you Friday
for my review of the new movie 

"My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2"

The Week in Reviews
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)

 and the latest on
"My 1001 Movies I Must See Before

 I Die Project."

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Grounds for Divorce

I was sitting on the toilet recently (as I am wont to do) - sorry for the visual - and noticed that the toilet paper was rolling off the roll in the wrong direction.  I am definitely an "up over the top" person when it comes to my toilet roll and I get rather upset when it is rolling from down under, as it were.

Since I was in the half bath water closet, the one Hubby uses the most, I knew it was he who had replaced the toilet roll and replaced it incorrectly.  I was irritated that after 31 years of marriage he would not only put it on the wrong way but that he didn't remember that I preferred it the other way.

Then I thought, after 31 years of marriage, did he do it on purpose?  Was it an act of passive aggression?

So then I got to thinking about other little things like that that can harm a marriage.  I mean, who hasn't heard about people getting divorced because she always squeezed the toothpaste from the top or he never put the toilet seat down?

Grounds for divorce? 

Sounds extreme but then those little things can add up, especially if they are used to irritate the other partner.  And this time of year with all of the stresses of the holiday season, those little things can turn into big things.  I mean, who wants to think their spouse has a New Year's Resolution to kick them to the curb?

So as a public service - and you know I am always here to help - here are some "little things" that could add up for grounds for divorce.

Now I need to preface my list with the fact that I think we get many of our pet peeves from our parents.  So my list is rather heavy with the things that drove my Dad crazy.  Thanks, Dad, they now drive me crazy.

See if you are guilty of any of these.

Never putting something back where it belongs.

Scotch tape, scissors, the stapler...ever have to go looking for those things all of the time, right when you are in the middle of wrapping a gift or needing to open up one of those products that is so well wrapped in plastic only slicing the thing with scissors can help? 

I was brought up to put things back where I found them and woe to me if my father could not find the scissors and they were found in my bedroom (we must have not had much money, because why did we only have one pair of scissors?).  So I am very good about putting things back where they belong.  The Hubby is not.  To avoid divorce, I keep an extra pair of scissors in my office and have my own scotch tape and stapler.

Taking off his shoes and leaving them where I can fall over them and really hurt myself.

This is a serious issue. Did you know that when you get to be a certain age, falling down is such a serious issue that you could die from it?  Well, now you know.

You could say he might be doing it on purpose, but I don't have life insurance so there really isn't any motivation to knock me off so I just think he's not thinking.  Growing up, if my Dad would trip over our shoes, he would have a fit and throw them outside. We were warned.  So I carry on the tradition.  Hubby has been warned.

Going to Costco or the grocery store without telling me

Let's just say that Hubby is a pacer.  He gets bored so he goes off to Costco just for the fun of it or for something to do.  But the problem is, he forgets I HAVE A LIST!  He gets back from Costco with his new winter wardrobe, a gallon of gin and a new TV and I'm out of chicken broth and canned diced tomatoes.

Never hearing his cell phone

Now this could be the ultimate in passive aggression.  For some reason, Hubby carries a cell phone but it is always turned off or he doesn't answer, which is particularly irritating when I actually DO know he has gone to Costco and I remember something else he needs to get that is not on the list.  Funny how he never answers the phone when I need him to, but he has no problem pocket dialing me by accident when he is traveling. 
Hello?  Hellooo?  Helloooooo?  Helloooooo?  HUBBY HANG UP THE PHONE!!!!

Falling asleep

I have always had the suspicion that Hubby was narcoleptic because of his ability to just fall asleep anywhere.  When he used to have long commutes from Silicon Valley, he told me that sometimes he would have to pull over because the hot late afternoon sun was lulling him to sleep. 

His safety while driving home is one thing, but explain to me why, when we are sitting in the living room watching the riveting finale of "The Bachelor" and I say, "Wow.  What did you think of that?" when I look over at him, his head is lolled back, mouth gaping open and there is drool.  Not sure how long he's been out.  Now that is insulting.  Yes, I know he gets up earlier than I do but when we finally have quality time together (watching "The Bachelor" together is considered quality time), I can usually expect that he will fall asleep during some of that time and that implies boredom to me.  "You are so boring you make me fall asleep" is how that makes me feel. 

However, I prefer to think of Hubby as the narcoleptic dog. 

He is so excited to be in my company that he falls asleep. It's an actual phenomenon. I know it's not funny, but this narcoleptic dog gets excited about something like eating or escaping and falls instantly asleep.  I don't feed Hubby canned food and I haven't found him asleep with his head in the dog dish yet but it's close.  So I like to think that that puts "the pleasure of your company" into a whole "nother category."

"I thought"

"I thought" are two of the worst words in the English language when used together as in "I thought it was a good idea to store my six-pack of tonic water on top of the TV" or "I thought you would like a vacuum cleaner for Christmas."  "I thought" is the same as assuming and you know what they say when you assume?

Another bad word is "You."

I know I am guilty of this myself.  My Dad told me long ago that "you" was a bad, accusing word as in "You don't care about anyone but yourself" or "You forgot to buy me a birthday present."  We know we are supposed to say, "I feel bad when you don't care about anyone but yourself" and "I feel sad when you forget to buy me a birthday present."  I guess that's supposed to make saying that stuff better.

Putting his shirts in the dirty clothes without unbuttoning them

Yeah, why unbutton your shirt when someone else is around with no time on her hands who will have to unbutton it for you when it comes time for HER to iron YOUR shirt?! 

Thinking you can just say anything you want to your spouse telling your significant other she looks fat, old or crabby.  Basically, keep your comments to yourself unless they are nice.  Didn't your mother tell you that if you couldn't say something nice to shut the...well, she didn't say that exactly but she said "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."  Probably good advice.  Hubby has never dared say I was putting on weight or that I looked old.  However, "crabby" comes up a lot.

So that is my personal list of possible grounds for divorce. 

It may or may not apply to you.  I am sure you have your own deal breakers where your spouse or significant other is concerned. 

But these things have a way of evening out.  I know I do things that irritate Hubby, too, such as not allowing him to turn on the heat until I get up (the noise bothers my beauty sleep) and he gets up three hours before I do; making him put up a baby gate at the foot of the stairs so the dogs can't come up and whine at the bedroom door, again, robbing me of much needed beauty sleep.  Or my shopping.  Seventy-five jackets and counting.  Or trying too many new recipes and having too many leftovers.  He has mini-meltdowns every couple of days, "Cripes.  Who is going to eat all of this food?!"

I probably shouldn't be dwelling on negatives. This time of year we are supposed to count our blessings.

And I do.  I have Hubby, two successful, happily married children, grandchildren, three dogs who love me very much, we live comfortably, I am enjoying being retired, and I have my health (so far).

I know I probably can't change any of these little irritants on my list.  When we first get into a relationship, we think we can change our partners.  But in the end, we can only change ourselves and how we react to what bothers us.  I can choose to get upset every time I can't find the scissors (most of the time I do) or I can choose to make a fuss every time I have to unbutton Hubby's shirts to iron them (I don't). 

In general, after 31 years of marriage, I realize it's too late to change HIM.  I have to change ME. I have to change how I react to all of those things that irritate me so much.  And I can certainly try to change those things that irritate him about ME.

So what better time of year than now to make some changes, some New Year's Resolutions, if you will?  

No, not to get a divorce over trivial irritants.  But to resolve to not let those everyday issues get in the way of the big picture  and cause marital discord- to realize that I love that guy even if he falls asleep during "The Amazing Race" and leaves his shoes where I could trip over them and die.  And I resolve to work on the issues that irritate him like making so much food and feeling like I need another jacket.

But dammit, that toilet roll better roll off the top!

Thanks for Reading!


See you Friday

for my review of the new movie 

"The Hunger Games:
Mockingjay Part 2" 

The Week in Reviews

(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)


and the latest on
My 1001 Movies I Must See Before

 I Die Project."


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