Marriage, partnerships and communication done right…maybe

Courtesy of the student blog at blog.lib.umn.edu

Courtesy of the student blog at blog.lib.umn.edu

You gotta love marriage. Done right, you have a best friend forever. Done wrong, it’s downright expensive and exhausting!

A spouse is someone with whom you can share things and who will support you in many ways.

Someone with whom you can talk about things honestly…like “your coat stinks” or “you always pick the longest checkout lines.” These are tidbits of profound knowledge that you graciously give so someone else can become a better person. A smart spouse will never admit that anything makes your butt look big no matter how many times you ask.

Someone you can coach…like “why are you driving 33 in a 35 mph zone?” “Do you see that car backing out?” “Don’t hit the wild turkey!”

Someone you can buy things for…like clothes that actually fit or a notebook to jot down ideas for gifts to buy you.

The other great benefit is for your facial muscles.

Yes, marriage, a lot like parenthood, keeps your facial muscles exercised.

You learn to roll your eyes from right to left and then back again in one smooth motion. Eye rolls are great marriage extenders. If you are standing at the correct angle, the spouse doesn’t know you are quietly disagreeing. It’s so much better than saying, “that’s the dumbest thing I ever heard.” I can tell you from personal experience, that is a relationship ender.

Your eyebrows arch almost to your hairline when exposed to outrageous facts. You may worry that the skin won’t snap back! There are laser treatments for that. Be sure to ask for the marriage discount.

Then there is the glazing. It is natural to hear the same stories over and over. Sometimes you are around when they are told to others. Sometimes they are repeated to you because….well….no one…neither you nor your spouse can remember if they mentioned it.

By the fourth time you hear a story you are allowed to glaze over and take a mini-vacation. You learn how to keep your eyes open and sort of focused all the while you are creating your grocery list. Sometimes I can write an entire blog post or envision myself on a tropic isle with a margarita.

Then there is the flip side. That’s when something happens and you didn’t know. Of course you insist….INSIST… that it was never said while the partner INSISTS that you weren’t listening. Sound familiar? It happens in my house all the time. It probably was said while I was working on my grocery list.

“I told you I was going to run errands.”

“No you didn’t. I had no idea where you were.”

“You don’t listen when I talk to you.”

“That’s not true. What did you say?”

Then there is the really good stuff. That’s when someone goes with you to the veterinarian because…well….you aren’t sure if this is the last trip for this particular cat. (It never is. That damn cat has a thousand lives!)

Or they encourage you to try something new – like blogging and then they actually read it.

Somehow they learn to tolerate your idiosyncrasies (it’s very hard to believe I have any that are annoying but I believe other spouses do) and the crazy families.

Having spent most of my life partnerless, it’s been an interesting ride. One that I wish everyone could enjoy in some way. It doesn’t have to be formal marriage, just a truly great friendship will do.

Thanks to my friend Jane whose marriage was the inspiration for this post. She is pretty close to the perfect mate and she still glazes over occasionally but only when necessary to protest her sanity.

24 thoughts on “Marriage, partnerships and communication done right…maybe

  1. Enjoyable post, Kate. Some things you note I’m either guilty of … or my hubby is.

    He has learned to NEVER talk to me when I’m reading the comic strips in the paper. I am so focused on them that the house could be on fire and I wouldn’t notice. 🙂

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  2. Kate, would it be acceptable to add “glazing” to my resume? Considering your background, I will assume you will guide me in the right direction. Between growing up with elderly parents and having a husband I do believe I’ve earned a Phd. in this subject. Thank you for this true & hilarious read.

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  3. You make me yearn so for someone to roll my eyes to. I love the Husband Chronicles…like when you went to 50 restaurants to celebrate his birthday. A partner in crime you can shop for..loved this…love how the humor and affection stroll hand in hand 🙂

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  4. I haven’t been married for more than ten years now (so all my eye rolling and snorts of laughter are saved for the dog), but the one thing I remember about being married, that I still sometimes miss, are all the inside jokes … the ones that only the two of you can share, even if it means a head tilt and a crooked smirk because it is a reminder of that time they did that thing you hated. Even so, the secret language of an inside joke is like money in the bank. For those days you need to make a hefty withdrawal, because someone has overdrawn your account. 🙂

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  5. All very good points. As it turns out, glazing is not just for repetitive stories. For example, if you were married to an almost rocket scientist who insists on discussing the space/time continuum and parallel universes and quantum physics…zzzzzzzzz…you might also employ this technique.

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  6. Fantastic post, Kate. Full of truisms. Marriage done right is great. Done wrong, it’s a nightmare. BFF and I will celebrate 30 years next year ~ most days we get it right. 🙄

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    • Yes, I can do a pretty good eye pop too. That’s when your eyes get so big they appear to be popping out of your head. It also means, “that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard!” or a popular alternative in our house, “no shit Sherlock!”

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