What It’s Like to be Married Forever

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My husband and I are busy empty nesters (although a college grad with a whiz bang journalism job is renting our furnished basement apartment). We look forward to our Sunday mornings which hold the promise of worship and fellowship which feed our souls.

One recent Sunday while my husband was in worship, I hung out with the kids in Sunday School and played with dish soap, food coloring and milk.  We were each ministered to (being with kids energizes me) and looked forward to the rest our day.

Instead of stopping at the grocery store—‘Second Church’ where it seems we always meet a handful of fellow believers in the cereal aisle—we came straight home. We had Nothing Else to Do all day long.  What a glorious Sabbath Sunday indeed.

The cooler, gray Northwest weather wrapped around the morning like a warm wool sweater. All we wanted was a comfortable chair and a cup of coffee.

Whenever there’s a wide-open-with-possibilities stretch of time ahead of me, I mentally fill it up with way more activities than there is time in the day.  Maybe you can relate?  The upside to that is there are choices; the downside is I never know where to start.

I love words and books—reading and writing are my two favorite indoor pursuits.  Three book stacks were calling me, there was a poem to work on, letters to write and maybe I’d take this chance to have a crack at the memoir I’d started.

Of course it follows that sitting at the desk in our study is my number one Happy Place (except for the garden; but cool & gray, remember?)  I relished the idea of quiet time to type, write, read, whatever. Ahhh…the small joys of a room of my own.

I retired to the study with coffee in hand. Several lines had been written, a poem revised, I organized the story line for my memoir. Such productivity; I was basking in the just-me time.

Then my husband came in and sat at his desk.

Oh, shoot, he’s probably going to want to talk—Mr. Verbal Processor. Please, God. Maybe he could just sit at his computer and read emails. To himself, not out loud like he usually does. Please, God.

Computer pings on. No talking. At all.  I’m cautiously optimistic that my author zone will continue uninterrupted. Our backs are to each other, desks on opposite walls. I can’t see his computer screen but I hear a video of a worship song he enjoys (Casting Crowns). I like it too; I silently sing along under my breath while I focus on my work.

Next is another song by the same artists—the LIVE version.  Hard to ignore; okay I’ll just hum along, but NO talking or my desk time will be gone for sure.

He queues up Video Number Three. Now I turn around in my chair; clearly my alone time is over. Husband wants the airspace to worship and enjoy the music.

At this point I had two choices—grumble and moan about how I had been looking forward to working undisturbed just this once. Complain about how he was being inconsiderate playing the music so loud.
Asked him to mute it or use headphones.  All of those may have been a justified response.

But this is his Sunday, too.

For a retired person he works way too hard Monday through Saturday; he needed a place to do what ministered to his soul just as much as I did.

How would I respond?  Number one, I changed my attitude and decided to rejoice in his little soul-care decision. Why not be just as happy for him that he was doing something he enjoyed?

Next I brought my work—my laptop, books and poetry clipboard—into the living room. Then I went and got a cupcake to go with my lukewarm coffee—there are limits to being inconvenienced—and sat down in my favorite chair.

May I just say that it has taken me a  l – o – n – g time (43 years on July 14th) to learn to be anything near accommodating and accepting of my husband’s quirks and equally endearing ways?  I call that small Sunday miracle. 

Just ten years ago I would have been quite vocal about his choices, accused him of being selfish and unthinking, would have yelled at him about “my” needs and “my” space and on and on, completely ignoring that this house is his sanctuary, too.

Instead I decided to find a room with a different view, my own quiet and (my own cupcake) and left my husband to enjoy his Sabbath alone, in his own way.

I was delighted to be in my comfy, quiet chair in the peace and quiet of the cool, gray Sabbath Sunday. And I rejoiced—with a bite of cupcake—at God’s glue and my husband’s patience to keep us married almost forever.

Happy Anniversary, honey. 

Love, your word processor.

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Linking with Lyli for Thought Provoking Thursday

and Ms. Jennifer Lee for #TellHisStory

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21 thoughts on “What It’s Like to be Married Forever

  1. Boy, does this sound familiar!! Our circumstances, routines, and home-study set-up are a bit different than yours at the Collins’ House, but the problems of two different personalities in the same household are identical. My solution for creating the quiet space I need is to wear ear plugs! 🙂 This is a small inconvenience when I consider all that Steve does for me/us. P.S. We’ll soon celebrate anniversary #46.

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  2. I love this – so humorous and true. Happy Anniversary. We celebrate 47 next month. Mine’s not retired yet but I worry because it’s soon and worry about my quiet time and blogging time. Mine does not do computer so there will be no quiet. But like you I’ve learned over the years to be quiet and humble and I’m doing a wonderful study called The Husband Project. I loved this post.

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  3. Love this story Jody! Thank you for giving us a glimpse into a successful marriage. My parents celebrated their 50th this year. It has been difficult as my father now suffers from Advanced Alzheimer’s. I pray for my mother as His primary caregiver. I know she longs for those quiet Sundays together. You are truly blessed. Thanks again for sharing here today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and may God bless you and yours in all your endeavors!

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  4. Smiling, because this is the day-to-day death to self that God calls us to when He speaks of being a living sacrifice. We’d gladly lay down our lives for our husbands . . . but could we have a little peace and quiet first? 😉

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  5. OH…YES…YES!!!!! I understand so completely and love your ways, Jody. We have ONLY been married 23+ years but are both retired as we are in our late 60s. Late first marriage for him and my second…so we learn together…to do it right the first and only time, me right this blessed second chance!! Praising God. So glad I came by. It has been a while since I visited you!

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  6. A great picture of learning to compromise and accept each others quirks, which is a huge necessity in a long marriage. We celebrate 40 years in September!

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  7. Yep, I relate to this, Jody. Sometimes I just have to put on my headphones and white noise to drown out the TV shows that Jeff likes to watch. 🙂 Other times I just lay down my books and watch alongside him. I need a few more years to get this down pat, this laying-down-of-self. Thanks for sharing and happy anniversary!

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  8. I applaud your move to a room with a different view, cupcake in hand. What a transparently tender and wise post, Jody. I love it. You draw me in completely, so much so that I want to be like you when I grow up (probably later today). Thank you for reaching right through the screen and into my heart!

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