The hubster and I celebrated thirty-three years of marriage on Sunday. I think that qualifies me to offer a bit of advice to all you dewy-eyed young things still wallowing in connubial bliss. (Not to be a Debbie Downer or anything, but sooner or later connubial bliss gives way to connubial arguments.)
In order to survive this eventuality, you must always maintain your sense of humor. Repeat after me. “A sense of humor charms and disarms.” Got it? It really is that simple. Let me share an example from my own life.
Nine years and three kids into our marriage, the hubster and I moved to a new town. An experienced Labor and Delivery nurse, I found a part-time job in the local hospital’s Birthing Center. The only catch was … I needed to orient to the job full-time for six weeks, jumping around on all three shifts as needed.
It was a recipe for disaster from the beginning. The hubster had no idea what he was getting into when he offered to take over as many of my responsibilities as possible, so I could start my new job. Up to that point in our marriage, he had not realized how much I insulated him from the day to day mayhem created by three exuberant youngsters and their daily destruction of the house (in sometimes as little as fifteen minutes).
It was enormously difficult for all of us, and tensions mounted exponentially until one fateful day five weeks into my orientation. That morning, just before I started my shift, the hubster had finally had it with making lunches, taking the children to school, skipping out of work to pick them up, friends, activities, laundry, dishes, homework, baths, etc … and he lost it. He had a temper tantrum of magnificent proportions. I’d never quite seen the likes of it before. I didn’t say a word at the time, but I was beyond miffed that he felt so “put upon” and he knew it when I slammed the door on my way to work.
Every spare moment of the morning during my shift, I contemplated how to express my disappointment at his deplorable behavior. Then it came to me.
I ordered a dozen long-stemmed roses from a local florist shop and had them delivered to me at the Birthing Center. I made a few alterations to the flowers, put them back in the box and asked the Unit Secretary to drop them off at my hubster’s office on her way home that afternoon.
(The rest of the story I know from the hubster’s office manager)
“Oh,” said the hubster when he received the box of flowers. “Probably an apology from my wife. She was mad at me this morning”
Smiling, he tugged off the box top to find a dozen thorny stems sans flower tops.
The office manager peered over his shoulder into the box. “I’d say apparently, she still is. “What does the card say?”
“The card says, “To the thorn in my side, Love your wife,” he read solemnly.
The whole office erupted in laughter, my husband included.
So you see, young lovers, (wherever you are) it is in your best interest to make your point in a humorous way and defuse potentially hazardous situations with comedy. By the way, you’re welcome.