Love & Marriage: Here's What I Know

I mused yesterday that I have been married for a little more that half my natural life (22 years this coming June) and moreover, been hanging with the same man for way over more that half my natural life (27 years). The FireMarshall and I have been together since we were 18 & 17 years old respectively. A long time.

Yesterday was Valentine's Day, and I find it amusing actually, how much angst, gnashing of teeth, misery & heartache goes into planning for, hoping for, longing for LOVE on this one single day. I like to think that Valentine's Day - the day on which lovers are supposed to express their love with gifts & cards - is everyday. Why do you have to wait for a special day to do that? But that is just me.

During the course of our comings & goings yesterday, The FireMarshall and I got some interesting questions:
- So, what did your husband get you for Valentines? Did you get flowers? Nothing much & Nope. My husband gave me a beautiful plant - A Hardy Lily called the Mona Lisa - sat beside me and told me a story about why he chose the Hardy Lily for me, what I should expect as each bud opens, and then read me a card that summarized he feelings & sentiment. It was thoughtful, romantic & beautiful. Since I get gifts, treats & love year round - this moment was all that more special.

- Wow, you've been together a long time. You're so lucky to have each other. Yes & Luck Ain't Got Nuttin To Do With It. So many of my friends, so many ladies are looking for a long time, committed companion. However, I often witness a bunch of self sabotaging behavior & attitudes that prevent them from finding the right guy and keeping him.

I've been married for a long time. Here are a few things that I've learned along the way that have blessed me with a long & loving relationship:
  • Stop trying to Save-A-Baztard. You can NOT change the basic character and/or moral center of a man. STOP TRYING. There is not enough love in the world, let alone your heart, to change a baztards basic nature. It ain't gonna happen. So if he's the finest thing sliced bread, but is a womanizer, abuses you mentally and/or physically, a thief, drug addict/dealer or any other numerous vices - MOVE ALONG. You can't and shouldn't give your love to a Baztard.
  • Along the same lines...if your guy has something or does something that irritates the ish outta you...decide now if you can live with it FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Cause most ish, he ain't gonna change. Whatever it is...ask yourself if you can live with it after you're married and living together EVERY DANG DAY. Whatever is plucking you, multiply it by 10 - that's how bad it will be after marriage. Can you stand it? No. MOVE ALONG.
  • Learn to friggin COMMUNICATE! STOP holding grudges, stop pouting, stop coping an attitude. JUST FRIGGIN STOP IT. Grow up and learn to communicate. Learn his language. Learn what make him tick - what he will respond to. ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT. Be able, as a mature woman, to have a reasonable discussion with your man. LEARN TO FIGHT FAIR.
  • STOP USING CHEX AS A WEAPON! Chex between you and your loved on is not supposed to be viewed as an instrument of war. You're mad about something...Talk about it. He won't take out the trash when you want him to...Discuss it. You're tired & been working all day (either at home or out)...come up with a way to wind down & relax (Chex is actually a great stress reliever ya know). Get over yourself. You finally got yourself a decent, loving, hard working man that cherishes you and you wanna play spiteful games. You've been blessed...the least you can do is lift a leg.
  • Don't Let the Sun Set & Rise on Your Anger. Kinda goes hand in hand with the two above. Don't go to bed mad. Work it out. Talk it out. Discuss it. In 22 years, we have never gone to sleep with anger, hate, malice on our hearts. We been up to the wee hours of the morning, but I've NEVER woke up with hostility in my heart. If you can't do it, then perhaps you might want to do some introspection.
  • The Words Of Your Mouth are LIFE & DEATH. A real man will swim through shark infested waters to bring his beloved a glass of lemonade. He will slay dragons, kill vampires & rule the mf'n world just for YOU as long as you believe it him. You want to single handily destroy your mans ego, his pride, his ambition...keep telling him that his dreams are stupid, keep telling him that he ain't ish, keep telling him he is a loser...AND THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE FRIGGIN GONNA GET. A loser. A man without hope, without dreams...and all those promises he made of a brighter future, all those dreams & plans you made together will be dashed upon the jagged cliffs of the words of your mouth.
  • STOP GOSSIPING & COMMISERATING. I have no problem occasionally telling of an amusing story from the files of The TravelDiva & FireMarshall. BUT I WILL NEVER sit with my girls or any bunch of women and gossip about the mess ups, foibles of my husband. I will NEVER disrespect my husband like that EVER. Whether his is being a jerk or not, I ain't about to put our personal business out on the street. I'm also not going to sit there and listen to you do it to your man either. The power of life & death are in your mouth. DECIDE how you are going to use that power.
  • Love is an ACTION VERB. TAKE ACTION. Seriously. Think about that for a moment. I choose to Love my husband every single day. I take action each and every day to keep our love alive & flourishing. Passion, Lust...that is all wonderful & great...but it waxes & wanes and is not the stuff that Ever After is made of. Love & Romance ... Commitment ...Cherishing...these are the actions that Ever After is made of.
  • Remember, no matter what, HE IS ALWAYS YOUR KNIGHT. The FireMarshall is my Knight. Sometimes he is my Knight in Shining Armour, riding in on his pristine white horse, standard raised high. Other days, he is just my Knight...the armour is dented, rusty, he stinks, the horse is muddy and the standard is ripped. But he is still my KNIGHT. I love him - Thick & Thin.
Take it for what its worth or don't. Luck ain't got nothing to do with it.