coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Case of You

My husband, T, and I have a lot in common. We are from similar working class socioeconomic backgrounds. We grew up in the same hometown in Northern Indiana and had many of the same friends as teenagers. We are both 3rd children. We share the same politics and have similar senses of humor. Neither of us are particularly romantic. 

Beyond that, there are differences. He was raised a casual Protestant, I was raised a devout Catholic. He likes mustard and I like ketchup. He likes IPA beer. If I must drink beer, I prefer German Hefeweizen, but I have a wheat allergy of sorts and if I eat or drink too many things made with wheat I will break out with eczema on my fingers and around my eyes. If I then stop eating wheat for a while the rash goes away. Very strange. I love wheat (think bagels) and so I periodically play with fire by eating it. I can't help myself. If T had a wheat allergy I am pretty darn sure he would never eat it again.

One of the biggest differences is the way we view the world.  He makes assumptions. I don't trust the world enough to assume anything. In our day-to-day life he rolls with the punches, I am consumed by blocking every move. He trusts everything will be okay. I anticipate every potential problem and try to find ways to avoid trouble before it starts. He is laid back. I am a nervous *&^%! wreck. He thinks I worry needlessly and I think he doesn't worry enough. 

And so it goes, and so it has gone for a long, long time. This year we are celebrating 45 years together. We were both wild and crazy kids when we married at 19. Nobody thought it would last. 

Relationships are difficult. It is hard to reconcile the fundamental differences between two cohabiting people for an extended length of time.  Obviously it takes compromise and mutual respect. Love is a given. Trust is important. You have to accept your partner for who they are, not for who you want them to be. But I think if there is a secret to a long and happy marriage it is "liking" your partner as much as you love him/her. 

You can love someone and still not like him or her very much. It happens. Love is personal and deep. Human beings are complicated. As the song goes, sometimes "love hurts." "Like" is conditional on compatibility and joy. I love that man like nobody's business, but we are not two hearts that beat as one. We have two separate hearts that beat for each other. And I really like him a lot.





I think she should have stayed with him...

I will have sporadic access to the internet this week, but will respond to comments as soon as I am able.  Cheers.



27 comments:

  1. Quite possibly the best example of what makes a marriage work that I've ever read.

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    1. Many thanks! It also involves a lot of luck.

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  2. 45 years ain't too shabby. My cat is reading over my shoulder, and completely agrees.

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    1. Nope, not too shabby at all. Glad your cat agrees.

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  3. Excellent! 'Love' can be so much easier than 'like' in a long marriage. Like can be a day by day issue and who is grumpy when they get up in the morning. The most important ingredient that keeps us together, though, is respect. Without that, marriages do not work.

    Congratulations on your 45 th. anniversary. It would be better if you do not celebrate with beer.

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    1. I can promise you there won't be any beer. No bagels either. I'm afraid it is gluten free for me for a few weeks. My fingers are covered with an itchy red rash from a recent wheat binge. Sigh.

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  4. Your story warms my heart. Congratulations to both of you. You know, this is what makes the world a better place, this 'like'.

    Some time in our earlier years, a clever person explained to us that people stay together because they like the smell(s) of each other, right from the start. In fact, it was more than like, it was something along the lines of feeling at home with each other's smell. At the time it sounded too much like dogs to me but over the years I kept remembering this esp. when he has been away for a couple of days.

    Many many more happy years to you!

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    1. Interesting. Unfortunately my sense of smell is diminishing as I age, but I remember burying my face in his pillow when he was away because it smelled like him. We are more like animals than I care to admit. I am a cat. He is a dog.

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  5. I loved reading this! The paragraph that begins, "One of the biggest differences..." sums up my marriage too! I'm going to read that one out loud to Roger. A wonderful look at love and like!

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  6. Hey LIV, you are going to think I didn't publish your comment, but you posted it to Nostalgia instead of A Case of You. I wish I could figure out how to move it to this post but I don't have enough brain cells left.

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    1. Hahahaha
      I must have swung that cursor down a little bit too far!
      Here ya go:
      A very nice post. I think that's probably as good a key to a happy union as anyone can get.
      45, wow. Have a happy, happy anniversary! And a good trip, wherever your going! See you when you get back.

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  7. Wise words! Happy anniversary!

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  8. I agree, it's important to not only love your partner but to like them as well.

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  9. I like Tom a lot. I love you a lot. Love makes the world go round but likes make day-to-day living possible. I think.

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  10. I always tell my daughters that they should look to marry someone they can have conversations with for the next 50 years.

    I attribute my long term relationship to having our own separate interests so we always have things to talk about. Sounds like you have found a magic formula too. And having someone to share life with is a blessing of its own.

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    1. Separate interests are quite important, I think. In reading your blog I have often thought you had a good, solid relationship.

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  11. "I love that man like nobody's business, but we are not two hearts that beat as one. We have two separate hearts that beat for each other. And I really like him a lot."

    Thank you so much for writing these words down. Exactly what I need to hear. The truth sets us free to love!

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  12. I was so taken by what you wrote that I forgot to say "Happy Anniversary!"
    Thank you for giving me hope when my hope is challenged.

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So, whadayathink?