Marriage Dynamics

A post over at livenowandzen this morning reminded me of the lecture given to my mom and dad when they drove across a state border, picked a name out of the minister section of the yellow pages and got hitched without needing pesky parental signatures:

“You must understand that you are not just two people getting married.   There is who Dallas thinks he is, who you think he is and who he really is and the same goes for you.   You will spend a lifetime learning to integrate these six personalities into one union.”

Of course, the pre-marriage counseling was longer and probably not exactly as paraphrased above, but you get the idea.

Add to this wonderful six-some,  the scientific belief that within seven years, every cell in our body has died and been replaced by a new one.   Hence, there is not a single thing about me that is the same as 7 years ago…

We now have, just by basic thought processes and biology, 42 different variables –

Hey!  I like to do math my own way, -k-?

Add to this the notion that we grow into new passions and out of old ones – we change our life priorities due to epiphanies and traumas.

Count the number of life-changing moments you’ve experienced, multiply by 3 (your half of the marriage personality equation), and then take that times 3 (to account for the perspectives of the other three personalities in your marriage).

Take this number and multiply it by 10 every time you answer yes to the following questions:

  • Has your household been under financial strain?
  • Is a member of your household terminally or chronically ill?
  • Do extended family support or hate your union?

After doing my own version of math, I’m no longer surprised that after 17 years, we ended up divorced.

Because that number represents the odds-to-1 that a marriage faces.


Shortly after the death of my son, we found ourselves in counseling.   I learned that 87% of couples who lose a child end up divorced.   I really wanted to be in the 13% who made it –

It was not to be, because aforementioned odds were already a long shot even before the child was lost.

But it has clarified my thinking on the matter – – And what I’ve learned has helped me in relationships other than marriage.

There is only so well I can know someone – and often, I must admit, I really don’t know them at all –

I may have known them well years ago, but if I haven’t kept in touch with them – haven’t kept up with their growth – I may find myself having tea one day and conversing as if I’m talking to someone that existed 15 years ago, but is no longer here.

And they may do the same.

I sometimes think the hardest thing in relationships is learning to really see who shows up, today.  To be open to hearing and observing the unique person that stands in front of us, rather than just airbrushing our picture of who we think they are over the canvas of Now.

And I think that’s probably the true secret of those who stay married till death do us part – they’ve learned how to negotiate being married to a brand new person, everyday.


Some years ago, while watching the movie, “Her Alibi”, I came across and adopted one of my favorite sayings:

“There are no accidents – only plans other people make and don’t tell you about.”

I try to remember that – when the actions of another seriously interferes with my plans…

When words spoken with the best of intentions, wound deeply…

When things out of my control don’t follow my schedule…


I’m reminding myself this morning, once again – it’s a never-ending process, this reminding…


Grateful for Troubles

Okay – as you know, I always strive to see the  silver linings – mainly because they clue me in to the humungous dark cloud approaching.

And these past few weeks, I’ve not been at my best.   Health, multiple set-backs regarding my plans and schedule, due to other people’s schedules, the weather, full moons and such have left me feeling that perhaps I’m not on the right path, after all.

But last night, the child-unit, recently returned from visiting his dad, hollered at me to come quick.    I tread out in stocking feet, wondering what catastrophe has happened now.

I gazed where he was pointing:

What Happens when You're behind schedule
What Happens when You’re behind schedule

These beautiful, unidentified-at-this-time flowers are located in an area scheduled for weeding and re-planting.   Had I not been distracted from this area by a host of other troubles, the short, spiny weedy looking things would have been pulled three weeks ago and I would have missed out on knowing the beauty already planted there.

Would have ignorantly ripped from the earth a perennial that apparently, really likes it here and flourishes.

This latest discovery has reinforced my belief that procrastination is not the horrible thing it’s made out to be…

And made me grateful for all that kept me from completing this area’s project ‘On Time’.


This morning, I also looked at an area that was completed on schedule – I was told I most likely would not get any blooms this year, but that come fall, I can dig, separate, replant and maybe next year…

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!   First bloom appearing!

Don't tell me which year I can bloom!
Don’t tell me which year I can bloom!


Have you ever noticed in a majority of stories, the giant is never afraid of the tiny humans/hobbits/etc., that have shown up?

How is that so?   Giants are always afraid of small things that move faster and have more options for hiding than they do…

Case in point – we have a mouse in the house.   A not-full-grown mouse, which means it has the requisite cuteness that protects all living things through their childhood.  Otherwise, there wouldn’t be any full grown cats or humans running around.

Oh, stop!  I’m just kidding…

I suspect it got here via the doggie door I installed so Oakley has the freedom to come and go as she pleases.   Which, ironically, gives other unwanted guests the same freedoms…

Mice do not particularly bother me – Years of buying in bulk, once a year, mean most of my food stuffs are double-suck-n-sealed, then placed in a plastic bucket.  Mice have so rarely inhabited houses with me that I really haven’t gotten big prejudices built up yet.

Given Oakley’s strange behavior this a.m., I came to the conclusion that something had gotten into the house – hopefully a mouse.

My mind did ponder on the possibility of a snake – which means I would have a heart attack or, if not, be packing a knapsack to hit the open road – leaving all my possessions behind.

And the first person who kindly posts a comment pointing out that if a snake were in the house, I wouldn’t be having mouse problems, will promptly be added to Santa’s Naughty List for eternity – – think carefully before trying to be helpful…


So now, I face a conundrum – I’m not fast enough or graceful enough to gently catch a mouse scared silly by the dog.

I really think it’s against the rules of war to use a mouse trap on a mouse probably not old enough to have the knowledge to evade them.   That’s sort of like sending in a missile launcher to a campful of small boys holding rocks – not really fair, is it?

I can’t put out a large cup with peanut butter in it, to lure them in then move them outside – -Oakley likes peanut butter – and so does the child-unit…

The 5-gallon bucket with 2″ of water in it doesn’t seem right either – I’ve heard drowning is a horrible way to go and what if it climbed in during the night and I, who can sleep through a freight train rolling through the living room, didn’t hear it’s squeaks for rescue?


Work is done for the day – I must come up with a plan…

Oakley- The Wonder Sleuth
Oakley- The Wonder Sleuth



You are born – some stuff happens – You Die.

The End.


Sadly, there have been times when this was my viewpoint.  Because it made for a rather boring and sad existence, I got better at making up stories – Which, in the end, is really what our Life is – a collection of stories.

I think everyone should publish their autobiography – if everyone did, and we were all voracious readers, we’d learn that we are not alone in our travails – that there is worse and better – that those we laud had their less-than-stellar moments and those we despise did a nice thing once or twice, as well.

We’d learn that the strength of the human spirit doesn’t just show up after natural disasters or man-made calamities.   We’d know that courage is expressed every day in the simple form of someone who gets out of bed and does what needs to be done, for one more day, even though they really don’t feel like it and yesterday’s script doesn’t indicate things are going to get any better.

We’d be inspired by those who took a beating and refused to give up.

We’d look at our own lives and not feel so alone in our journey…

Yup – everyone should write their autobiography – there should be a place where they could post their successes and failures.   A community where they meet with like-minded souls to give and receive the rich encouragement that is such a balm on a wounded soul…

Oh, wait, what am I thinking?

WordPress  is already here…

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