I overheard an enlightening conversation between an older woman and a newlywed.
The venerable woman mentioned that she and her husband were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. The 20-something gal asked, “How do you like somebody for thirty years?”
With wisdom born of a thousand makeup kisses, the elder replied, “Well, you may only like him for 15 years, but you love him for 30.”
“You see, the longer you’re married, you and your husband grow weird in the same way — a way nobody else understands. It’s that weirdness that binds you together.”
The truth resonated with me. Weird isn’t always bad. Weird can be good. Weird is often why we fall in love over and over again — with the same person. Weird is superglue in a relationship.
Take my husband’s weirdness. I’m the first to sing Chuck’s praises for all the chores he performs around the house — vacuuming, making beds, washing dishes. Some land in the dishwasher, but most he stacks in the dish drainer.
What is it with men and competition? Every day’s a world championship to see how many dishes he can amass into a monstrous mountain before the whole thing avalanches.
Really? I pointed out that washing dishes is great, but it would be even more helpful if he put them away. Nope.
So, I progressed to nagging. Then resentment and seething. My tiny seed of anger sprouted into a towering beanstalk.
Then one day everything changed. My dear friend, Rita, lost her husband to cancer at age 57.
As I stood in my kitchen, weeping with Rita on the phone, my eyes landed on that ridiculous mound in the dish drainer. Somehow, this time it didn’t needle me. I knew Rita would give anything to have her husband’s weird, maddening habits back for one minute.
And from that moment on, although the looming precipice threatening to bury the kitchen didn’t change, my perspective did. I was able to release my annoyance — let it go.
I’ve learned not to let emotional gaps widen to the point that they form unbridgeable chasms, splitting asunder that sacred union we vowed to cherish until death do us part. Life’s just too short.
Why not embrace the weirdness?
“Relish life with the spouse you love each and every day of your precarious life. Each day is God’s gift … Make the most of each one!” — Ecclesiastes 9:9 MSG.