In the beginning…

How long does a honeymoon last?  I’ve heard some people say that the first year is considered the honeymoon phase of marriage.  The concept of a honeymoon originated in a less civilized time when a man kidnapped a woman and hid out until her relatives stopped looking for her, roughly a month.  During this period of time they drank a fermented wine made from honey.  That explains the word, but it doesn’t sound at all like our modern concept of a fun-filled getaway where the newlyweds relax and spend time together without the stress and distractions of their regular routines.  From my own personal experience, I would say the honeymoon lasts until you get back home.  In my case, exactly a week.

The event that marked the end of my honeymoon was a bath.  More specifically, it was my brand new husband’s bath.  The evening after we returned from a wonderful, romantic week in Chicago, I was unpacking our suitcases and putting away laundry when he called to me from the living room to ask if I would run his bath water and put out some clean clothes for him to wear.  After a long pause, I said, “I guess I could.  Are you sick?”  To which he replied, “No, but my mom and my sisters always did that for me.”  Another long pause.  Trying to choose my words carefully, I finally said with as much love as I could muster at this point, “Well, I guess you know where they live.”  Now I’m guessing most men would recognize this as the end of the discussion, but my knight in shining armor was more persistent than most so he countered by saying, “If you really loved me, you would want to do this for me.”  I admit he made me think for a moment because I truly did love him, so if his argument had merit, I probably should comply with his request.  My contemplation was only momentary as I realized the flaw in his logic and pointed it out by replying, “If you really loved me, you wouldn’t expect me to wait on you when you are completely capable of doing it yourself.”  He ran his own bath that night.

Not many days later, we had our first fight as a married couple.  The details of the conflict have long since faded from my memory, but I will never forget how the exchange occurred and how we each responded.  We had a very short but disagreeable exchange about some inconsequential topic that ended with me yelling at him.  It ended because he had a visible, physical response to my shouting, and he abruptly turned around and walked out of the house.  I found this rather odd as vociferous arguments were not uncommon in my family and walking away was rarely the way we ended disagreements.  After about 30 minutes I was really wondering where he went and what he was doing.  Not wanting to appear worried about him, I quietly exited the back door and began to look around our country house.  I finally spotted him down by the garden felling weeds with a weed whip.  I returned to the house and waited for him to come back so we could make up.  It took him almost 2 hours to finally come back inside, not because he was that angry, but because he was totally unprepared to deal with my style of conflict resolution.  His family dynamic was much more passive-aggressive, rather than the in-your-face, lay your cards on the table approach I grew up with.  He looked so forlorn when he came in prepared to head for divorce court that I really regretted not having better prepared him during our courtship.  He has since learned how to stand his ground, and he even wins an occasional argument, but I think it was pretty apparent to him that the ride from here on out might get a little bumpy at times.

2 Responses to “In the beginning…”

  1. Glenn Wiebe says:

    Curious what you made him for dinner after you got his slippers?

  2. Terri says:

    I don’t remember what I made him for dinner, but since he’s the boss, I’m sure I made whatever he told me to!

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to RSS feed