Quote of the Day: For Better or for Worse

 

Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can’t sleep with the window shut, and a woman who can’t sleep with the window open. —George Bernard Shaw

On so many levels, this quotation calls out for recognition—and a guffaw– if you’ve been married more than one week. When we first marry, we are basking in the glow of love, dreams, possibilities, and the future. And then reality hits, and we realize that marriage isn’t as glamorous as we expected.

It’s better.

For those of us who have been married for a while, it’s easy to talk about the trials of marriage, the ups and downs: periods of financial stress, personal losses, uncertainty, and unexpected changes. We tend to focus on those challenges we overcame, because we know of many people who don’t find their way through them, and finally give up the demands of those times.

But I think it’s also worthwhile to reflect on the joys, silly and humorous times in our marriages, because those are the periods when we are strengthened to get through the anxious and uncertain times. So, I’ve decided to share some of those times with all of you, and I’d love to hear your stories, too.

  • There was the time when my husband forgot to put the cover on the popcorn popper after starting it up. We’d both left the kitchen, and I was the first to wonder about the strange sounds emanating from the room. He was horrified, as popped corn was flying all over the kitchen! But when we both realized what had happened, we broke into the giggles—and salvaged what we could, since that was the last of the popcorn in the jar.
  • I remember the time we were horsing around and my husband had his arms around me from behind—at the top of a split-level stairway. As I pushed back, he lowered himself to the ground, and we slid backward down the stairs. No one was hurt—I was upset at first, but he definitely took the brunt of the fall!
  • We were preparing for a Denver Broncos football game on TV, and made the mistake of setting down a plate of salami, cheese, and crackers on the ottoman—with our little cockapoo nearby; it was too delicious for her to resist. When we shouted at her sampling the plate, she gobbled down as much as she could before we could reach her. I’ve never seen a dog eat so fast!
  • My husband woke up coughing during the night, and tried to quiet himself by sitting on the ledge that goes around the bed—and promptly fell asleep. Unfortunately, he had a sliding glass door frame a couple of feet away, and as he dozed, he fell forward and hit his head on the railing of the door. Do you know how much a person bleeds when his forehead is pierced? I jumped out of bed, wondering what had happened, and my hubby calmly told me that he’d hit his head and there was going to be a lot of blood, so I shouldn’t panic. I grabbed a towel, which he put to his forehead, and he promptly walked to the bathroom sink nearby and proceeded to rinse his forehead, over and over again. (He was still half asleep.) It was so bizarre that it was funny! I finally persuaded him to stop rinsing and to apply pressure to the cut and I put a pressure bandage on it. No more dozing on the edge of the bed for him!!

There are many more stories to remember, particularly on this particular day.

We were married July 7, 1974, and we both know how blessed we are.

I’ll end with this quotation by William O. Douglas—

Marriage is a coming together for better or for worse, hopefully enduring, and intimate to the degree of being sacred.

Now it’s your turn!

Published in Marriage
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  1. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Happy Anniversary!

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stad (View Comment):

    Happy Annivesary!

    Thanks, Stad. It seems impossible that we’ve been married 47 years. Jerry says I robbed the cradle and grabbed him when he was 14.

    So where’s your story? I’m sure you and Neutral Observer had some funny experiences!

    • #2
  3. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    We were married in 1979. What amazes me is how fast the years have flown by yet many things seem like they happened yesterday. I would have loved to see the popcorn flying everywhere. We both have made kitchen booboos, too, and laughed. I think one secret is laughing together rather than criticizing.

    • #3
  4. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    Happy Anniversary Susan – and Jerry of course.  My husband and I are 10 years and some months behind you two. I love Jerry’s ruffled shirt, wide lapels, and big tie. Lots of disco songs at the wedding? Many happy returns.

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    EHerring (View Comment):

    We were married in 1979. What amazes me is how fast the years have flown by yet many things seem like they happened yesterday. I would have loved to see the popcorn flying everywhere. We both have made kitchen booboos, too, and laughed. I think one secret is laughing together rather than criticizing.

    So true, @eherring! My husband can be really hard on himself, and we’ve both gotten much better about minimizing problems and laughing at ourselves. So much better for the marriage!

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    colleenb (View Comment):

    Happy Anniversary Susan – and Jerry of course. My husband and I are 10 years and some months behind you two. I love Jerry’s ruffled shirt, wide lapels, and big tie. Lots of disco songs at the wedding? Many happy returns.

    Let’s just say I wasn’t involved with his wardrobe selection, but he loved it, so it was fine with me. Thanks for the good wishes, @colleenb. And congrats on your many years of marriage bliss!

    • #6
  7. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    A blessed and delightful anniversary to both of you!

     

    • #7
  8. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Happy anniversary, Susan. Blessings on you both.

    • #8
  9. Mountie Coolidge
    Mountie
    @Mountie

    Wonderful post Susan, and such a beautiful couple. Your husband is  blessed.

    My wife and I have been married for 35 years. When I look back at it I have profound gratitude to my wife and the fact that she married me. It’s good to consider the funny and happy events that you share. And I am gratefully for those as well. But now, almost 70 years old, I’m grateful for two things: 1- that I have someone with me that remembers the journey:  the good, the bad and the sad; I can’t think of anything worse than to be alone at the end with no one that remembers it with you.  2- I’ve had moments of pure joy during  my  married life  but my life has had times of great disappointment and grief. There were times of overselling sadness.  I didn’t have to shoulder that alone. My wife, my partner, my companion  carried that burden with me. Beyond love, which is definitely there, you ‘ll find gratitude for someone that was not just there  during the dark nights but shouldered  some of it for me and with me. And without being maudlin she’s there to remember these hard times as well, for I still carry those memories with me. But I also have someone that reminds me “But Jim, you survived, thats good enough, that’s all that really matters now”.

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Mountie (View Comment):

    Wonderful post Susan, and such a beautiful couple. Your husband is blessed.

    My wife and I have been married for 35 years. When I look back at it I have profound gratitude to my wife and the fact that she married me. It’s good to consider the funny and happy events that you share. And I am gratefully for those as well. But now, almost 70 years old, I’m grateful for two things: 1- that I have someone with me that remembers the journey: the good, the bad and the sad; I can’t think of anything worse than to be alone at the end with no one that remembers it with you. 2- I’ve had moments of pure joy during my married life but my life has had times of great disappointment and grief. There were times of overselling sadness. I didn’t have to shoulder that alone. My wife, my partner, my companion carried that burden with me. Beyond love, which is definitely there, you ‘ll find gratitude for someone that was not just there during the dark nights but shouldered some of it for me and with me. And without being maudlin she’s there to remember these hard times as well, for I still carry those memories with me. But I also have someone that reminds me “But Jim, you survived, thats good enough, that’s all that really matters now”.

    Oh my goodness, @mountie, such beautiful sentiments.  I’m so moved. Thank you for sharing them here, and it’s so touching to hear how much you two mean to each other and have supported each other. What a wonderful anniversary gift for me!

    • #10
  11. Some Call Me ...Tim Coolidge
    Some Call Me ...Tim
    @SomeCallMeTim

    Great post, as always.  Thank you for sharing.

    Mrs. Tim and I will hit 41 years on July 12.  Lots of ups and downs, though mostly ups.

    With apologies to GBS, the toilet seat is the true test.

    • #11
  12. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    That blond is the picture is pretty hot. 

    • #12
  13. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    This story is funnier in retrospect than it was at the time. And it just happened a couple of months ago.

    Have you ever noticed that Dawn dish soap is the same color as the Jet Dry rinse liquid that goes into a receptacle in the door of the dishwasher? Well Mr AZ tends to be a little absentminded at times and he is in charge of all things dishwasher. So one morning after he had started it going I happened into the kitchen and noticed suds pouring out of the dishwasher onto the floor. Well, you guessed it – he put Dawn into the rinse area instead of Jet Dry. So of course I started to solve this problem the same way I do all others – I went to the internet. Would you believe he is not the only person to have ever done this? I headed down to Ace to buy a mini shop vac and we spent that whole day sucking the Dawn out of the dw door and running it on rinse multiple times until the suds died down.

    But I also have to give him my most profound gratitude for sticking with me when I was diagnosed with lupus when we had been married barely a year. Lupus can be hard to diagnose when all you can tell the doc is “I don’t feel good”. I’m sure it looked to him (and my docs) that I was just looking for attention. But he believed me that I was sick. And endeared himself to my mother forever. We just celebrated number 30 (late start, second marriage for us both).

    Happy Anniversary Susan!

    • #13
  14. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    Great post! We celebrated our 44th two weeks ago.

    • #14
  15. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):
    Have you ever noticed that Dawn dish soap is the same color as the Jet Dry rinse liquid that goes into a receptacle in the door of the dishwasher? Well Mr AZ tends to be a little absentminded at times and he is in charge of all things dishwasher. So one morning after he had started it going I happened into the kitchen and noticed suds pouring out of the dishwasher onto the floor. Well, you guessed it – he put Dawn into the rinse area instead of Jet Dry. So of course I started to solve this problem the same way I do all others – I went to the internet. Would you believe he is not the only person to have ever done this?

    It’s not a marriage story but comes from my father’s  bachelor days. He and his roommates moved into a house that contained the first dishwasher any of them had ever seen. Such convenience! When it came time for its inaugural run, instead of dishwasher detergent, they used the laundry variety, as it was all they had.

    Soap is soap, right?

    The entire ground floor was covered with suds to the depth of about two feet.

    • #15
  16. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Great post! We celebrated our 44th two weeks ago.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    More ruffles! Maybe this is a style trend that will make a comeback? Er – no. Beautiful couple – especially that young chick next to OldPhil.

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Some Call Me …Tim (View Comment):
    Mrs. Tim and I will hit 41 years on July 12.  Lots of ups and downs, though mostly ups.

    Well done, Tim! Congratulations in advance!

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    That blond is the picture is pretty hot.

    Oh, Henry, you’re making me blush. Not the same blond I used to be. Not even blond!

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):
    We just celebrated number 30 (late start, second marriage for us both).

    Well done, JustMe! 30 years for number two is awesome. You got a good one, too, the dishwasher notwithstanding!

    • #19
  20. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Great post! We celebrated our 44th two weeks ago.

    What a handsome couple, then and now! 44 years and counting–awesome!

    • #20
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    If anyone is wondering, the little cockapoo in the second picture is the one that tried to steal our salami! She’s Muffin, and I still miss her.

    • #21
  22. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring
    @WillowSpring

    Percival (View Comment):
    Soap is soap, right?

    This is great!  For about 50 years, I thought I was the only one that did this.  It was my first apartment and it had a dish washer as well as washer/dryer.  Why would there be two types of detergent?

    • #22
  23. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Happy Anniversary!  You are a beautiful couple!

    • #23
  24. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring
    @WillowSpring

    Happy Anniversary!

    Mrs. Spring and I have  you beat by a couple of  years (Jan 22, 1972).  If  you count the 8 years or so we were dating/engaged before that, we have been together for about 57 years.  I was the ultimate cradle robber, I guess.  We waited for her to graduate and she worked hard to finish one semester early.

    That is great for me – my long term memory has never been good, but there is virtually no movie, restaurant or other event that wasn’t with her.  In addition, she remembers it (and what we were wearing and so on…)  We both like the same old movies and often quote the dialog to each other at appropriate times.  I’d hate to have to break in some young thing.

    Your story about the cockapoo reminds me of one New Years evening when we had our son, daughter in law and grandson over.  We made the snacks to have, put them on the coffee tabke  and then showed our grandson our midnight tradition of turning off the lights and then lighting all the candles in the house. (we have a lot, since the sconces go with the old house).  When we finished the tour, we saw that “Scruffy the wonder dog” had snuffled up almost all the caviar and was starting on the crackers.  Somehow, our son and daughter in law weren’t so interested in the snacks.

    • #24
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    Soap is soap, right?

    This is great! For about 50 years, I thought I was the only one that did this. It was my first apartment and it had a dish washer as well as washer/dryer. Why would there be two types of detergent?

    I’m sure it’s a conspiracy against men, @willowspring!

    • #25
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    WillowSpring (View Comment):
    “Scruffy the wonder dog” had snuffled up almost all the caviar

    Well at least he had good taste! You and your wife sound like you’ve made a great pair! Thanks for sharing the stories; I love them all!

    • #26
  27. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Susan Quinn:

    Now it’s your turn!

    Can’t beat it.  This was really good.

    (Note: But in defense of brides who think they are going to improve their husbands: you probably did eventually get him to lose the graduated-tint aviators.)

    • #27
  28. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn:

    Now it’s your turn!

    Can’t beat it. This was really good.

    (Note: But in defense of brides who think they are going to improve their husbands: you probably did eventually get him to lose the graduated-tint aviators.)

    He figured out the glasses on his own. But I was, early on, one of those “I’m going to make you into the perfect husband” wives. What a pain in the neck I was! But I figured out that I’d married a wonderful man who was imperfect (but so was I!) and if kept at changing him, I was going to destroy the marriage eventually. Thank goodness, I wised up!

    • #28
  29. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Both pictures (is the second one a painting from a photo?) are totes adorbs. 😍

    • #29
  30. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Both pictures (is the second one a painting from a photo?) are totes adorbs. 😍

    Nope. We had it taken when we lived in CO in a quiet area nearby. By the time I scanned it in, it wasn’t in the best shape. It’s just a regular ol’ photo. Thanks for the sweet remark.

    • #30