Years ago I asked my mom “How are you supposed to know who to marry?” Sure there is love and respect and attraction, but what is the secret sauce for making a marriage last? She gave some very sage advice.
Marry someone who is easy to live with.
Don’t marry a fixer upper.
When you choose a partner for life, you are choosing a roommate for life. You can love and respect a person to the moon and back, but if he drives you absolutely bananas to share a living space with on a daily basis then it’s just not going to work. Plain and simple.
And you aren’t going to change a person. People change, but on their own volition. If you marry someone you think you can fundamentally change neither of you will be happy. So don’t go in planning to shiplap your husband into modern farmhouse splendor. That’s just not how it works.
Mother Knows Best
I followed her advice and 6 years into my marriage I think she nailed it. Glen’s a killer roommate. We are completely aligned as to what constituents an “acceptably clean” home. There are never TV remote wars because we both have exceptional taste (and he hides in the basement when I watch The Bachelor). And at the end of the day, neither one of us is all that fancy.
In terms of the “fixer upper” rule? I wouldn’t change a hair on his handsome head. They are incredibly short hairs and really I don’t know what I could do with them anyways. Certainly not highlights.
Also I love him, like a lot.
But no marriage is perfect, and ours has its challenges. Well it has had 11 challenges actually. And they have all blurred together into a sea of orange, blue, and red.
A Broncos Fan and a Patriots Fan – A Forbidden Love
The odds were stacked against us from the start. A Colorado kid, Glen grew up idolizing John Elway and the Denver Broncos. A New England kid, I grew up thinking that Foxboro, Massachusetts was the state capital. Nay, the national capital. We weren’t coming into this marriage bandwagon fans, or casual fans, or “open to new ideas.” Glen and I had both set our stakes firmly in the ground back when we we needed adult supervision to put said stake in said ground. #safetyfirst.
364 days out of the year (or 363 depending on playoff scenarios) we support each others’ teams. We are both more enjoyable to be around when our teams are doing well so perhaps this support is selfish. But you know, it’s like they say. Love is patient, love is kind, love makes sacrifices that are really rooted in self-interest.
But when that day in November (or January) comes when the Broncos and Patriots face off things get, well, uncomfortable. I don’t know what is going through Glen’s mind on those days, largely because we take a vow of silence, but my thought process goes something like this.
I love my husband and I want him to be happy.
I love my team and I want them to be happy.
I love my parents and they raised me to be a Patriots fan.
I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my parents.
And Then There Were Four
Things started to get very real in the rivalry when our kids were born. We want them to be independent minded and free willed, but we also wanted to impose our own personal beliefs on them right out of the womb.
In 2016 at least half of our combined income went towards children’s size football apparel. We don’t buy stuff for ourselves, like ever. But we got a little ridiculous in our team loyalty one upsmanship. There were pajamas, and hats, and jerseys, and onesies, and bows… I don’t know why I am talking about this like it is past tense. All of this is still very much happening.
But my favorite outfits are their Etsy originals. Glen found a couple shops on Etsy that will make children’s football apparel with two teams on it. And they. are. awesome. I imagine I will need to get a newspaper route or something to supplement our income as we continue to shell out money for these outfits but fine, whatever. What time do you need me there? 4am? Cool.
May the Best Team Win (So the Patriots)
The Patriots and the Broncos play each other later tonight. So Glen and I are currently staring at each other icily. (And I think he put cinnamon in my scrambled eggs as a passive aggressive burn this morning.)
The kids are dressed appropriately as to not play favorites amongst their parents. (Although they really should, I birthed them for crying out loud.)
It will be a challenging day, but we’ll get through it. Someone is going to be happy, and the other person will begrudgingly be happy that the other one is happy. And tomorrow we will both still be easy to live with, and we still won’t try to change each other. So yeah, I think we’ll be just fine.
With a divided house but a happy home,
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