Sunday, December 28, 2008

18 years and counting

Twenty-one short years ago Lisa and I first met at BYU and she relentlessly begged me to go out with her. Three years and one mission later I finally gave in and we met up at the Chicago temple 18 years ago today. I do not want to wax poetic on how lucky she has been, but instead I want to address the question that most people ask; "What is your secret on being such a phenomanal power couple who are way more blissfully happy than we are?"

Well I will tell you it is not as hard as people think. After two years of struggling we spent the money and bought two separate, but equal duvets. That is the true inside secret to an enduring and happy marriage - each having your own blanket at night. Everything else like kids, money, and work will just take care of themselves.
Here is to 18 more.


meredith said...

Happy Anniversary!!!!!

BTW- when you and Lisa got married, I had just finished my 1st semester of college and had just turned 19. You've been married 1/2 my life :)

Nessa said...

I'm not going to say how old I was...congrats on your anniversary! I think that I am going to do the whole separate blanket thing!

Anonymous said...

I am just saying, sometimes marriages aren't what they seem. I really hope your guys marriage is what you say. I sometimes think people try to convince themselves than the audience. I sure do hope you two are as happy as you say your are. I am a person who has been through and in a marriage that what people see isn't always the way it is. My wife thinks she needs me to take care of her while I am the one who takes care of most everything and she doesn't even try. She thinks she runs the house when I am working and that is good enough. However, when I see others at church and they come up to me to talk about how great my wife is, I wish these people could walk in my shoes. I am not saying my wife is difficult. We have been married for years. But I think she feels that she needs to be like the other wives at church...the way the appear. I try to expain to her life is not what it always appear. We struggle as she tries to have the ladies at church like her based on trying to keep up with them. Our children are older where she could be out and contributing to the household. yet she claims the other wives have husbands that take care of them and she deserve the same. Like I said, she sees what seems to appear. I have a good job, a promising career, but I wish my wife would respect that and not been in such competition with the others at church.
As I said earlier, I tell her people are not as they appear. That every family/person has issues. However, because of the "happiness" these wives come across, is causing my wife to obsess about how to keep up with the mormon wives.
I am keeping this anonymous even though as much as I would love to say who I am, I can't let people know who my wife is as she works so hard playing into everyone's supposed happiness, to the point I am afraid to be the one who gets embarressed.

Husband of a envious wife

shawn said...

Hi, Anonymous.

You are right. NOTHING in our lives is as perfect as we would like to present to the rest of the world. But – perhaps mercifully – excellent people like David and Lisa share what IS good in their lives with the rest of us. Can you imagine what our society would be like if everyone just blurted out everything that was going on in their lives? There are so many things that I neither desire or am required to know about everyone in my sphere. There are instances where sharing details of relationships is necessary and even healthy. But this should be done in close friendship and confidence; not in a casual, open atmosphere like this blog.
I am disappointed that you have chosen to diminish the announcement of this special occasion with your own very personal suffering. If you are indeed struggling to come to terms with your relationship with your wife, I recommend that you consult your clerical authority or seek professional assistance. There are many excellent programs available to the community for reasonable rates – if not free. There are not nearly enough trips around the sun for each of us to spend any amount of time in misery. Godspeed to you.

meredith said...

I agree with Shawn. No one is perfect and your life isn't long enough to waste time pretending to be.
As for Lisa and David, I've been around them enough to know that they aren't perfect but truly are happy- and totally need the 2 blankets!!!

Lena said...

Wow! Such wisdom! I am going to tell my husband this secret so we can hope to make it to 18 years!

TStevens said...

I for one totally agree with anonymous. I see people all the time pretending to be something they are not, and end up being stressed out and unhappy. No matter how tightly people try to control things there will still be cracks that the truth shines through.

I have seen examples where people have read something I have posted, like Gunnar lying and sneaking out, and said something to the effect of "My child would never do that, we have raised them to be completely honest." They are deluding themselves and I hope it all works out for them in the future. I tend to think that by avoiding the small problems now they are building for a huge problem in the future.

I also think that the stuff I talk about is happening to everyone in some form or another, I just don't take the time to cover it up. It is too funny for the most part.

Of course, I am a idiot, what do I know

Lisa said...

I have found that competing against anyone but myself is a waste of time. Other people are going to see what they want, people for the most part are extremely self centered. Most are more concerned about what you think of them leaving them little time to think about you at all. It is silly to try to keep up with anyones apperance of bliss, we all have problems struggling with things we do not talk about with others. Life is full of challenges for all of us and maybe this is yours.
I stuggle everyday with my identity. Who am I really? I seem to need to be labeled as something and now that the kids are all in school I feel like I am losing the identity I have had for 15 years. We all struggle, just love her.

Anonymous said...

I apprecaite all your advice and suggestions. My wife and I spent much of the summer seeking counsling. A fews went well and I ad hope that she was seeing reality at church with the members. But than, a situation at church totally kicked out the progress out the back door.
The one thing about my wife that I admire and really I love her to death for, is how she takes her problems and sit them aside so she can be there for others. This last summer, we mentioned to a few that we were going on vacation. A week of relaxation of what members thought we were experinceing was actually a week of recovery for my wife. She insisted that we don't let others know of her surgery as she felt like members would think of her differenlty as she wanted to come across as a perfect wife. I know, I don't get it either. Why is it for women, going to church is a status thing when with men, and I am primarly speaking for myself, go to church, do my thing and get home and take a nap. I don't see men competeing at church where some women, my especailly, thinks there is something more going on at church than the gospel.
I have to agree with some of the things my wife talks about that goes on with the women of the church. On the other hand...I tell her to accept and move on. And what does she do...I get to sleep on the couch.
I would love to be a bug in Relief Society and listen to the women. My wife enjoys Relief Society, however, she has a few concerns, but yet...she works so hard to impress than she does trying to speak up...she worries about people not liking her. When she has a calling that takes her out of relief soceity, it is like she gets depressed as she feels that some of the women requested that she be "placed" someplace other than Relief Society. People, that month of trying to convice her to let it go, was a very tested month for me. Now granted, as I told her, that if she felt that way, she shouldn't have accepted the calling. She said she felt uneasy about that because she thought others knew of her calling and she didn't want them not to like her because of that.
So. If you can see where I am coming from. People, some weekends I tread coming to church with my wife because I know that the next 24 hours after church it is all about how she doesn't compare to others. There has been a few Sundays I have played "sick" so we didn't have to go to church. So that I wouldn't have to go through the ordeal. I wish I could confide in some of you as this has been very difficult. However, if I did, you would not believe that this is the life my wife and I have been living.
For a long time I blamed the church for supporting and suggesting a "role" that women should play in church. My wife was very independent, we both worked for years, we both raise the kids. And the past 5 years, that idea of what we were living changed nearly over night. Especially when she started to spend more time with the women at church she would come home and start talking about how the women at church stayed home all day and "worked" (housekeeping) when they wanted to. She couldn't grasp the extreme the women did when they where raising children and running the house... So one day, after coming home from work and we sat down to eat (take out - that should have been my first clue), she told me she quit her job and she planned to stay home. I was so dumbfounded...I can't even explain it to you. She has a great education, she worked for years...and now (we are still young enough that we need to work still), she wants to stop all together. Now granted. We can manage on my income alone. It wasn't as if there was a great need for her to work, but I tell yea, it made a difference, not just money but with her. Now, when I get home, I sometimes question if we need to hire a housekeeper - I haven't had a decent homemade meal for a long time. I ask her, and men, I have even begged her, to go back to work, or if anything, volunteer. Something. But she is like Nope. The ladies at church don't so why should I? She says their men work and the women stay home and do what they want. It is like talking to the wall with her. So, I waive my white flag. I give up. Now, I don't want you to take this all the wrong way, I love my wife, I would remarry her in a heart beat. She is my best friend. But I sometimes wonder what I can do to change this. I have even tried to bribe. I offered to buy her a new car if she would at least volunteer. I offered her new clothes, a shopping spree....nope, she felt she didn't want to dress better than anyone else at church because she wanted to "fit in".
Over and over I told her that everybodies life is not as they appear. People carry a front at church. But than she said to me that if women did that why not accept it and go along with it.
It is hard not to tell you who I am. some of you and I have chatted lately and I wanted to let go and ask for your insights. I know if you knew, you all would be shocked. That is why it is so hard to be real with anyone epescially with my wife. Our kids, thank goodness are out of the house. they are concerned with their mother, but than, they are living their lives. I have been seeing a counsler without my wife. She suggested that I write down my feelings. And I may have to start a blog. this is a great way to journal.
I am grateful that people like yoursleves have a good foundation for marriage. Thanks for the hard work that you put in to it...for men like me...I do value those that work hard at something even when life is difficult.
thanks for your advice.

Anonymous said...

I wish you could convince her to not care about what others think. You are hiding it well I cannot think of who you are. Good luck.

TStevens said...

Remember comments, not novels. When we start getting too long you should really start a blog and just post it. Blogs can be anonymous as well.