There are moments that make a marriage. There are moments that make relationships and trust and love.
My wife and I have been together over eleven years now. I can think of different moments that have made up our relationship. Most recently, we went to a garden center and bought pots and herbs and tomato plants. I spent a morning with the boys planting them and moving potting soil bags etc.
Then it rained. For days. I realized on day four of the rain the pots had no holes in the bottom as I saw my precious little plants drowning in water in the pots. I could see them from my bedroom window when I woke up.
I went downstairs and my wife is a much better morning person than I am. I told her my pot/plant drowning dilemma and looked at her. She knew that look. She sighed, and took a screwdriver and went outside to poke holes in the pots. It was before 8 A.M. as the boys wake up at 7 A.M.
I heard some banging and yelling because I slid open the door to the deck as it was finally sunny and nice. I asked a couple times if she was okay, and I wouldn’t say she swore at me verbally but she definitely was in her head.
I joined her outside with a big sharp knife. I found my precious pots disrupted and potting soil all over the ground around them. I don’t really know what happened before I got out there. But I just sliced some slits in the side of the pots and we laughed, well I laughed, she sorta sputtered about my stupid plants and pots and why didn’t I notice there weren’t holes in the bottom of them when I was planting them.
It was a moment of fun after a month of loss and grief, and reminder of what makes us fit one another.
There was this one time she got some sort of adhesive stuck on her hands. I was quietly reading my book on the chair and I heard her freaking out in the other room, this was years ago pre-boys, and I ignored her as I liked my book.
At some point she freaked out more loudly and I looked up from my book to see her glaring at me and I may have laughed because she still looked distressed at her sticky hands and I said, “What?!” she said/yelled, “You didn’t do anything!” I said, “What did you want me to do???” she said, “Well you could have googled it or something!” and then I cracked up even more. Then she eventually started laughing.
Now whenever one of us is in severe distress about something we always say the other one should have googled it after.
There was one time I woke up in the middle of the night (pre-boys) and heard my cats fighting in the basement. Or I thought I did. And I screamed and stumbled out of bed and started running toward the basement. Naked. Yes I sleep naked.
My wife woke up and also screamed and actually screamed (not a little scream, I mean like a big we are dying scream) the entire way following me into the basement with no idea why she was screaming or where we were going or why.
We got to the basement and my cats weren’t fighting.
It was a cat fight outside.
My wife was now fully awake and aware that we both ran through the house screaming and I was naked and we were now in our basement. And our cats were fine.
I am laughing with tears in my eyes as I write this because these are the moments that make us. These memories are not big events but they are small parts of our journey together. The laughter and the crazy are what holds us together during the sadness and the grief.
Marriage has brought me to my knees. Marriage has lifted me up. My marriage has shaped me whether I wanted it to or not. And the small, hysterical, crazy, moments are what makes my marriage survive and thrive.
*****This can be generalized to heterosexual marriages also….as gay marriages are shockingly similar to heterosexual marriages.