A Little Adventure Never Hurts

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I really believe the main cause of divorce in this country is boredom. Think about it. During the honeymoon everything is new and exciting. Then reality hits. The focus becomes survival and after a while all of the excitement is gone. After a while, he has an affair and she sit around with girlfriends trashing their husbands.

OK, that was a little dramatic and oversimplified. The point is it doesn’t have to be that way. Crystal and I have never been the type to just sit around the house and complain. We like to be with each other and celebrate whenever possible. Our girls know that, and help whenever possible. Today was Crystal’s birthday. When we came home from a trip yesterday our youngest had cleaned and decorated the house, complete with streamers and a birthday poster. I bought the cake and her gift, a tablet. My hope is that now she can read books on line and I can finally stop building book cases.

I took her out for a steak dinner and she is now downstairs with our daughter watching a sad movie. The theme of today’s celebration was, this has got to be better than last year. Last year was one of the adventures. You know the type, they are only fun to remember, not to go through. I had a great plan. We would drive the sixty miles to Columbus, eat a nice restaurant, then go to see an outdoor play in a beautiful city park. Dinner went great. Crystal was excited about the play. We were still a little early, so I decided to take the scenic route through downtown. We were close to downtown when the weather made an abrupt change. It was one of those fronts where it went from blue to dark grey in ten minutes. The wind picked up, thunder and lightning came all over the sky. Then rain came in buckets. It was rush hour and the traffic just inched along. Large tree branches start breaking off of trees and being pushed across the road. It became difficult to maneuver. At one point it looked like the rain was going straight sideways. Then the power and streetlights went out. Emergency vehicles were going in every direction. You can imagine how well the traffic moved. A lot of the smart drivers had pulled off the road, which helped us crazies. We knew the play would be cancelled, so we continued home. The highlight of our trip was when the expressway traffic was at a dead stop, nothing moving in either direction. I finally figured out that power lines had fallen across the road. I watched as a couple of SUVs slid across the grass strip to head back on the empty return side of the road. The fun came when I decided to try. I put the Honda Accord into a controlled skid and kept going with little trouble. As I drove, Crystal started screaming, and switched to pleading with God. It took several minutes for her breathing to return to normal. I said, see, piece of cake. She called me a brilliant man, or some antonym of it, and we continued home.

Long story short, some three hours later, we returned home and ate Ruben sandwiches by candlelight (the power was out). How romantic were we? The point is Crystal still likes to tell that story, as one of the many adventures we have shared in our marriage. No boredom here.

Crystal’s corner

I am glad that Ron is writing about couples celebrating holidays including birthdays.  For a while in our marriage my birthdays were disappointing.  Ron, like most of the guys I knew, just didn’t seem to know how to celebrate them.  In my family we make a big deal about birthdays and most holidays.  There is always cake, presents, balloons and decorations and many times, games or an event to attend.

When we were first married, Ron didn’t want to make a big deal out of any holidays except maybe Christmas or our anniversary. He also thinks that you should appreciate the people that you care about on a regular basis.  He does that often.  He buys me flowers, will get me candy that I like or a muffin, or do something to please me for no reason except that I am special to him.  I really appreciate this, but I wanted my birthday to be a bigger deal.  Most of my girlfriends were having the same problem with their boyfriends and husbands.   I think part of the problem is that social events are planned and taken care of by women.  We are more detail oriented and like to choose presents, wrapping paper, decorations and bake sumptuous desserts.  Ron, being an only child, did not have much to do with planning any holidays.  His mother was very good at it and liked to do it.  My parents included us in the planning, decorating, baking, etc. so it was more of a group effort.

Eventually, after we learned to communicate better, he changed.  He thought previously that if my family was doing something for my birthday, then he didn’t have to do much except buy me some kind of present usually wrapped in a plastic bag.(He doesn’t seem to be fond of wrapping paper, but sometimes now he puts the gifts in a gift bag).   He realized that what he did was more important to me than what my family did.  I also learned (and this is important) that basically most women need to plan their own special days.  When I told him I wanted to go canoeing or to a play or a special movie and eat at a certain restaurant for my birthday, then he complied completely.  The girls have helped a lot too.  They call him ahead of time and tell him this is our plan, what is your plan? They know me very well and know what I will like.

This year the girls surprised me with an outing to see Wicked in Columbus.  It was fabulous.  Michelle planned it and made two kinds of desserts and got all four us together in the same place at the right time.  This, believe me, is not easy to do.  None of them had ever seen a Broadway play.  We all loved it.  It was very special and I will always remember it.

Last year’s disaster birthday now makes us think almost anything better than that is a good birthday.  I was tempted to hide under the bed this year because last year it was so scary being in that horrible storm.  If we had had any idea that it was coming, we would have been closer to home. I think there was a 30% chance of rain.  The play we were going to see was outside.   But the dinner by candlelight back at our house was romantic.  Sometimes it is good when the lights go out (for a short while).


After the Rain

Category: Make Marriage Last

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