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Mature marital bliss

Anyone who has been married more than a week knows that dealing with a wife (perhaps the word “dealing” should be deleted, after all we are not talking about a card game, unless one considers poker) can be a tricky if not dicey situation. “Tricky” meaning the longer you’re married the more she’s into your tricks and “dicey” meaning you may be crazy enough to still try those tricks.

Now, before you go off on me, let me say that, of course, the blending of two lives in marital bliss is probably the second or third most rewarding event one can experience. As the marriage matures however, (dodged using the word “ages” because it would not be prudent), raising a good dog or restoring a classic car begins to creep in on one’s marital bliss and —well — you can see the ramifications.

A good dog, well fed and petted, on occasion, will give devotion and love regardless of the temperature in the room and a classic car requires only shelter, a restored engine and a loving touch with a chammy. Whereas a wife, augmented in certain ways through plastic surgery, may require years of additional maintenance and restoration, neither of which will guarantee her engine functions with any normalcy.

And so it is with this thought in mind that I bring you to an article I received via email the other day. It involves tips on how to deal with toddler tantrums but could be effective in dealing (there’s that word again) with situations in which you may find yourself.

The subject requires a translation of sorts and so that’s where we need a translation expert to help make sense of the nonsensical when it comes to the restored wife. My mission here is to simply suggest alternative behavior for the husband, realizing that all situations may not be the same.

When she asks, “How many times do I have to say the same thing?” You need to completely ignore this question because an answer means you can hear and have probably heard other things she’s said that you’re trying to forget.

If she says, “You are impossible!” You need to completely ignore this statement because, by definition, there is no cure for being impossible because if there were, it would not exist. Consider yourself special in this regard. The world is loaded with possibilities, but you, that wonderful being that you are, are impossible.

If she makes the huge mistake of saying, “I can’t deal with you right now!” Consider this as one of those rare gifts of freedom that come along only a few times in a marriage where you are going to give her “dealing space” to help her deal with you. It could be measured in miles or the amount of time it takes you to get back from wherever you go to help her deal. Just don’t go too far as you’ll have something else to deal with, when you return.

And lastly, if you hear, “I’m done talking.” Find a quiet place in which to give thanks to that higher power in your life. Light a candle, burn some incense, pass some gas (not too near the candle) or watch a golf tournament on television because you are indeed blessed. Relish and rejoice in the silence that has entered your life.

Right now you’re probably wondering what the No. 1 rewarding event in one’s life might be. Well, it just might be being able to remember that first day you spent together almost 37 years ago when you picked her up outside a dorm at Auburn on a motorcycle — years before you lost your hearing, learned how to deal and became impossible and she forgot how to talk.

A quote I found while doing some research into marriage is from George Bernard Shaw, who describes the potential state of mature marriages as such. “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.” As for the wife and me, it’s I can’t watch TV with the fan on, she can’t watch TV with the fan off. My how time flies.

Sonny Harmon is a professor emeritus at Georgia Military College. Visit his blog at http://sharmon09.blogspot.com.