Outdoorsy Hijinks (As Promised)

Saturday, just after noon Sean and I loaded up the kids and the gear, as an aside can I just ask why SO MUCH gear is necessary?  Honestly, we were planning on one night and we had the back of the van full and then more stuff on the floor in front of the little kids and then more stuff packed in next to the bigger kids and then, MORE stuff on the floor in front of me and then… Anyway, it’s ridiculous.  So we loaded up the kids and the gear and headed up big cottonwood canyon to spruces campground.  By the time we got there, at 1:00ish on a Saturday afternoon I was afraid that there wouldn’t be any good sites left.  But there were and we got an amazing site right in the middle of the campground but weirdly all alone.  We had a ton of space and there were little trails and creeks (pronounced cricks, of course) and it was great.

So we got everything all set up and had some lunch and the kids ran around on the trails and “accidentally” stepped and then fell into the creeks (cricks)  and by about 3:45 I was sleepy (The fact that I had stayed up until 1:30 the night before my have contributed to my fatigue but I doubt it).  So I asked Sean if he minded keeping an eye on the kidlets while I had a little lie down.  He did mind (I know I would have) but he told me to go anyway (isn’t he great?) so I went to the tent to have my little lie down.  roughly half an hour later I was awoken by a crash.  For a moment I was stunned first because I didn’t know that I had fallen asleep and then because my face really hurt.  I sat up to feel blood streaming down my face and more pain.

The lantern that I had hung in the center of the tent when setting up our little home away from home had fallen from its hook, landing, and near as I can tell, right between my eyes.

I had a cut, a pretty good deep one, just above my right eye, another on the right side of my nose and for a little while there I thought my nose was broken.

We got me cleaned up and looked at the cut trying to decide if it needed stitches, or maybe just a butterfly only there were no butterflies in the stupid first aid kit that we had. We looked around to make sure that we hadn’t missed any injuries and then I decided to drive down to my hospital (it was only about 20 minutes away after all) and at least get some more, better supplies, at best get someone to sew me up.

Well, I didn’t get anyone to sew me up but I did get some glue and a steri-strip and some ibuprofen.  I decided that my nose wasn’t broken despite the audible crunching of cartilage (it was only the septum and there’s nothing they can do about that anyway) and headed back up to the campsite.

Where we had dinner and s’mores and went to bed and got up and look at that, I’m fine.  (Although sadly, I’m not sure that I’ll be able to get the blood out of my Death Cab for Cutie t-shirt.  And the lantern is broken and probably not salvageable.)

But given the fact that I now have this head lac and a nose lac and a swollen nose and my left eye is black (well, ok, not black but blueish) and I walked around all week last week with a goose egg and then a bruise and then a yellow and green fading bruise (that’s when they really look the best, I think ) on my forehead (I walked into my front door, I swear it)  I’m waiting for someone to sit me down and tell me that I don’t have to stay with an abuser.

Oh and the kids had a great time.

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Deal Breakers Revisited

For those of you just joining us, I posted earlier this week about deal breakers, things that would cause you to end your marriage.  I got some interesting comments and not a lot of disagreement. Not that I expected much, I feel like a know most of my readers (or at least my commenters) pretty well, and they’re (you’re) a bunch who take their (your) marriages pretty seriously.  There’s not a whole lot more to say but I did promise to weigh in and  I had at least one reader who mentioned that she wanted to hear what I had to say.  So here goes.

As far as abuse: sexual is an automatic later gator; physical is almost impossible to say because that’s so not Shaun, but I agree that those who are physically abusive were almost always raised that way and have serious, self control, anger management issues, and basically, they never just do it once so I’d probably have to go.  Mental abuse is a lot harder to pin down.  As a teenager I dated a guy who was somewhat mentally abusive, so I do actually know something about this and it’s really hard to say, of course I’d love to say that I’d leave but the reality of it is that it starts so slowly and gets into your head so insidiously that I probably wouldn’t, even though I should.

Infidelity (and I include porn as well as all forms of sexual, as well as emotional infidelity in this) is not an automatic deal breaker for me.  Nor is it for most of you which I was delighted to see.  That being said, I can also see that an extreme case maybe wouldn’t be something that I could get over.  (I think I could work through some kissing, I could probably even work through some sex but a prolonged affair, or a severe porn addiction, would a whole other matter.) So it could very well end up breaking me after all.  And of course it all depends on the attitude and commitment level of both parties.

I wouldn’t leave over Sean’s leaving the church, nor joining another one. (In fact, I think I’d prefer him an active member of some religion or other to the alternative.)  That being said I wouldn’t allow his actions in that area to dictate mine.  I know a woman who left the church shortly after her husband did “for family unity” and I think that’s crazy.  Attend church with him if you feel like you must, but to turn your back on promises and covenants that you’ve made simply because your husband wants to drink and you don’t want to make him feel bad (because that’s all that really is) that’s just silly.

Due to a past that’s really none of your business (because it’s not my story to tell) I couldn’t and wouldn’t allow any kind of drinking.  It’s just too close to a very dangerous and very steep slope for me, so I would actually leave over a second drink (I think I would a allow a little leeway after the first, but one more and I’m gone daddy, gone.) but that’s just with Shaun.  If I were married to say, your husband, I’d probably allow it.  And I want to say here that I wouldn’t allow it in my home, but if it came right down to let him have a beer in my living room or divorce him, I’d probably put up with some Budweiser in the fridge.  (I know that this all sounds needlessly strict and probably a little crazy to the few of my readers who aren’t LDS but what can I say?  We’re a crazy bunch.)

There’s not a lot that would make me leave and at the same time, there is.  Really what it all boils down to  (as multiple people mentioned) is a desire and a commitment, on the part of both members of the couple, to make it work.   So while at the outset I’d love to say that I wouldn’t leave over something like, his being unwilling to help around the house, eventually, after we had talked about it enough times and he was really patently unwilling to do anything but go to work and then sit on the couch and play Gears of War, I’d probably leave.

One thing I did think was interesting in the comments was people saying that they would leave but not divorce (I remember that particularly in merrychris’s comment) and I disagree with that.  If I’m gone I’m all the way gone.  That’s not to say that if upon my leaving Sean were to be stunned and shaken enough to see the error of his ways and really truly resolve to improve I wouldn’t even consider coming back, I absolutely would.  But I agree with Annette, leaving is not something that should be undertaken until you’re willing to follow through and stay gone.

But I don’t believe that we were meant to be alone.  There are times when it’s inescapable and someone has to be alone, even has to raise kids alone, but I believe that that is just not the way it’s supposed to be.  So if things had gone bad enough that I had to leave I wouldn’t be keeping one foot in that door, I’m gone and I’m divorcing so that maybe, just maybe, I can find someone else and try it all over again.

All of the preceding being said, I love and whole-heartedly agree with what a bunch of you said about how you don’t really know what you can tolerate and what you can’t until you’re there.  But I do think most of us at least have a starting off point and this is mine.

______

This has ended up being a lot longer of a post than I anticipated.  And unfortunately, it’s kind of a downer.  Sorry about that.  I do want to make it clear that I’m not bringing it up for any reason in particular.  Sean and I have been together for a blissful (*snort*) ok, well a pretty darn good 11 years now, and I’m being completely honest when I say that I’m still loving it.  In fact, I disagree with that line that I remember getting roughtly 800 times just before I got married, you know the one about how marriage is hard.

Honestly, I don’t think it is.

But that, my friends, is a post for another day.

Deal Breakers

When I got married I did so with the belief that that was it, it’s over, amen.  And we were going to live happily ever after of course.

Well, ten and a half years later we’re still kickin’ and that is an accomplishment in and of itself (although whether we’re kicking each other or kicking together against the world depends on the day) but it has required a lot of compromise and possibly even more of just letting things go.

Case in point: I hate Sean’s hair.  It’s not just that it’s long, I don’t mind a little extra length, but it’s way too long.  I think it makes him look like a guy who graduated from high school in the early 90’s and never really got over it.  (There may be some argument there that that’s exactly what he is, but that’s not who he is to me, and don’t I know him better than anyone?)  Regardless of the reason for the hair he likes it so he keeps it.  And what am I going to do?  Divorce him over it?  How stupid would that be?  And unless I’m really willing to go there I don’t see the point of taking some kind of a stand.

I have a friend who got a job somewhere int he pacific northwest (I don’t even remember where, we’re not that close.) So he packed up his young bride and they moved.  She wasn’t happy there.  About six months into it she came back to Utah to visit her mother.  And refused to leave.  That’s it, the end, she was not going back so if he wanted to be with her he’d better find a way to move back.  He did, but unsurprisingly, their marriage didn’t see the end of that year.  When one member of that union is willing to throw their weight around like that (or is willing to risk their marriage on getting what they want) it just can’t last long can it?

So what is a deal breaker?  I have some thoughts on this topic but I’m not going to go into it yet (because obviously, I would state my arguments so eloquently that you’d all just agree with me and then this couldn’t be a discussion) but I’d like to hear what you think.

Would you leave over hair length?  Over where you lived?  How about cheating?  Always or are there cases of cheating that you could work through?  Does cheating just mean sex?  How about a little making out?  Would you leave over his (or her) leaving the church (whatever church you belong to)?  Joining another church?  Drinking?  Social drinking when out with friends?  Drinking in your home?  Smoking? Socially?  At home?  Around the kids?

Where do you draw that line?  Do you even know?

Really, I’m interested.

And the Rest, as They Say, is History

You asked for it so here goes.

Sean and I met sometime in the fall of 1997. I had a room mate whom I hated didn’t love and I was good friends with his room mate.  So I spent a lot of time in his apartment.  I have no memory of meeting him, our eyes did not meet across a crowded room, angels did not sing, in fact, for a long time he was just Micah’s big grumpy room mate.  (And now he’s my big grumpy room mate.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.)

And then we started to hang out.  As in all of us.  We went to movies, we went to eat, we rented movies and watched them at their apartment.  And that was fine, he was a nice guy, no big deal.

And then one day Micah told me that I was going to have to start dating Sean.  (Apparently, Sean and Micah had had a conversation or two about me.)  I laughed.  As in that’s ridiculous.  He wasn’t my type, he was a BYU boy, he had short hair for the love of Pete, I’d never dated a guy anything like him.  Or so I thought.

But the idea stuck.  And every time I saw him after that the idea was more and more interesting.

Then one night while we were watching a movie at their apartment Micah got tired, too tired to stay up and watch with us.  (I have no information as to whether Micah was actually tired or trying to help us out.)  So he went to bed and we stayed up.  On the couch.  Watching the Shawshank Redemption (talk about a romantic movie, woohoo!).  And by the end of the movie we were holding hands.  And when he drove me home, I kissed him good night.

Why?  I have no idea.  I had no idea by the time I made it into my apartment.

Luckily, Sean (and Micah) spent the next few days in Vernal (with Sean’s family) so I didn’t have to see him and deal with what I had done.

Unluckily, (or maybe still luckily, depending on your point of view) the room mate with whom I did not see eye to eye and I got into a huge HUGE fight that weekend (at one point I may have tried to hit her with a mop) and I had nowhere to go.

And then they came home!  And so, all embarrassment over the kiss forgotten, I headed to their apartment.   And I confessed what I had done to my room mate and he laughed and from then on we were just… together.

I started stopping by his apartment on the way in to work.  And in between classes and …

It was about a week after the first kiss that we were kissing talking when I pulled away and said “yep” and he said “what?” and I said “I’m going to have to marry you.” (see, it’s not that kind of “have to marry you”) and he said “ok”.  So we were engaged.

The next time we went out, a drive to Salt Lake and back for bread from his uncle’s bakery (Why, I have no idea because he was working at the Great Harvest in Provo at the time and while their bread is not as good, the difference is hardly worth an hour and a half drive.) among other things that I can’t remember, I told him that since we were going to get married I was going to have to hear his life story so on the way to Salt Lake  from Provo and back, he told me his life story.  (When I told his sisters that they immediately said, ” and you still wanted to marry him?”  Well, obviously, I did.)  And then for the next five minutes I told him mine.   Needless to say (but I’m going to anyway) his was far more interesting.  And I found out that he was not a BYU boy (and, incidentally, the hair which was cut once a month the entire time I had known him, after the wedding didn’t get cut again for another three years.  Sigh.) in short he was a lot like both of the boys I had dated seriously and he was exactly my type.

We decided to get married sometime in January (I really don’t remember when it was) and we told our families on Valentine’s day (actually, it was the day after) and we got married August 6, 1998.

The End.

Sean

I spent last weekend in Las Vegas with some fabulous gals having a fabulous time.  But I’m not going to blog about it.

But if you want to see pictures and hear about what we did and even more interestingly, what we said you can go here, here, here, here, or here.  (Mad and Shantae, I would totally have linked you but Mad, you didn’t really post about it and Shantae, well, you’re private (so private, in fact, that I don’t even have access.  Even after all we’ve shared… *sob*))

Instead I’m going to blog about my wonderful husband who turned 37 today.  I stole this meme from Bythelbs who did it for valentines and I kinda think I should hold it until our anniversary but I’m not good at waiting so I’m doing it now.

How long have you been together?
We’ve been married for 10 1/2 years and together for 11 plus.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
11plus years, I’m still waiting for him to ask me out.

Who asked who out?
I proposed, does that count?

How old are each of you?
I’m 29 (perpetually) and he’s now 37.

Whose siblings do/ did you see the most?
Mine.

Do you have any children together?
Four of them, but we’re willing to sell, make me an offer.

What about pets?
There’s a rabbit that lives in a hutch in the backyard, but it goes with the kids.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
Money has always been the hardest thing to deal with.

Did you go to the same school?
High school, no.  College, yes but we didn’t know each other until after he dropped out.  Oh, I guess we did go to the same community college four years into our marriage.

Are you from the same home town?
No.

Who is the smartest?
I’m a better student but he regularly thinks of things that would never occur to me.

Who is the most sensitive?
Neither one of us is very sensitive as far as being offended but he’s very considerate and sensitive to what might bother me.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
The movies.  (we don’t go out to eat much but we go to movies whenever we can.)

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Virginia.  Once for our wedding reception and once for my sister’s wedding.

Who has the craziest ex’s?
I’m the only one who has any exs so I guess it’s me by default.

Who has the worst temper?
Me.

Who hogs the bed?
He does.

Who is more stubborn?
He is.

Who is more jealous?
I guess me, I’m not really the jealous type but he knows all about my boyfriends and he doesn’t care whereas he doesn’t even have any TV girlfriends so I don’t know if it would bother me.

Who does the cooking?
We used to both cook a lot, lately it’s been me but he’s still willing.

Who is more social?
He would say it was me but he would be wrong.

Who is the neat Freak?
I am.  No question.

Who wakes up earlier?
When neither one of us has to work we both lie there trying to out last the other until finally someone gives up and gets out of bed.

Where was your first date?
We’ve never been but I’ll say that the first night after we decided that we’d have to get married he told me his life story on the way to Salt Lake from Provo and back.

Who has the bigger family?
I do.  I have 6 sibs, he has 5 so that’s closish but my sibs have been more… fruitful than his.

Do you get flowers often?
Not often.  Maybe once a year, but that’s enough for me.

How do you spend the holidays?
With family.

How long did it take to get serious?
Counting from when?  First kiss to engagement, I’m going to say a week or two.  But we were good friends for several months before that.

Who does the laundry?
He does mostly but we fold together.

Who drives when you are together?
He does always.

Is your family still growing?
Yep, the kids are growing like weeds.  Good thing we’re not having any more.

So that’s Sean, or more accurately, us.  (But I’m going to go with it.)  He’s cute and unconventional and extremely old (and just getting older) but I’m still glad I picked him.

More Hypotheticals

If you leave this board

(Yes, those are nails.)

laying on the floor like this

then your husband might step on the board and the nail might go into his foot far enough that he has to reach down and pull the board (and the nail) off (out) of his foot.

And he might have to go to the ER where, thankfully he works so they know him and they don’t make him wait for ten years, and get one of the doctors there to clean it out and give him a Tetanus shot so he doesn’t get lock-jaw.

And you might feel really bad and really guilty.

If, however, your husband leaves this board

laying on the floor like this and he steps on it.  You’ll still feel really bad.

But you’ll avoid the guilt.

Ten Years Ago Today

I woke up in the apartment that Sean and I had been living in for the previous week. (Oh, come on, we got the apartment and bought some stuff and we were both hanging out there all the time anyway, so why not both sleep there?  We were good, one of us almost always slept on the couch.  But don’t tell my mom.  If she asks, Sean was living with his aunt and uncle.)  I put my hair in curlers, and spent extra (that’s code for any) time on my makeup.

Ten years ago today, we hopped into Sean’s cute little Honda Civic with his father and headed downtown.  I took the curlers out of my hair in the parking lot before we headed across the street to the temple.  When we checked in I didn’t have my gown with me, although I did have my shoes.  I wasn’t wearing my gown for a while anyway and my sister would bring it when she finished making it.  The lack of gown worried the very nice little old lady at the front desk but I wasn’t worried.  Nothing could bother me.

I headed into the brides room and got dressed.  My sisters both said that they cried in the brides room (they didn’t look quite how they had always pictured) but I thought I looked great!  I wore the same dress I wear every time I go to the temple, the same dress I’ll wear this weekend when Sean and I will get to sit for a few quiet moments in the celestial room again, just like we did ten years ago today.

Because ten years ago today, Sean and I knelt across an alter from one another.  He took me by the hand and he became mine, and I became his.  Forever.

In the intervening years we’ve laughed together a lot and cried together some.  We’ve brought four other people into the world and we’ve laughed and cried with and over them.  We’ve had 3 homes, at least 8 cars, 2 pets (not including about a billion fish).  We’ve watched  roughly a billion movies and eaten several times our weight in brownies and ice cream. We’ve stuck up for each other, and picked on each other.  We’ve been the best of friends, and some days we’ve been … not friends.  We’ve understood one another without words and we’ve talked our hearts out and never really known what the other was trying to say.

But when all is said and done, I’d still rather hang out with him than anyone else and if I had to do it over again, I’d absolutely do just what I did, ten years ago today.

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