20 May 2012

social commentary Sunday . . . 'quirky marriages'

Greetings all,
Handsome soldier is back from war so why am i blogging when i should be ravishing him??  Because he's gone.  Just like that, home to Canberra for a couple of days to buy a brand new family car & a dapper new suit for an upcoming wedding, blink & he's off again . . . for a week of 'decompression' at his unit in Brisbane.  If you saw the homecoming parades & soldiers in Townsville on the weekend news, he was in Afghanistan with them. 
You read a lot of about marriages in blog land . . . intense, loving, romantic, turbulent, violent, lost . . . but most often, quirky.  There are celebrity marriages where famous couples live apart - for the considerably creative genius, sharing their life full time with someone might never work . . . & then there is my marriage, filled with quirks & living apart for 4 years as Army life suddenly clashed with our eldest starting high school - our 9th school, it was time for educational stability.  The situation is functional, we miss each other like crazy, raising children solo is no picnic & they miss Daddy + he's deployed to Afghanistan twice during this posting to Brisbane so he's not even in Australia, however, we've decided to settle here in Canberra where my husband can afford to semi retire in his mid 40s & raise those teenagers with me (we consider that the business end of parenting.)  Our eyes are firmly on the prize, the bigger picture.  
I know we're not alone - there are zillions of couples living apart, most often the husband for his work & i believe it's the quirks in the relationship which keep it alive & thriving.  We rarely argue - people either don't believe us or consider it incredibly boring; i'm feisty & he's a man of integrity; basically i'm no door mat & he's not an arsehole, we just get along really well.  He's my best friend in the world, very easy to stay in love with.  We compliment each other.  On all the big life decisions . . . like him joining the Army, us getting married, when to have babies, what to name the babies, how to raise the babies, buying properties/ cars/ holidays, deaths in the family, moving interstate, which family to have Christmas with - we come to natural agreements.  We talk, actually i talk, he listens, his few words to my 100 are meaningful & worthwhile, however, if we really don't agree on something, even early on in our relationship, i let things go, agree to disagree - we fight fair, stay on point, it's clean.  
Sometimes i think it's because my husband has a dangerous job, i like home to be calm, no petty debate on insignificant things.  I don't do drama.  We laugh a lot.  We have history; private jokes; silly ways of doing things; ridiculous names & pronunciations for regular things; we stress about different things & support each other during those times.  We do not compete & know our roles - while cooking, i'm his kitchen hand; while shopping, he carries the bags; working on the car, i'm his apprentice; while decorating, he is the tall person who hang things where i point to.  He tricks me & jumps out at me in the dark (i scream, the children yell "go to sleep") & he eats half of my dessert without me noticing; then he does kind things, like making a heat pack & hot chocolate when i have cramps.  Heart of gold that boy.  He convinces me to watch action movies under the guise "it's a love story" & i'll find a way to cry.     
The Army sends out pamphlets on 'awkward sex' & other 'issues' which can occur after separation . . . i say 'forget it, why waste time with weird'.  I just giggle & say "OMG, i've forgotten how to have sex" & make it fun, rather than intense romantic pressure from the get go.  My trick is that i have an amnesty, where he cannot complain about anything i might have changed/ purchased/ damaged or moved around the house/ car/ garden/ lifestyle, for the first 3 days he's home.  If he starts to say something like "Jesus is that a new scratch on the car" . . . i get an extra day of amnesty.  In that time, he might glare longingly at something like an antique trunk & i have time to fix the situation (read: shove trunk in the garage & disguise as storage) before it's an issue.  It works brilliantly, like a mind game, no feelings harmed.  This is why he's being so good about the chickens, i'm still on my amnesty!! 
Now along with the i-love-you groceries, he also came home to gifts, new pyjamas, ugg boots & cook books.  Neat distraction from the fact he no longer has any shelf or hanging space in the walk-in-robe (because he hasn't lived here for so long) or any Winter clothes.  The first morning home, he drove us around town in pyjama pants as i'd washed his only decent jeans which he wore off the plane.  That's another quirk, my love for cleaning, even the children call the washing machine 'my boyfriend' & i constantly wash up utensils while my husband is still cooking with them.  Drives him nuts, but it annoys me how he wears a tea towel over his shoulder instead of just using the one hanging, as it's never there when i go to use it.  Do i get angry, never, i'm just thrilled he's home.   
What are the quirky habits which keep your relationship alive??  We have resisted pet names for each other & i can't call him at work with silly messages, so our quirks are all at home, with the side benefit of embarrassing our children.  Love Posie 

28 comments:

SportyMummy said...

I can tell by the way you have written this post how happy you are! I think your marriage sounds wonderful :)

Anne said...

Loved to make embarrassing references to sex when our kids were early teens cos it made them blush awkwardly, sadly they grew out of that and became blase about it so it stopped being fun :(
Occasionally found other places to have a little fun and always 'christened' new vehicles!
Cheers
Anne

Jan-Maree said...

I so can't wait to see you two in action for real! Big hugs to both of you, even if by long distance!

Sarah said...

My Mom always said that the most useful thing in marriage is learning to laugh instead of getting angry. Completely with you on not fighting - we disagree sometimes, but it's always a respectful discussion, not a shouting match.

Also, that's funny about the laundry. When my husband came home none of his old clothes fit - he was already trim and a good weight for his height when he deployed, but months of terrible food and no entertainment but books and exercising brought him back 15 pounds lighter. He looked like he was wearing handmedowns from a big brother when he changed into his old civilian clothes.

polkadotpeticoat said...

I just can't imagine this life as my hubby is always home but we had an option a few months ago he was offered a nice position in the oil field where he would have been gone for 5 weeks at a time home for one week and we did the math and said no, now its not the same because what your husband does for your country can't be said in words ,so you both are dedicated on a whole other level....Hats off to you , for a strong marriage and lovely children as a result!!!

trash said...

I hear you on the lo-drama thing, CK and I also seem to be in accordance about much in our lives.

Although my boy doesn't go away very much for work and when he does it is under a week I think I shall be effecting the amnesty rationale up here.

Glad your boy is back and getting into the swing of things.

Tarnyia said...

Love reading your post... and welcome home for both/all of you xxx

Mum on the Run said...

Happy days!

Marriage was the steepest learning curve for me - and the state of my relationship is a great source of pride (as it should be for anyone).

I have nipped the cycle of destruction/manipulation that was my childhood model in the bud with some hard work and a fantastic partner.

For us, communication is key (not always as simple as it sounds) - coupled with humour.
My ego/pride has taken a backseat to our happiness - and it feels great.

You really do inspire me.
:-) xx

Bookkeeping Melbourne said...

Nice article.

Christine said...

Love your post ....

I might have to send my husband away a little as he after 33 years of marriage is driving my crazy, grin

The Accidental Housewife said...

I could have written that post myself! Except he's the one doing the dishes before I'm finished (drives me mental!) and I'm the one with the tea towel on my shouder! Lol!

I think with him away so mich, I'm just so incredibly pleased when he's home everything else seems kind of insignificant. For example, he'll leave his filthy gym socks on the floor *AGAIN!!!* but I'll just be happy he's actually here to leave them :) No point getting mad, they're just socks!

Your happiness is still leaking out all over this blog like a blown gasket, it's lovely to read! :)

Polly said...

What a wonderful relationship you have.
I think ours works because we respect that there is more to our lives than us together and our children, we pursue our own interests with vigour and support each other to do this, we have our own friendships, we listen to each other mostly!!)
Our values are simply, family first and foremost but a life of our own as well.

Pip said...

Great post, you sound really happy. Hubs and I are both second marriages, both of us are ex-military, we rarely argue either, we talk about everything, communication and a good sense of humour is key, he has pet names for me but I can't think of any good ones for him :)

Corrie said...

pamphlets on awkward sex! I am killing myself laughing!!!!!!!!!!!! that is so funny!

Corrie:)

Lisa - Sweet Little Pretties said...

What a lovely post - so glad you have your husband back! HAHA love the pamphlet(just incase you forget)

Karla {Ironmum Karla} said...

Ha ha glad to see who rules the roost. Quirky, I am full of quirky, my husband has learned to live with me though and aceepts that he can't change me. Glad to hear your husbie is back in the country, x

Samantha said...

An amnesty is a fabulous idea for all of us. Love it.x

Sarah said...

My husband is never away for more than a night or two at a time, so I can't even begin to imagine how this much be for you, but we still do silly things - mispronunciations of words were a big one till we realised the toddler was using OUR pronunciation instead of the correct one *facepalm*. I'm looking forward to the time my children are old enough to be embarrassed by us, at the moment they just think we're funny. (Thanks for the comment on my blog, too!)

Leanne said...

I really enjoyed reading this, sounds like such a lovely relationship.

Posie Patchwork said...

Thanks ladies, loving the feedback!! My husband just read this & said "i didn't know it annoyed you when i have the tea towel on my shoulder" & i reminded him that is why i whip him with it, before i hang it up where it lives. Tee hee, he remembers now!! Love Posie

Teresa said...

I loved reading this, Jen. God, I wish we could bottle your awesome attitude for all to have and enjoy!

So glad to hear the handsome soldier is safely home to enjoy your loving quirks.

I think you're on to something - when I think about it, I think sharing a quirky sense of humour is one of the 'secrets' of a good marriage. My husband told me last night that I have the roughest feet he has ever seen and I asked him if it helped that I have super soft elbows and then we both fell into fits of laughter xox

Nat - Muddy Farmwife said...

Love your Sunday posts, even if I'm usually a day late reading them. This post makes me laugh (pamphlets) and feel all warm and fuzzy, you obviously love each other so very much and it shows in your lovely writing and anecdotes.
I wonder if I could start an amnesty even though hubby only goes away for a week?

Nancy said...

My husband has been on IR (imposed restriction) for four years similar to Jenn's. We are lucky to be able to afford a trip home every 6 weeks or so as he lives 1000 km away or so. And since he is coming home for good this summer - I will have to clean out the closet so he has some space.

How have we managed? When he visits he has to hide the suitcase and put his clothes away... Cuz it just makes me sad to look at it. We talk every night (as I have a very cheap plan) and I try to fill him in on all the boring details of the day so he knows what is going on. It is a bit easier than when he went away a lot when the kiddies were really young. You need to keep a sense of humour and no secrets (like spending $1000 on something rash). The hardest time was when he was in Ethiopia for a year with the UN and only came home twice. We decided that we would meet in Europe for Christmas as I could not face him coming home for 10 days (because of travel) and then heading back for 8 mos. It was an interesting adventure with 3 teenagers. We had a few leadership issues (too many - not just the parents), but made some wonderful family memories. We did have some help with airfare costs but not all the rest.

You are right the military does have the most interesting things to say about stuff like sex. I do understand why - but most of us now have had many many many separations. What I would really be more interested in is if they could explain why everything breaks when he is away and works perfectly when he is home. Now that would be enlightening.

Tales of a Tai Tai said...

What a treat to read this post! I love people who are positive about marriage. The ups and downs are worth it in the end for precisely what you describe. So happy the handsome man is home and by your side for a while x

brismod said...

I missed this! Glad to hear he got home safely even if it was for a super quick visit. Sounds like you married your best friend. xx

Lisa @ .Simply Me. said...

What a great post.

Do you think that being apart helps to make the time you're together even more special? I think it would have that effect on me :-)

NessaKnits said...

I'm really glad for you he is now home. Was thinking when the parades were on .. "hope Posie's husband is home safe."

Jessica Glanz said...

Hi Posie, I think you have an awesome blog and I found your story really engaging and well written!
My blog is also about social commentary - you might like some of the quirky stories i've included - check it out www.talkingaboutmeh.blogspot.com.au