Happily Ever After

Marriage isn't a fairy tale.

Is this as good as a marriage gets?

Good marriages are dang boring to read about, or are they?

When I launched this PT blog, I worried that I would run out of material. After all, my husband and I completed our marital improvement project three years ago. Things have gotten better and better ever since.

I was seriously worried that I was going to bore you all with posts that read like this.

Hey, he's a swell guy.

He's still a swell guy!

What a precious swell guy I married!

Good marriages are a good thing. That much is true. But they are dang boring to read about.

Or are they? Let me tell you a story.

I am in the process of writing a book with a retired FBI behavioral analyst, and the writing schedule is super tight. At the same time, my own book, Project: Happily Ever After will release this January. That means I'm mired in publicity efforts-sending out pitch letters, networking with producers, and doing lots of interviews with reporters. On top of that, I keep up two paid blogging jobs, along with an assortment of other freelance work.

It's a lot. My husband knows this. That's why, this past Saturday, he offered to take our 6 year old to a carnival for the day. The implication was that I could work the entire time, or I could relax or sleep or do something self indulgent that I don't have time to do these days.

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Hey, I told you that he's a swell guy!

I had an absolutely enjoyable day. I wrote for a while. I went for a run. I went to the grocery store and was able to buy what we needed without having to say "no, I am not buying that" over and over again. It was bliss.

By 6 p.m., though, I was thinking, "Wow, that's a long time to be at a carnival."

By 7 p.m. I was downright worried, so I called my husband.

"I was worried. I wanted to make sure you were both okay," I said.

"Yeah, we're fine. We'll be home soon."

"So you already ate?"

"Yep. We don't need dinner."

I hung up. I was thinking that it would have been nice for my husband to tell me that they were not coming home for dinner. But hadn't he done such a wonderful thing by taking her off my hands for the day? How could I even think of finding something to complain about?

When they got home, I sat on the couch next to my husband. I put my hand on his thigh. I was thinking of asking him if he wanted to get frisky later, but when I looked at him, his face looked hard and cold and something just seemed off.

"Are you tired?" I asked.

"Yeah," he said. "It was a long day."

"Well, thanks for taking her all day. I got a lot done."

"Sure," he said.

I then got our daughter ready for bed. As I settled her into bed, I asked, "What rides did you go on at the carnival?"

She scrunched up her face and whined, "Daddy wouldn't let me go to the carnival!" Next thing I knew, she was a screaming, sobbing mess.

I noticed my husband standing in the hall. His mouth was agape, one eye brow was raised and his palms were up in the "what made you ask such a stupid question?" posture.

I met my husband in the hallway. He gave me The Look.

"How was I supposed to know? I can't read your mind."

"You should have just asked her what she did today. I don't know why you had to go and bring up that carnival."

"I brought it up because you told me that's where you were going. How am I supposed to know that you changed your mind when you didn't bother to tell me?"

The tension filled the air between us. We parted ways.

I sat in the living room. I listened to the sounds of him getting ready for bed. Eventually I sensed that he had gone to bed without bothering to say, "Good night."

I was angry. Oh, I was angry. But I was also scared. Hadn't he seemed mad at me from the moment he'd walked in the door?

When I readied myself for bed, I noticed that my husband was not, in fact, in our bed. He was sleeping with our daughter. He never does that.

He didn't want to sleep next to me? He was that angry?

I tossed and turned most of the night as I worried about the divorce papers that he would, no doubt, put in front of me in the morning.

The following morning, I woke early. He woke sometime later. When he saw me, he grinned and said, "Good morning good looking!"

"Um, er, um, are you mad at me?" I asked.

"No, why would I be mad at you?"

"So you were just grumpy last night?"

"Was I grumpy last night?"

I took a deep breath. I slowly let it out. Relief filled every cell in my body.

"I love you. Thank you for taking her all day yesterday. It was a blessing. I think we need to work on our communication, though. Don't you think? I'm sorry I said something to her about the carnival. But there must be a way that we can communicate such things. I think that would be a good idea, don't you think?"

He agreed that it would.

And just like that, we were happily married again.


Pre order my book about my marriage journey
: Project: Happily Ever After

Find me on Twitter: @alisabowman

Check out my other marriage blog: ProjectHappilyEverAfter.com

Find me on Facebook: AlisaBowmanWrites

Alisa Bowman is a health journalist and has authored or co-authored more than 30 books.

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