Thug Matrimony

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I don’t want to brag or anything, but I’ve only forgotten my wedding anniversary twice. Since I view life as a series of small victories, I’m not shy about reminding Harv that I’ve remembered FOUR out of SIX anniversaries. If you’re math-minded, that’s well over 50%.

We celebrated this year by going to an Earth, Wind & Fire concert, not only because their pimp game is still strong, but because it’s the one band we can enjoy together. Usually, I’m on the rap grind, and Harv likes Nerdist podcasts. I can’t remember the last time I heard music in his car. It still pinches my insides to know that Harv doesn’t understand any of my Trick Daddy references, but I’m a big believer in the Hands Off Policy. I never force the people I love into bettering themselves. Instead, I offer gentle reminders that they’re living in darkness.

I might say, “You’re only a dime-store version of yourself without _______.” (Possible endings: regular exercise, a multivitamin, self-worth, Tupac) (Note regarding endings: I don’t exercise or take supplements, and I have ongoing issues with self-worth, but I listen to a lot of rap so that makes me an expert in life, money, boss bitches, cars, parole, and Tom Ford.)

Harv never dismisses any of my helpful and extremely valuable suggestions. Instead, he always stops what he’s doing to make eye contact and listen. And even when I change my mind halfway through a thought and divert the conversation in another direction, he doesn’t act like he’s chatting with an elderly shut-in suffering from dementia. Only a handful of people have made that comparison, so it’s probably not even a real thing.

After six simultaneously long and short years, I’ve realized that these everyday courtesies differentiate bomb marriages from bombed marriages.

The problem in our marriage is that only one person is being courteous.

I’m the other person.

Once in a while, I’m a good wife. Harv brought home half a pound of candy from a business trip last week, and I saved him three jelly beans. Actually, it ended up being only two beans because the tip of the third one had already touched my tongue before I remembered anyone but myself. After I put the bean back, I couldn’t stop thinking about germs, so I ended up eating it. Not giving contaminated food products to a spouse is also another form of courtesy.

I’m quick to point out imperfect minutiae, but on the rare occasion Harv offers a suggestion, devoid of judgment, I’m all Your high standards are unreal, broseph. Everybody throws wrappers on the floor if a trash can is too far away . LET ME LIVE MY LIFE. 

Harv has never given up on me, even during the lowest moments of my depression and self-sabotaging behavior. When I ask him why he stays, he replies, “Because I think you’re worth it. I hope one day you know you’re worth it too.”

Instead of feeling gratitude, this always makes me wish he had married someone else. It must be hard waiting around for the woman you think your wife could someday become to show up. It’s a lot of pressure to know that someone chooses to see the best in you, despite daily reminders otherwise.

Last year, on our fifth anniversary, I tattooed the title of a song I’ve been listening to for over ten years on my arm. It’s my promise to Harv that someday…I’ll fly with you.

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Comments

  1. Michelle Solomon Szetela says:

    I love that tattoo. I should get that tattoo. Especially because I married a pilot and I’ve flown to interesting places with him. He always makes them more fun and interesting than anyone else would have.

    • That’s so baller. I love that he makes the experience totally unique and noteworthy for you. Good man. Also, I think it’s cool that you’re open to new experiences. Harv has to launch a two-day campaign just to get me to go to the movie theater…1.2 miles away.

  2. Stop making me teary! I hope too, that one day you will know your worth. I wish that for myself, as well. Maybe Harv and my hubs can commiserate regarding the train wrecks they married?

  3. dudette, you made me cry. :)
    at least you continue to try and better yourself, for the relationship. not everyone is willing to put effort into a relationship these days, you two are kicking ass. keep up the good work. hopefully you will be less selfish next year and maybe get him a entire bag of jelly beans to make up for the one(s) you accidentally licked and had to eat to spare him the germs .

  4. Nicole Canion Caballero says:

    I love this. My husband and I have been together since 2000 and our first song, while I was in high school was GiGi D’Agostino’s I’ll fly with you. It’s engraved on his wedding ring. Loved you blog from the get go but now even more and don’t feel bad…he NEVER remembers ours either!

    • I LOVE that you know the song and it means so much to you and your husband. I see a lot of blank stares when I make reference to the song.

      • Nicole Canion Caballero says:

        Our 13 year anniversary is today actually so your post had such good timing. Love your blog, from one writer to another it’s awesome to see such genuine sentiments in a world of plastic facades!

        • Damn, girl, that’s a legit accomplishment. After being in a lot of bad relationships, I’ve come to realize that love isn’t always about what’s new or exciting or dramatic. It’s the absence of negative which allows the positive to flourish.

          Congrats.

  5. Shannon Noel says:

    Man I love your writing! Happy Anniversary girl! xo

  6. When Aaron and I were engaged he kept telling me he was sure glad that I’m strong because he doesn’t like weak women. My response was, “Dude, here’s your ring back. I’m totally not strong and you are going to be so disappointed the day you figure that out so I’ll save you the trouble.”

    But he insisted I keep it, and kept calling me strong when I felt weakest and eventually, I think it took at least 7 years, I realized that he was right and I became able to recognize as strength the things about me that I just took for granted.

    So A. you have an awesome husband who refuses to let you make him see only what you see, and persists in being able to see in you the things that are really there. One day i think you will realize he’s right.

    and B. there this video you should watch and read the related article. It’s a good one. I’m gonna paste the link here so you can see it before you delete it to keep your comments policies fair. It’s Brene Brown on how vulnerability is our greatest measure of courage, and will tell yu how brave you are for what you are doing right now. http://www.onethingnew.com/index.php/revenge/382-why-vulnerability-is-our-best-measure-of-courage

    happy anniversary.

    • You are one of the strongest people I have ever met…man or woman. I KNEW Aaron was fucking sharp but you’ve just confirmed it.

      Actually, you’re even so strong that you can be another’s person’s strength when they need it most. Like this year. With me. Love you dearly.

      P.S. I LOVE Brene Brown and her talks on shame and vulnerability are solid gold. That homegirl is legit.

  7. We have a routine that would no doubt sound horrible to anyone listening in:
    Him: (getting iron out) If you were a good wife, you’d iron my shirts.
    Me: I told you, I’m not a good wife. We could use one around here, though. Find yourself a good wife, and she can do my shirts too.

  8. BrittanyRae says:

    Awesome. AND you do deserve someone who compliments you in every way.
    Happy 6th.

  9. alexandra says:

    I wish this for everyone, and I also hope for the same thing as Harv, that you someday see just how great you are.

  10. Robyn Chilcoat says:

    This needed to come with a tear jerker warning! I loved this post and love the meaning behind your tattoo! I also love how you keep it real. Thanks, homette!

    • I need to make a trip to my old ‘hood soon so I can be graced with your presence, my friend. Very jealous KP gets to see you everyday. And jealous you get to see KP every day. =)

      • Robyn Chilcoat says:

        Just saw your reply….I would LOVE for you to make a visit down here so we could meet up over a drink or two! You just let me know when and I’m there!

  11. Cynthia Jenkins says:

    First off, Congratulations on your 6th Wedding Anniversary! That is an incredible feat in this day and age! Harv sounds like a wonderful man, and he is lucky to have a gangster bitch by his side, even if she doesn’t realize how badass she is at all times! My husband and I just celebrated our 19th anniversary a couple of weeks ago, and I am still constantly asking myself why he stuck it out with me. I do things that don’t make no kinda sense, and he still chills, in the background, reminding me of how much he loves me, and how beautiful he thinks I am…and I thank God for that. Here’s to many more anniversaries and livin’ that boss’s life! :)

    • WOW. Kudos to you and your husband. Like, it’s real hard to tell and all since you can’t see my face but reading how your husband treats you after 19 years just made me smile from ear to ear. I hope we follow in your footsteps. Clearly, you’re already living like a boss.

  12. Luna Lablue says:

    This made me laugh and almost cry. I love the way you write.

  13. Elayna Jones says:

    I love this! Thank you for sharing!

  14. I just had a conversation with my husband about how I think I’m slowing descending in to crazy and how I’m sorry he married such a mess. He, because he’s fucking amazing, immediately reassured me I’m not a mess, I’m just struggling, and that when I’m ready he’ll make sure I have all the help I need.

    Then I read this.

    Now I’m crying in public.

  15. Happy Anniversary to you and Harv. And he’s not the only one who realizes you are worth it. Keep flying girl. You’ll get there. Hopefully we all will!

    And I’m pretty sure the 6th Anniversary is Jelly Beans. I mean, that or paper or some such. But really, I think you’re good! ;)

  16. Beautiful — all over.

  17. Emelie Samuelson says:

    I love everything about this. You’re amazing. That tattoo is amazing. :)

  18. I have many thoughts about this particular blog, but they are all confused and mixed in with my tears. You should sneak “Unconditional Love” into his car.

  19. Given what I’ve read here about your life – you’ve survived some very difficult things that most of us will never experience let alone really understand. The fact you can talk about your life so openly without fear of judgement and share inspiring life lessons from those experiences is an extremely brave thing to do! We all have a life story full of things we wish we could change – have done differently – regrets. But to the people who love us it’s that very journey of mistakes and regrets that made us who we are today – the person they love.

    • You’re an expert in bravery. I so enjoyed our chat and I think about the incredible family and life you have formed.

      I often feel like I have many people in my life who I really don’t deserve because they are so amazing and I just want to do right by them. Hopefully, the shitty mistakes in my past will help me make the right decision now to better love them.

  20. this is beautiful, so beautiful Elizabeth! you had me giggling through most of the post (i totally support your decision about that jelly bean, by the way), but really brought it home at the end. it’s so awesome that you have someone in your life who believes in you that much and is willing to affirm your worth that way, even though i know it can sometimes be tough to believe those people and even tougher to see what they see. i’m with Harv, though…seems to me like you’re probably worth it!

    • I always “explain away” the kindness. Maybe they have to say those things. Maybe they’re trying to get something from me like that last stick of Kit Kat.

      It’s hard to recognize goodness sometimes, in myself and others, but it’s a thing I’m working on. That and not throwing garbage on the floor.

  21. Awww… sweet post! I hope you’ve experienced some joyful ‘flying’ moments over the past years. We’re coming up to 13 years in December – no tattooing for me, though!

  22. I just found your blog thanks to Jenny over at The Bloggess! I’m so glad I found you, this is a really funny post and reminds me a lot of myself (although I’m less rap/gangster) and my husband. Can’t wait to read more!

Commenting Guidelines:Leave your thoughts below and I'll holler back at you with a response. PLEASE DO NOT POST LINKS TO PRODUCTS OR SITES within the body of your comments. I edit/delete them. If you'd like to link your comment back to your site, just sign up for a Disqus account. It's quick and easy. I promise.

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