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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  • Michelle Solomon Szetela

    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.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      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.

  • FearlessFibro

    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?

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I try to remind my girlfriends who either think they are too much of a hot mess to find a good man or they think there are no good men left….Yes, yes there are.

  • amesk

    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 .

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      My goal is to save him one more jelly bean per year. I want to keep it realistic. Thank you so much for the kind words.

  • Nicole Canion Caballero

    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!

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      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

        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!

        • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

          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.


  • Shannon Noel

    Man I love your writing! Happy Anniversary girl! xo

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      And I love your singing. xoxo

  • carrien-she laughs at the days

    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.

    happy anniversary.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      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.

  • Lynellekw

    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.

    • Jordie V

      @lynellekw:disqus i love this!

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      When you find one, could we do some kind of joint custody arrangement? We need one of those around here too.

  • BrittanyRae

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

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      You’re always so wonderful and your comments always make me smile. Thanks, homegirl.

  • alexandra

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

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      When I think of you, I think of the many ways in which you boost people up and highlight their goodness, and it makes me hope that there are many, many surrounding you who do the same for you.

  • Robyn Chilcoat

    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!

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      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

        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!

  • Cynthia Jenkins

    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! :)

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      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.

  • Luna Lablue

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

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Your kindness skills are off the chain. Thank you.

  • Elayna Jones

    I love this! Thank you for sharing!

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Thank you for reading. Harv said it was a little rambly but that’s just because he’s a hater. =)

  • Katerine

    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.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      THAT HOMIE IS A GEM. Wow, it totally made me happy just reading how wonderful he is to you…and how he recognizes your amazing worth even when you don’t.

  • Misty

    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! ;)

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I got him a cat picture. That always makes up for the jelly bean thing. Probably not, but I’m an optimist.

      You are always so kind and know just what to say. Thank you for being a down homegirl.

  • Elizabeth Aquino

    Beautiful — all over.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Look who’s talking. ;) xo

  • Emelie Samuelson

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

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Thank you so much. That just boosted me a lot. YOU’RE DOPE, E-THUG.

  • Laurie

    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.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Unconditional love seems to come when you least expect it/think you deserve it.

      I hope you will remember that too. xo

  • Hers, His and Ours

    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.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      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.

  • Jordie V

    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!

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      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.

  • Eleanorjane

    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!

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      What a DOPE accomplishment. I always want to pick the brains of couples who have successfully maneuvered more than a decade of marriage. You’re my example, homegirl.

  • Jamie’s Funny Crew

    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!

  • Cat

    As a result of a very convoluted surfing various Instagram profiles, I stumbled across yours, which led me to your blog. Now I am two years deep in your posts, and I stopped short at this one because it made me cry. Fuck all for crying at 1 am the night before an early shift at work because I’m going to have the puffiest eye bags ever… but damn was it worth it to find a new blog that really hits home. I love your writing, your transparency, your candidness.

    My guy and I make it a habit to share all our desserts (is that gross? I apologize). However, not too different from your jelly bean story, I inhaled every last spoonful of a vanilla Frosty (yes, from Wendy’s, no less) before realizing I didn’t even offer him ANY. As I turned to the trash can to throw away the empty Frosty cup, he catches me, eyes the empty cup, eyes me, mostly bemused, eyes the cup some more, and exclaims that the Frosty didn’t have a fighting chance. In moments like these, I too wonder how the hell I manage to keep this guy around. He laughs, tells me I am weak in the face of ice-cream-anything.

    /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.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Well-said.

    One day, you’re going to get onto your pimp ship, soar, and fly real high with Harv. So looking forward to all your new posts!

    Your new reader,

    • Cat

      As a result of some very convoluted surfing of various Instagram profiles***

      See? What I get for blog-surfing at this witching hour.

  • Jenn Wahlmeier Boughton

    so, Im a little late to the FIP game here, but your posts are no less relevant. My husband (still sound a little weird to say that… Is Ace-Deuce an acceptable replacement moniker?) is amazing.. He thinks Im valuable and worthy and…and…and…and…I used to almost panic because I felt like I was drowning in his acceptance and love and affirmation and sweet gestures of awesome. And then he told me that the reason he loves me is because the sum of the things that annoy him are waaay less than the sum of the things that he loves and appreciates. His matter-of-fact explanation just seemed to breathe life into my capability to have the capacity to love myself and him in return. As a side note-that gift; of being able to love inwards and outwards is quite possibly the best gift he’s ever given me….and he is the BOSS of awesome gifting.
    So happy belated 6th anniversary to you two … and happy preemptive 8th Anniversary!