While perusing the Sunday paper, I came across an interesting article entitled Love Checkups Needed by Robert Pagliarini which focuses on putting quality time and energy into maintaining a healthy relationship with your loved one. "If you obsess over the stock market and how well your portfolio is doing, doesn't it make sense to invest a few of the other eight-hours into a marriage checkup?" Eight hours is way too long a commitment unless it's broken down over a period of several days with meals and plenty of caffeine included, but this is still an intriguing premise to ponder.
Pagliarini goes on to say, "Wouldn't it be nice to have a checkup or stock market type score for your marriage to see how last night's fight affected your relationship today?" The great thing about my husband is that he never holds a grudge; this combined with hearing loss often works to my advantage. It's also a double edged sword as many of our arguments are about the fact that I have to act as a TV interpreter and often end up watching the same show twice at a volume that attracts all the neighborhood dogs. Now why would I want to "score" this long forgotten memory that he may have never heard in the first place? No one is going belly up on my watch.
The author makes other comparisons between relationships and the business world, "A couple of bad years for a stock and the board may fire the CEO. A couple of bad years in a relationship and you-know-who might get replaced." Is he talking about me? No worries, I've already chosen several replacements, but my husband won't hear of it! See how that hearing thing really works out for me?
Pagliarini then asks, "Has your spouse ever been upset with you for something you had no idea about? Or have you ever been upset with your spouse and they had no idea? It's not enough to 'feel good' about the relationship. You need to test it." This happens all the time, where I get aggravated with my husband and he only has a few seconds to think about it, before I get even angrier. Sometimes this escalates to the point where I don't even remember what bothered me in the first place. Most people that I've talked to say that the men in their lives are the same way in that they don't like confrontation. I'd much rather have a good fight than be ignored. When he's upset with me he usually pulls out the credit card bill and tells me to do better next time. You gotta love the man...he sleeps like a snoring baby.
Lastly, the author suggests "scheduling an hour session with a marriage counselor once a quarter. Just a few bucks and an hour of your time can be the best investment you make in your relationship." Though this is good advice for many I'll have to take a pass. It's like the kid who digs for gold and ends up with a bloody nose, sometimes you have to leave well enough alone. We're happy, we're comfortable, our kids don't completely hate us, life is good. Maybe other couples have come closer to achieving the perfect marriage, but we're still together imperfections and all. I think Erma Bombeck said it best, "Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more or who's doing what. Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who love us."