Without fail, my husband continues to profoundly disappoint me. He is a great friend, companion and conversationalist. He makes me laugh often. He takes his role of priest, provider and protector seriously. What more could a wife ask? Sometimes I just wish he weren’t so darn pragmatic when it comes to marriage.
Let me tell you what I mean. He wasn’t always like this. Once I reminded him of the warm, passionate and thoughtful notes he wrote me when we were dating long distance. His reply, with a straight face, was, “I still write notes. House notes. Car notes. Utility notes.” Not the response I was expecting. Last year, as we reflected over our 17th wedding anniversary, I asked, “Would you marry me again?” (I know. It was a set up. How else could he respond?). He answered, “Sure, we make a good team.” That’s it? Really? No, “You are the apple of my eye;” “the hot in my sauce;” something poetic? He said, “At the end of the day marriage is about how well you work together as a team. I trust you with my life and the lives of my daughters, and that’s what matters most. Romance is overrated.” Yep. That is what he said. Another time, he told me, “A good credit score is romantic.” I do have to admit, after I give my blank stare look, I usually crack up.
These most recent comments about marriage really got me thinking. Is marriage really as practical as he has described? Perhaps the American approach to marriage where we “fall in love” and work out the rest later is at best flawed. While my husband is simply a pragmatist, I think I am a pragmatic romantic. Marriage can be monotonous, especially when children are included. While routine of family can be boring, there is also a great deal of value in stability, regularity and no drama. Routine creates a life without chaos.
When a married couple share the same values on the big-ticket items, it is much easier to play on the same team working toward the same goal. Every marriage is different and everyone has different values, but some of the big-ticket items include: faith, money management, child rearing, communication styles, and attitudes about extended family, to name a few.
My husband will not be winning any awards for his romantic poetic sayings. But, the truth is, I will take my Mr. Pragmatic, who is dependable, responsible, respective and supportive over Mr. Romance any day. At the end of the day, maybe he is right: Marriage is simply how well you work as a team.