7 of 25…


Shore Duty

February of 94. No more ‘haze gray and underway’. Now, every night I would be home with my family with maybe a night where I had to stay on the base happening once a week or so. Nothing like the last three years of our marriage, or I guess, three-and-a-half if you want to be totally accurate.

No, now I would be home all the time and be able to get to know my family and they would get to know me and it would be wonderful…

Or so you would think.

The truth of the matter is that I married an incredibly strong woman (in character) that bloomed in the pressure of me not being there. She got use to doing things her way. She took care of bills, she ran the house, she had a set organizational way of doing things.

And so did I.

They weren’t even close to matching. And, sure, this is marriage. The rubbing away of self and making two become one. But we had a kid already, and had already celebrated our third anniversary. A lot of this stuff should have been worked out by now, but while I was busy off defending the world from all the bad guys, she was at home making… well, a home.

So, three-and-a-half years into our marriage, we finally started becoming a family. Trust me, it was just as painfully fun as you might imagine.

And Hence…

It was during this time frame when we would get on each others nerves so bad that we had some of the most epic fights about things that you just don’t fight about (or maybe you do, who am I to judge). Things that are normally just dealt with were points of major contention. To this day, I still say… get used to toilet seat being up, and you won’t have to worry about it… (she disagrees and the seat stays down.. but whatever).

This was when the Three Rules got put to the test and a big part of why I advocate them as much as I do. The reality is, in a marriage you will have suffering and there are going to be fights. If there aren’t… well, I just don’t think you are doing it right. And before you go off on a huff and disagree with me, let me explain…

Couples who don’t fight are just weird. There, I said it. I mean, what are the things you fight about? They tend to be things that you hold close. And think about this, do you fight with people you have no interest in? Sure, you might get upset by something an internet troll says, but do you fight with them? (If you do, you might want to seek some counseling, just saying). We tend to only fight about and with things that we hold close. Why? Because they matter to us. Just think about it.

So we would get on each others nerves, and there was no way for us to get apart from each other…

Unless…

We knew we were hitting our threshold for dealing with each other when she would look at me and say, “Don’t you need to get underway?” or I would look at her and tell her “I think the kids need to see their grandparents.” (who happened to live 3 hours away). And there was our solution. She would go visit her mom for a few days. Oh, God bless grandparents for this lovely marital aide.

At first, that trip was made about every two to three weeks, but as we started to learn to live with each other that time frame got pushed out to a whole month. That’s right, we actually learned to go a whole month living with each other (but I suspect that during those times I was on duty a few nights so it might have played into that).

Ok, I jest about that. But that first year on shore duty was an eye opener to something we had taken for granted. That living together was not as easy as being married to each other. But we figured it out, and even though we have had a rocky beginning to our marriage, what we had no idea was that one day we would look back on these years and smile…

Because what we didn’t know was that these years were just preparing us for the rough seas that loomed in the distance.

But more on that later…

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