One might think that after forty-eight years of marriage, a couple would know all about how to have a good and long-lasting marriage. Rick and I have been through good times and bad, mostly good, and know more will be coming as we grow old together. It doesn’t matter how long a couple has been married, there is always room for improvement. Hence, we signed up for a marriage conference at a local church. Or, I should confess, I signed us up. (Rick did say, “O..kay.” In a tone like Eeyore.)
He wasn’t the only man who would have preferred spending most of the weekend another way. Most of the men arrived on invisible leashes, dragged by their wives. A few looked like they were facing a root canal and not an-evening-and-half-day presentation advertised as “laughing your way to a good marriage.”
Mark Gungor had us all howling within the first few minutes as he began explaining the differences between the male brain and the female brain. Gungor also got into how to treat one another. Ladies, treat your husband like a dog. Gentlemen, treat your wife like a truck. Think about it. Seriously. Gungor even talked about sex without anyone fainting or fanning themselves.
With all the laughter came valuable lessons. For example, I now understand that when Rick is sitting in his easy chair and I ask him what he’s thinking about and he says nothing, he means it. He’s gone into his “nothing box” and is just hanging out there, chilling out, nothing on his mind. And Rick now knows that my brain has no such shutdown periods, but just keeps humming along and going in all directions, finding ways to link everything together – even when it doesn’t make a lick of sense to him. (I suspect he knew this already.)
We learned we are doing many things right. We enjoy being with one another. We face challenges together. We talk. (Sometimes I talk and Rick makes appropriate grunting noises so I can assume he’s listening.) We need space at times. We still have things on our bucket lists, and make plans on how to check them off.
The church was packed, and most went home battered and bruised. Including me and Rick. All those elbow jabs! Oh, yeah, that’s us! Did Mister Gungor have a camera planted somewhere in our house?
If you’re contemplating marriage or struggling, check out Mark Gungor on YouTube – or his books online. Listen, laugh, and learn.