Total Agreement In Marriage Is Deadly Dull!


“We never had a cross word between us in 65 years of marriage.”  That is what the elderly gentlemen said across the pulpit about his deceased wife during one of our church meetings.  I don’t know what others thought, but the first thought that came to my mind, after scratching my head was, “What? Did he just say what I thought he said.”  The second thought that came to my mind was, “Perhaps he is so old he can’t remember.”  The third thing I thought was more cynical. “Any man who can make that statement is, or was,  living in a one way marriage and his wife must have been the most stifled woman on the face of the earth.”  Perhaps the third thought came to mind because my marriage has been full of small skirmishes.  And every once in a while a major battle breaks out that leaves my wife and I exhausted and wounded in body and soul.

My marriage relationship has been more on the lines of a statement I read the other day attributed to Garson Kanin, who was married to the actress Ruth Gordon for many years.  He said:

“I think the key to a long-lasting marriage is that we don’t always agree .  Agreement is deadly dull.”

Well I would never be one to promote contention in a marriage relationship but when two souls spend a lifetime together, it seems to me that disagreements will flare up. When my wife and I were first married I didn’t see the economic nor rational decision in buying car seats for our kids.  After all, none of the ten kids in my family ever had car seats as infants and nothing happened to us. We survived!  Not only that, but most of my early life I spent riding in a car without a seatbelt.  And so did all my friends and nothing happened to me or them!  So when my wife wanted to purchase a pricey car seat for our infant I just couldn’t see the rational for such an expenditure. At the time it was a voluntary thing and I didn’t want to spend the money.  Much to my surprise my new wife was not going to back down on this car seat business. A minor battle ensured, (which she won), and a few scars were left. As the years have gone on I can see she was right.  In this case ‘agreement really could have been, not just dull, but deadly.

“Marriage is a contact sport” as some have said.  However, we need not be contentious in our marriages if we learn to respect the views of our partners.  We should be able to have civil conversations regarding important decisions without smothering our spouses.  One of the most endearing character traits of my wife is that she is feisty, passionate, and opinionated on certain subjects.  I have learned a lot from her and am a better man, husband , and father because of it.

Over the years I have learned that I am not always right nor is my wife.  By helping each other see things more clearly on certain subjects, we have both benefited from our relationship and in so doing we have become closer to being one.



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