The Test of a New Marriage – Hunting Season

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I am excited to report that this week my sweet husband, Adam, and I will have been married 6 whole months!  As he says, “Only 594 more months until our 50th wedding anniversary!”

As a marriage and family therapist, I believe I came into this marriage with all the right tools: realistic expectations, knowledge about how to communicate effectively, and an understanding that as much as we love each other, we are two imperfect people who do not always “get it right.”

Well…let me tell you one thing, all the BEST marriage books could not have prepared me for one thing….HUNTING SEASON!  Ladies, why didn’t someone tell me about this?!

Let me give you an example.  A few weeks ago Adam was getting prepared for bow season.  For people who are completely clueless like me, that means you can only use a bow to kill the deer.  No guns allowed.  Well, he invited me to go out to the woods with him to move his deer stand.  It sounded innocent enough.  I thought, “Great.  I’ll spend time with Adam, get some sun, and be back for the game.”  So, I packed some food and decided to bring Cookie Monster (our Chihuahua) along too.

45 minutes later – We are in the woods looking for the perfect spot to put the tree stand. Smiling.

5 minutes later – I realize we are “in the woods” and I’m not going to get any sun.  Still smiling.

2 minutes later – I realize I should have worn jeans. The brush makes my legs inch! Still smiling.

1 minute later – Adam tells me maybe I should carry Cookie Monster because there are bobcats in the woods that could get him!  Strike of panic, but smiling!

60 minutes later – We are STILL walking and looking for the “perfect” spot.  My legs itch and my arms are tired from carrying Cookie Monster.  Not complaining & even an occasional smile.

15 minutes later – We find the perfect spot!  Woo!  I put Cookie Monster down finally.  Smiling and getting excited about the game.

30 minutes later – Game has started.  We have looked at every tree in the perfect spot, and we have found the perfect tree for the stand!  Cookie Monster walks through an ant bed, and he is freaking out a bit.  Not complaining.

10 minutes later – We examined every possible angle on the perfect tree in the perfect spot in the woods.  We select the perfect angle for the stand!  Too tired to smile.

1 minute later – I realize why I was REALLY invited!!  It takes 2 people to get the tree stand up.  One on the bottom to hold it steady and one person 15 feet in the air to strap it to the tree!!!!!  Guess which one I was.  NOT smiling.

10 minutes later – Glad to be alive.  15 feet felt more like 500 feet!  Trying not to hyperventilate!

1 minute later – I am still on the ground about to give Adam a “stern talking to” when I look up and see him smiling from ear to ear.  THREE hours later, we had really found the perfect angle on the perfect tree in the perfect spot in the woods!  Now smiling again (but only a little).

I guess the marriage books are right and maybe they did prepare me for hunting season.  We know that when couples don’t have “shared meaning” about a given situation or event it can lead to conflict.  It would have been best if we both had the same idea of what it means to go move a deer stand.  I obviously had a very different idea of what we would be doing that day.  When I realized that we didn’t have shared meaning, I had to recognize the meaning that Adam attached to the event and be respectful of that (even when I didn’t feel like smiling!). 

Hunting season may not be my thing, but I can roll over at 4am and wish him good luck; I can frame the picture of my smiling husband holding up his prized possession (even if it is gross and the deer’s tongue is hanging out!); and I can appreciate the fact that as much as we love each other, it is good to have our individual interests : )

Happy anniversary sweetheart & happy hunting season!

 

Mallory Lucier-Greer, MS

Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative

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8 Responses to “The Test of a New Marriage – Hunting Season”

  1. Lauren Nigh Patterson Says:

    I love this example! It is amazing how two people can have something totally different in their mind about what to expect. Good job on respecting him even when what you expected didn’t happen.
    😉

  2. valerie daniels Says:

    Halarious!! Glad it was you and not me (and not in the dead of winter!)

  3. Susan Thomas Says:

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh Yes – What we had there was a failure to communicate (That was from an old movie)!! Keep smiling – it helps!!

  4. Gail Kennedy Says:

    Well, you know he already snagged the best game “in town”!

    Best wishes for many years to come…

  5. Laura Bennett Says:

    I throughly enjoyed your Anniversary story. It was intriguing, yet very funny. I wish you both many, many years of wedded bliss!!

  6. Erin Says:

    Even though I had already heard this story, I read it all the way through and I smiled the whole time reading it even though I knew the ending. I unfortunately learned about hunting and what it entails years ago… Ray no longer invites me to go hunting with him, but that is just fine with me!!!

  7. Kimmy Says:

    Good one! Very funny!

  8. Susan (Aunt) Novotny Says:

    Dear Dear Mallory
    What a wonderful blog! I was reminded of the many times i was taken kicking and screaming to the movies to see “people” with light sabers poking and swishing at each other when i would have rather watched a chick flick. 27 years later i would give anything to see that movie one more time with him. my best to you and adam and cookie and my i say…run deer run. love always

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