Friday, December 01, 2006

Scene from a healthy marriage

I had to work the day after Thanksgiving, so I was unable to be with my family on the big day. Some friends -- a young married couple -- took pity on my orphaned state and invited me to join them for Thanksgiving. They were driving to a small town in South Carolina to be with her family. Food provided by a gaggle of country aunts and cousins? I leapt at the offer!

So Thanksgiving morning we were off, laughing and telling stories and talkin' trash. About halfway through the drive, the husband's cell phone rings. He answers it, has a terse, stilted conversation, then hangs up. He was quiet for a few stunned seconds before he told us who had been on the phone.

It was an ex-girlfriend, "just calling to say hi." His mother had given her the phone number, saying he wouldn't mind a call on Thanksgiving Day. Even though he's, like, married with a small child.

Yeah. TACKY.

But here's the thing. After we got over our initial shock, we all howled with laughter -- his wife loudest of all. Now, if an ex-hottie called many women's husbands, they'd be upset and trying to pick a fight -- with the husband, the hottie, the mother-in-law (MIL) or all of the above.

What the MIL did was underhanded. What the ex did was just plain stupid. But how the hubby handled it was great -- he was courteous but clipped on the phone, then told his wife exactly who it was and what had happened. (Who among us doesn't know some dude who would lie to keep from upsetting his woman, only to make matters worse in the process?) How the wife handled it was even better, with dignity, good humor and an easy, obvious confidence in her man and her marriage. It was glorious to watch the lack of drama. Whatever the MIL had planned, it failed horribly.

It turns out that MIL doesn't like the wife very much (gee, what was the giveaway?) and this was the latest in a line of not-so-subtle marriage-marring machinations. But the husband is his own man and won't let his mother mess up his healthy, happy thing. The wife is secure in herself and has the support of her husband and a loving family; why let the scheming of this woman affect her life?

On that day, I was thankful to see such a fine example of a marriage that works, thanks to communication, trust, love and humor. Now that's my kind of relationship!


Anonymous said...

That wife handled that situation with class...she's obviously very secure in her marriage. I hope to be that secure in my next relationship:) I would have been furious at the mom-in-law, though.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they'd take you on as a 3rd partner?

How well can you "manage a Troy?"


Anonymous said...

and what, dear idiot, exactly is a "troy"?

good lord. at least be literate if you're going to troll.

Anonymous said...

It's southern French, I think...