“Getting Over It,” Nov. 1, 2022 (Note: I’m off this week. This column is from 2015.)

In every marriage, there comes a test, a battle of wills, that often ends with a question: Are we going to get over this, or not?

For some couples, the test happens so often they start to wish they lived in a state where “The fool needed killing” is justifiable homicide.

Others, however, seem to sail through thick and thin bumping heads on occasion, but always finding the grace to “get over it.”

Marriage takes a lot of getting over it. That’s something you learn, if you’re lucky, on the rocky road of life before “I do” becomes “I don’t think so.”

My husband and I consider ourselves lucky. We met at work. He was my editor. We were just friends for nine years, dated for five, and have been married almost two decades.

We’ve had our share of differences. He can be, well, a bit bull-headed. And he has a tendency to correct me, whether I am wrong or not, which I often am, but still. I’m just saying.

For the record, I am far from perfect. You might not believe that, but it’s true. I could recite a long list of my shortcomings, but, whatever, let’s move on.

I want to be clear about this: Seldom do we end up, my beloved and I, snarling at each other. Today was an exception.

Recently we decided it was time to replace his old, ugly “marshmallow” recliner with two good chairs, one for him and one for me, so I’d no longer need to prop myself up with pillows on the couch like a trauma patient in traction.

The decision, though mutual, raised considerable debate over which chairs, what color, and how much to pay for them.

The fact that we reached agreement at all says a lot, I think, about our compatibility and willingness to compromise, and maybe our aching backs.

The chairs we chose had to be ordered. Then the order was delayed because we ordered the wrong ones. Duh. Finally, the right ones arrived today and we began rearranging the living room trying to make them fit.

What is it about moving furniture that can turn civilized people into foaming-at-the mouth attack dogs?

“It won’t look right there!”

“Yes, it will!”

“Move that chair to the left!”

“It needs to move right!”

“Two inches is all I’m saying!”

“Two inches is too much!”

“Just try it!”

“OK, fine! How’s that?”

“Wait, that’s too far!”

Funny, isn’t it? When you love someone, you can’t imagine living without them. But there are days when you’d like to try.

Marriage is a constant give and take, rearranging the pieces of two distinctly separate lives and minds and hearts and souls to fit together magically as one.

I once asked a woman, who’d been happily married for 50 years, how she and her husband made it work?

“It’s simple,” she said. “Twice a week we go out for a romantic dinner at our favorite restaurant and take a long, leisurely walk in the moonlight. It’s lovely. He goes Tuesdays, I go Thursdays.”

I liked that woman a lot.

My husband and I finally got so tired of moving furniture we each gave an inch and shook hands on a compromise. It wasn’t pretty, but it was done.

Then we collapsed in our new chairs to watch an old favorite movie, Christopher Guest’s classic, “Best in Show.”

If you need a good laugh, I highly recommend it. Both the movie and the laughter. We laughed so hard we cried.

When it was over, my husband left to play music, and I stayed home to write a column.

After he left, yes, I moved the chairs. Just a little. Not a lot. I doubt he’ll notice. If he does, we’ll get over it and get on with being one, just the two of us.

Despite our differences _ and often because of them _ being one is what we do best.


  1. NORRIS barnes says

    If i make it to tomorrow, i will have been married 58 years. ‘’We’ will have been married 116!

    And 10 of them were good!

    Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.”

    Enjoyed your honesty. It is a laughable magical miracle. Would i do it again? Will take it under advisement. 😎

  2. Kate Sciacca says

    I know you’re off, and I pray all is well… but I had to say, I LOVE this lady, she TOTALLY gets it…

    “It’s simple,” she said. “Twice a week we go out for a romantic dinner at our favorite restaurant and take a long, leisurely walk in the moonlight. It’s lovely. He goes Tuesdays, I go Thursdays.”


  3. CHope Hall says

    We’ve been married since 1961 so we’ve had several of these moments & disagreements. I’ve since learned it isn’t worth it to argue. Like you I just wait til he’s not in the room & fix it my way. He never notices or if he does he never mentions it. Enjoy your special time with your family. Safe travels. Take care & God bless.

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