“But can you live with her?”

That was the answer my dad gave me over 30 years ago after I answered, “I can’t live without her” to his, “Why do you want to marry her?” I remember right where we were, standing on Putnam Street in Marietta outside a small jewelry store.  Even as the young, foolish kid I was, I knew at that moment I had had a brush with wisdom.

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One of my favorite photos of Amy. From the year I met her at MVNC.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure if the answer was “yes”.  We were both young, sub 20.  We occasionally fought like cats and dogs, fitting because she loved cats and I loved dogs.  We had broken up more times than I had fingers on one hand.  But, oh, I absolutely ached in my heart when she was in Canal Winchester and I was in Marietta in those pre-cellphone/facetime-REAL-long-distance dating days. (Kids today have no idea).

So, ignoring the wisdom of his question, I, of course, answered, “I think so.”  I know. Ringing endorsement filled with confidence.

Jump forward several months to May 16, 1987, 30 years ago today…we were married. We should have known that first year was going to be a rocky journey after that wedding.  We got maybe two things right; my brother Karl performed the ceremony and she liked her veil. hated the headpiece, but liked the veil. The rest of it? We

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Amy and her sister, Meghan

look back on and shake our heads. If we were to do it again, we would have taken her dad’s cash offer to just elope.  It would have been an Elvis wedding chapel in Vegas. We would have loved it.

When we moved into our first apartment in Bowling Green, everything we owned, except the Ford Escort, fit into a nice pile in the tiny living room. Kids were moving out of dorms and apartments for the summer, so we scavenged couches and other furniture from the trash.

By Christmas, we were making plans to just get through the holidays and then tell our families we were done and ending it in January.  However, there was some kind of magic that Christmas.  We were reminded of what made us love each other in the first place.  So instead of ending it in January, we were fixing it.

Since this is a blog and not a book, I’ll skip to the important part.

I’d love to say that we have had 30 wonderful years together.  That would be a total lie.

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You’ve already captioned this in your mind, so I’ll just leave it right here.

Some of those early years were miserable. It seemed that maybe we couldn’t live together after all. But, we fought through them together, and we came out the other side best friends, united, and committed. I give her and God all the credit.  I’m difficult at best to deal with.  Her Grandma Ogier knew that the first time she met me; “that Kyle sure is a smart alec.”

I am blessed with a woman who knows that Christ is her Savior and when we were at our worst, she turned to God to get us through it. She is the voice of reason to my impulsivity. She is the calm to my storm. I can’t imagine my life with anyone else.  EVERY day, I look forward to getting home to see what we’re up to that evening.  And it doesn’t really matter what it is as long as it is together.

So, Dad, I’d like to change my answer to, “Yes, I most certainly can live with her.”

Happy anniversary, Amy! Here’s to 30 more.

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My best friend

Five Love Languages

In Sunday School we’ve been studying The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I really can’t say enough about this book. I know in my class, I don’t do it justice. I just can’t cover it all in that amount of time. If you’re out there and your marriage just isn’t what it should be, or what you thought it would be, you need to read this with your spouse. It’s that good.

The gist is this. Dr. Chapman believes there are five basic languages that people use to speak love, sending and receiving. They are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Basically, each person speaks one or two of these languages well and probably one or two of them very poorly. Rarely will your love language match the love language of your spouse. Therein lies the problem.

The husband who speaks Receiving Gifts and Physical Touch well paired with a wife who speaks Quality Time is a set up for failure. Here’s a guy who works hard, buys his wife nice things, and is looking to be shown love through physical means. He just doesn’t understand why she is so cold toward him in the bedroom. Of course, the entire time, she feels bought and paid for, but certainly not loved. Their love life is pretty much like a Russian trying to have a conversation with an American. They might eventually communicate, but it will be difficult at best and certainly not deep.

He loves her. She loves him. However, neither one feels it from the other. If this couple would learn to speak each other’s language, both of them would begin to feel the love that the other has for them.

Here’s the deal. This book isn’t just for squabbling mates. Amy and I have a great marriage, 25 years this May, but I am convicted and awakened on nearly every page. Today, for instance, we studied about a wife who tried to tell her husband about her work when she arrived home. Well, the husband listened a bit and then started giving advice on how to handle the situation she was describing. Same the next day, with no implementation of the advice and no change in the situation. This continued until the husband became frustrated and said, “Don’t tell me about it. You won’t do anything I suggest.” The problem though, she wasn’t asking for advice. She was asking for her husband to listen to her, sympathize. Eventually, she may have asked for advice. But she wanted to engage in Quality Conversation. He wanted to speak, not listen. That is me to a T. I am definitely going to apply one of the remedies in the book.

In future blogs I’ll go into the languages. In the meantime, go buy the book and start reading!