Yes, I am writing this on Valentine's Day. No, it is not a sappy post about how much I love my husband. (See the post on his birthday if you are looking for something like that!) Instead I am writing about a revelation I had yesterday while putting together the boys' bunk beds with my husband.
Have you ever tried to build something with your spouse? Some piece of furniture or complicated baby item that has poorly written instructions and 10 gazillion pieces to it? If so then you probably know where I am coming from. This situation always turns into a nightmare in our house. My husband's temper is never shorter then when something isn't going the way he thinks it should which is always the case when we are putting something together.His anger quickly rubs off on me and pretty soon the whole project is abandoned mid-build. At least this is how it used to go.
We first experienced this when putting together baby cribs (have you ever done that? INSANE!) and ever since our system has been that if something is possibly a one person building job I do it because I have more patience for it. And I actually believe in following the directions. This has saved us much heartache and I have gotten quite proficient at assembling items. To the point where if I didn't hate it so much I would offer my services to others who have suffered in the same way we have. But every once in awhile there is that project that has to be done by two people. The bunk beds were just such a project. So as we embarked on what became a 3 hour journey, we knew that we were on rocky ground. This is a place in the past that has caused nothing but trouble. I am happy to say that we made it through fairly unscathed. One minor temper flair from hubby occurred but was quickly diffused and we were mostly able to laugh at ourselves and pass the time by making junior high jokes about "screwing." Hey, whatever it takes, right?
Having gotten through this felt like a milestone for us. Like we had accomplished something that all successful couples do at one point or another. We moved past one of those things that normally trigger chaos. It may have taken us nearly 7 years but we did it! This doesn't mean we are going into business assembling things with each other, and I will most likely continue to do this solo, but we now know that if the situation warrants it we can work together. This led me to the revelation that building things together should be a part of premarital counseling. On one of your sessions they should lock you both in a room with a gazillion piece project and see if you come out on the other side still wanting to get married. That sounds like a true test of a couples love! Having said that, we probably wouldn't have passed that test way back then so it's a good thing we weren't asked to. But we could do it now. I guess that can be our Valentine's gift to each other this year.