Psst, come close. No closer. I want to whisper in your ear the secret to marital bliss. Are you listening? Good. The secret is: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS MARITAL BLISS! There is however success in marriage. How do you achieve a successful marriage? You do it by checking your ego at the door.
Believe it or not, Studdly Do Wrong (my newfound endearing and well-deserved nickname for my husband of nearly 45 years) wasn’t the type of guy I envisioned myself within my earlier years. All of my childhood crushes were on “bad boys”. As a matter of fact, Studdly was the type of guy that was furthest from my mind. My insecure ego felt it needed a tough guy to walk beside it. I was far from a tough guys chick but if my ego wanted that my ego was gonna go after it.
Prior to my meeting Studdly, I had been hoping that one of the neighborhood toughies would fall hopelessly in love with me. In the process of this fantasy, I started dating a really nice, respectful boy who at the time was in love with me. I liked him a lot but he didn’t have the bad boy element that I seemingly was attracted to. After dating for over a year the chemistry just wasn’t there and we broke up. I felt responsible for the break-up and decided to give it another go. Like I said he was a nice guy and he loved me. I set out to meet up with him and tell him I’d like to give us another chance. That’s when God intervened. God obviously had other plans for me so rather than reunite me with my ex-boyfriend, He sent Studdly into my life. There I was, minding my own business when in walked my future. I took one look at him and said: “I’m gonna marry that boy”. Truth be told, he wasn’t Studdly then. He was tall, which was a plus but that was about it. He wasn’t the tough guy I was hoping for. I was no beauty queen either. We were just two average dorky kids. My ego said nooooo not for you but my heart was beating a profound yes.

As fate would have it we were introduced to one another and that was it. There was a connection between us that was not of this world. I felt it and so did he. We bonded instantly. I felt at ease with this guy in a way I’d never experienced. I was able to be open and honest with him. I told him everything there was to know about me. I never wanted him to hear anything out of anyone’s mouth without first hearing it out of mine. Good or bad he’d get the truth from me. I admired how he never judged me on anything I told him. I told him the type of guy I thought I’d end up with and he told me that he was the guy I was gonna live with for the rest of our lives. Needless to say, I fell hook, line, and sinker for him and his endearing words. I made a commitment to him and to God that I would never be with anyone but him. He was my first true love and as far as I was concerned, my only love. I was about to learn that commitment doesn’t mean the same to everyone.
Shortly into our “going steady faze”. I found out that his words and actions didn’t quite meld. He wanted me to be committed but well, he was a sixteen-year-old insecure boy who hoped to get a couple of extra notches in his belt that he could feel good about. Needless to say, I was devastated. My ego kept saying you don’t need this. You know there are other guys out there that want to go out with you. Break up with him. You deserve better. My heart, on the other hand, kept saying you’re committed, trust me not your ego. I listened to my heart. Our relationship grew stronger but then it shattered. He broke up with me. I was devastated. He wanted nothing to do with me. I fell into a slump where I wanted to roll over and die. My friends started taking me out, introducing me to guys. I went on a few dates but I felt nothing. I cried a lot, asking God why he sent this guy into my life in the first place. I felt as though God kept saying trust me, so I did. Sure enough, Studdly wanted me back. My ego said no again but my heart jumped right out into his.

It was rough at first, I had lost faith in his words. My ego had been wounded and was always on guard. Two years later, he broke up with me again. This time I listened to my ego. I was moving on. I met some bad guys (remember those were the type of guys I was attracted to) and a couple of real nice guys who had promising futures in front of them. I dated but my heart was elsewhere. Damn heart. Don’t bother me. Somehow Studdly found out that there were a couple of guys very interested in pursuing me. He came back for me again. And once again my ego said get lost but my heart said you’re the one God sent me so yes I’ll take you back. 
We got engaged and a year later we were married and expecting our first child.

Nearly 45 years later I’m glad I followed my heart. Now don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying we lived happily ever after. No one does. Remember marital bliss is an illusion. Every couple faces challenges in their relationship. Studdly and I have had our fair share for sure. We’re flawed, we have battle scars, we’ve inflicted emotional pain on one another. We both had egos that got the best of us. The halo that some people see around my head is actually my devil horns that simply molded together. And Studdly is not quite gonna be canonized a saint for tolerating me. Ha, ha. We are two imperfect people that make the perfect pair. We’ve endured a lot from each other’s insecurities but we also love each other. In the 48 yrs we’ve been together I’ve seen him get mad as many times as I can count on one hand. He’s seen me get mad more times than Oprah’s got billions. Dispute his many flaws he has many redeeming qualities. He’s a good man, a hard worker and a man who loves me unconditionally. He’s never said an unkind word to me. I take that back, he did the second time he broke up with me. He never did again. Possibly because he must know that I’d send the wrath of God after him. ha, ha. I tell him I don’t like him, he tells me he loves me. I curse at him, he throws me kisses. He gave me the role of queen and I took it. He made notches in his belt and I’ve used that belt against him. lol. We’re a match made in heaven for hell on earth.

All kidding aside relationships are not easy. Life will constantly test you. Struggles are part of life. They form our character and our strength. No one can tell you what’s right for you but you. Many people are led by their ego few can knock their ego down and follow their heart. Following my heart means trusting God. God has always been my driving force. No matter how many times I offend God, He forgives me. If I want forgiveness I have to give forgiveness. We both forgive each other in this thing called marriage. We love for better, for worse. Till death do us part. He’s lucky I leave that last part up to the God, the One who showed His sense of humor by creating us in the first place. We are living proof that God indeed has an incredible sense of humor.

Marriage is not easy. It takes work. A lot of work. Here are a few tips that have helped me in my journey with Studdly.

  1. Lose your ego. That ego will be the destruction of your union. Follow your heart. Learn what’s ego driven and heart driven.
  2. Know who you are. Don’t let your ego blindside you into believing you are who your ego wants you to be.
  3. You’re either single or your married. You can’t be both. Make that decision before not after you marry.
  4. Don’t listen to how others think your marriage should be. If you respect each other your marriage will be right for you.
  5. Know that your going to face challenges. Also know that there is nothing you can’t overcome if you are willing to work together.
  6. Don’t be afraid to turn to God for guidance. He’ll steer you in the right direction even if it’s not the direction you think it should be.
  7. Be there for one another. Listen with an open heart. You really have to check your ego for this one.
  8. Treat each other’s hearts the way you want yours treated.
  9. Understand that there will be times that you will want to get up and walk away. Those are tests. Learn from them
  10. Abuse especially physical abuse is a warning sign. Never allow it to be.
  11. Marry for the right reasons.
  12. Remember the grass always looks greener in someone else’s yard. If you want greener grass, learn how to cultivate your own.
  13. People that are for your relationship will never steer you away from it. Learn who’s happy for you and who’s envious of you. Those that are envious will find a way to sabotage your relationship. Friends bring you back to your family. They don’t tear you from it.
  14. Just in case either of you ever have the urge to sway keep a picture of Lorena Bobbit on your end table as a reminder that it’s not worth it.

Married 44 years to my hubby whose purpose in life is to prevent me from getting through the “Pearly Gates”. Mother of two, Nanna of four loving granddaughters and retired secretary aka administrative assistant. I went to the University of Hard Knocks where I received my Doctorate. My thesis is titled: How To Survive Life’s Trials Without Killing Yourself or Someone Else. I live by the belief that when life throws you a curve, learn from it rather than use it against yourself. Faith and humor are my survival kit. Appreciate the simple things for they are the true treasures of life.

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