We could go on the road with this schtick

In grad school, I learned about the stages of the marital lifecycle…

Stage 1 – Become a differentiated individual (after leaving home, prior to getting married)
Stage 2 –  Establish your coupledom (first 2 years of marriage)
Stage 3 – Parenting little kids (when your kids are between birth and… little)
Stage 4 – Parenting middle aged kids and teens (um, by now this should be self explanatory)
Stage 5 – Launching (goodbye, kiddos!)
Stage 6 – Retirement (hello, freedom!)

One way we “learned” about these stages was by having couples in the midst of a various stage come in and describe their experiences.  They would describe how life had changed as they moved into the stage.  How the stage was particularly challenging or particularly rewarding. 

I loved listening to the couples’ stories.  We’d hear about what her family was like, and how her upbringing made her the way she was.  We’d listen to the example of marriage he grew up with and how it influences his marriage today.  They’d talk honestly about what was hard for their particular relationship, what was easy, what they loved, what they hated.  I ate this stuff up like it was apple pie.  Loved.it.

Being who I am, as I’d listen to their stories I’d secretly wish that me and my husband would be asked to do this for a professor one day.  I thought about what I’d share and what he’d share.  How I would offer amazing insight about how our coupledom worked and be amazingly charming all at the once.  For the most part, I considered the whole thing a pipe dream.

And then I got a phone call last week.  Our premarital counselor, who teaches an undergrad course at Trevecca on marriage, wanted Mark and I to come speak to her class about our relationship.  We were going to be that couple!

I don’t know how to truly capture the joy my heart felt at that moment.  I can only imagine it is the way the American Idol kids feel when they hear Simon say, “You’re going to Hollywood!”  Yes, it was that level of awesomeness for me. 

So last night we went to a class to share “our story”…

I talked about the family I grew up in, and how it helped create my fears of confrontation.  Mark talked about how his first marriage haunted the first few months of our marriage.  I talked about the adjustment it took to really feel at home in what had always been “Mark’s house”.  He talked about being an introvert and adjusting to having me around all the time.  We answered questions about our age difference, my feelings about his first marriage, and what Mark’s ‘dealbreakers’ were regarding his next marriage.  And the best part was the mini-speech Mark gave about how awesome I am.  It was emotional foreplay at its finest.

It was amazing.  Mark was articulate and insightful.  I was adorably hilarious.  And we had such a great time.

“Mark,” I said as we crawled into bed last night, “I really think we could go on the road with that routine.  We were great tonight.”

“Yes, sweetie, we are great.  But I don’t think anyone really cares about our relationship…”

I beg to differ, sir, I now have ten readers.  People care, dude. People care.

8 thoughts on “We could go on the road with this schtick

  1. Secret Agent "CT" says:

    Great post!! I want to be “that couple”! How fun!! You are adorably hilarious!!

    Umm.. I didn’t know that Mark had been married before. How did I not know that? Did I once know that and it was part of my memories that I have forgotten?

    Also – I’m between stages 2 and 3. So what does that make us? 2.5?

  2. Rebecca says:

    Haha, reminds me of the “When Harry Met Sally” stories. Cute, cute.

  3. Marie says:

    CT, you guys would be a great couple because you have so many stories! And I’m surprised if I didn’t tell you, I’m pretty sure I told everyone!

    And being between the stages 2 and 3 makes you happy! Ha, seriously, they say that once the kids come in the picture the marital satisfaction graph takes a horrible plunge. So being between 2 and 3 is kinda like fastforwarding to stage 5 where you say goodbye to the kids and are happy again.

    Rebecca, I love “When Harry Met Sally”! I love all things Rob Reiner 😀

  4. Secret Agent "CT" says:

    I probably just forgot about it. Typical me.

  5. […] game), and it’s hard enough to begin a relationship, let alone have the extra pressure of so many people watching you. I mean, Ryan and I are both “In a Relationship” on Facebook, but not even explicitly with each […]

  6. […] game), and it’s hard enough to begin a relationship, let alone have the extra pressure of so many people watching you. I mean, Ryan and I are both “In a Relationship” on Facebook, but not even explicitly with each […]

  7. Betsy says:

    You now have 11 readers. 🙂 We’re in Stage 5.7, but we’re also a 2 because we got married a couple years ago (each of us for the last time). Yeah, it’s funny when you get to be this old and you still don’t feel like it. Thanks.

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