An Army Wife … What Makes a Marriage Work?

That’s me. A military wife, and probably the most unlikely one.

Compared to the disciplined and structured life that soldiers and officers exist in, I am chaotic, untidy and quite possibly verging on unhinged. Quite how the marriage works, you may well ask, and I can only assume that the more we analyse, the theory of opposites attracting is becoming less theoretical and more factual.

We tease each other relentlessly. And the fact of the matter is, if I was married to someone as slovenly as myself, it would surely only be a matter of time before I started clearing up supper the following morning and leaving my endless reams of paper from the book scattered on every surface, and the screwed up balls of discarded nonsense strewn over the floor for days. God forbid, I might not even get dressed in the mornings …. although I do have wonderful daydreams of floating around the apartment in a silk kimono, scarlet lips sipping on a coupe glass of champagne as I listen to Vivaldi, whilst writing frenzied chapters of the book …

The Colonel (aka my husband) tells me he would loathe be married to a female version of himself. Oddly, I get that. But imagine how tidy their cupboards would be. From time to time he sorts out the kitchen and I swear that when I came back from my cycling jaunt the herbs and spices were lined up in alphabetical order. Although, in his defence, tidying is therapeutic.

So perhaps we all need a little bit of opposites attracting alongside compatibility, love and understanding of each other. And perhaps also we need our friends of the same sex to offload the drivel to. I’ve recently finished the book ‘The Happiness Project’ by Gretchen Rubin who says just that. Sometimes women need women and men need men.

So, as the Colonel finishes organising and holding a socially distanced Remembrance Service at the UN, my eyes well up with pride and admiration. I certainly don’t have his qualities of planning but I guess we all bring something to the table … in this instance, it’s a huge chocolate cake, specially for him with maybe a bit of ice cream on the side.

Katie x

50 thoughts on “An Army Wife … What Makes a Marriage Work?”

  1. Hi. My husband likes simple tidy only because it means never having to tackle a major clean out. Me I am a bit more paranoid. I have to sort socks into pairs, recycling has to be sorted and baking trays must be stacked. But I do not brush out carpet fringes as my friends wife does, nor do I think it’s ok to never hover the floor. So we get along great and both take on cleaning chores that best suit us….me bathrooms, Tony the kitchen. It works.

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      1. Ahhhh!! Ha! I thought this was an acronym that I didn’t know about! I don’t know about a lot of them in actual fact so now I just ask rather than guessing … my son used to text me with ‘lol’ and of course I thought he was saying I love you …. apparently not. 😏

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      1. An old Military term in fairly common use (I was not in the Military, though): Situation Normal: All Fouled Up. That’s the polite rendering. “Fouled” is more often replaced with the hearty Anglo-Saxon equivalent!

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  2. You’re not opposites, but complimentaries… planets whose gravitational pulls hold the other from spinning to disorder and chaos one way and a corralling OCD the other… though categorising the herb jars I would add to the well known list of the things you should never try….

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    1. That’s so funny you’re both similar to us! However it’s just been very accurately pointed out to me that in actual fact we’re not opposites, we’re ‘complementaries’ and I LOVE that! So maybe you and your other half are the same… you complement each other perfectly! 💗

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  3. Like you, I would look at what made other couples work and … scratch my head. I’ve known opposites and likes and can only conclude that one needs to develop love and acceptance for the other’s traits. Okay-yes, that really means patience and tolerance, and the need to learn some tact when admonishing about those scraps of paper and disorganized spices!

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    1. I think you’re spot on! I suspect I’m really rather annoying to live with; I have a tendency to forget to close drawers and cupboards. I think that could be quite irritating, but in my defence it’s just that I get so excited that I’ve remembered what I was looking for that I just forget. Golly, age is cruel! Do hope you’re well? X

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  4. Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant ❤️❤️❤️ Katie xxxx Ps thank you for your lovely email – it was so nice hearing your news; will reply separately as I need -finally – to go and have a bath and get out of my dressing gown!!

    >

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  5. My father was an army man, he taught (drummed into) me to be tidy. My ex husband was uber tidy. After divorce I was with a lovely man who was also tidy. Nowadays I’m still fairly tidy but occasionally I will just leave dishes in the sink instead of putting them in the dishwasher, and the dust doesn’t get dusted as often as it used to. I want to spend time doing better things than being tidy!

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    1. It sounds as though you have the perfect balance! I must confess that since I’ve got Audibles to listen to books on, I probably do more cleaning and tidying than I used to, particularly if I’m into a really good book! For me it’s a bit like watching daytime telly, I feel too guilty to do it unless I’m doing something productive (like, say the ironing) at the same time. Michelle Obama’s book was about four days of cleaning windows, Sheryl Strayed’s book Wild was too good so I kept stopping, but the oven was spotless afterwards. But you, yes, you sound like you’ve got the balance just right. Katie

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  6. I read another others, The Four Tendencies. It said I was a rebel and the k my thing that would make me do things was… Me making myself do things!

    I envision you as a sort of Diane Keaton after reading this post. Not the later ditzy one, the endearing, boho, beguiling Annie Hall one. Flamboyant and footloose and fancy free, she dances to the beat of her own drummer, is fun and smart, creative but loyal to her man and her friends.

    Silk and Vivaldi, writing furoulsy. Champagne wishes and caviar dreams. Also, mmm…. chocolate cake. Such great word pictures you draw, K!

    If you’ve said what the book is about would you please reindulge us?

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    1. “Flamboyant and footloose and fancy free” ….. I love those words!
      What’s the book about? Well, it’s about finding that footloose and fancy free person you just described. It’s about finding long lost courage. It’s the lighthearted story of how, with an ability to be frightened of my own shadow and get lost in the aisles of the local supermarket, I embarked on a solo journey from the north to the south of France on a secondhand bicycle with an inadequate tent wearing a pair of flip flops. All in the quest of finding my lost courage.
      I wouldn’t necessarily say you’re my target audience (!) as in my mind you’re a big tough sensible sort of bloke! But I’m hoping it appeals to women who want more from life, yet are afraid to take the rather undignified leap into the unknown. Women just like me.
      Katie

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      1. Thanks for extinguishing my brain fart. I may be a dude or bloke (not that big of one) but dudes and blokes also have moments of questionable sense (and sensibility) to face fears and

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      2. … and surely (I don’t ebest) could benefit and learn from your story. In a way out books may be similar in that they’re both about bicycling a long distance and all that entails. Memoirs of perspiration, exasperation, and ultimately — one hopes — inspiration. Can’t wait to read yours!

        And I must take steps to move mine toward publication, likely self. Mostly I need trusted beta readers who hopefully kinda get me and can pick up the vibe I’m putting down. It wouldn’t hurt if they had some interest in bicycling. If only I knew some brilliant people like that….

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      3. Whaaaaat!!!!! Did I know you were writing a book? Have I also had what you so delicately referred to as a ‘brain fart’? And as for needing Beta readers ….. (she looks coyly through her eyelashes….) do let me know if you need anyone with an interest in bicycling from a female perspective of course.
        Well, now that I know all of this, may I be really annoying and recommend a book entitled One Man And His Bike by Mike Carter … great sense of humour and a travel writer for one the papers in the U.K. He then went on to write Uneasy Rider which was equally good even though I have a dislike of motorbikes. As I’ve recently discovered, it’s useful for book proposals to know of competing titles! Ooooh I’m so excited for you! So very, very excited!

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      4. I’m having all the feels reading this. Thank you. Will check that book out. Yes, I’ve mentioned mine here and there. It’s done but I need better eyeballs than mine. Maybe it is a bit heavy on the dudeness, tho it’s meant for anyone. So your take as a woman, and as you, would be amazing. I’d insist on returning the favor. I’m all atwitter, and we’re on WordPress! I sent you a direct note. You’re a tornado, except creative, not destructive. You know what I mean.

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      5. I’d be honoured. 😊 Have received your message and sent you my proper email address which I use daily as the gmail one I don’t really use. Send me anything … would love to read it. Katie

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