Honeymoon or hunting boot camp?
Our goal was wildlife encounters, but what we encountered had more to do with the challenges of marriage:
- Personality types
- The source of comfort and guidance
We set out on our wintry honeymoon. (If you haven’t already, please entertain yourself by taking the time to get caught up on our wedding and how we met). We headed to the snowy North to stay at a bed and breakfast. I was looking forward to relaxation but, unknown to me, I think My Man was planning to put me through a “hunting boot camp.”
Relaxation with a honey badger? Not possible
I knew my new husband liked hunting (“liked” seriously lacks in its ability to describe the passion), but the reality of just how much he “liked” hunting had not sunk in. I had never hunted a day in my life before meeting My Man and had to quickly adapt to the rigors of his favorite hobby. Before I knew what was happening I was perched on the four-wheeler, in the snow, filming as he called in coyotes.
I am a slow learner, and not very technical, so I tested My Man’s patience early on. Soon I felt that I could do nothing right–and who was this irritable, camo’d out man lying in the snow? The skies were already darkening….
A major key to marriage: understanding PERSONALITIES
Let’s step away from the honeymoon to talk about personalities; this is mostly where the tension in our marriage originated–the difference in ours. Bear with me, I am obsessed with personalities! Just as the book, “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus” by John Gray, helped husbands and wives accept their differences as men and women, “Created to Be His Help Meet” by Debi Pearl changed my world in regards to accepting different personality types. Too bad she didn’t write that book years earlier!
There is no doubt that My Man was created to be a leader-of-men. He was the motivation for James in my novel. That handsome, dark-haired Marvel. My Man’s parents, in their wisdom, wouldn’t let him enlist in the military at seventeen, otherwise he surely would have distinguished himself. Compared to other personality types, there are relatively few true leader personalities in the world.
Leaders and followers–both are necessary
There simply just doesn’t need to be as many leaders as followers in the world. I had never recognized My Man’s personality in anyone before him and still have mostly only read about others, i.e. General Patton and Ernest Shackleton. My Man has lightning quick discernment and no trouble making daily decisions for the hundred plus firefighters under his command.
It is a God given ability. He is largely of Italian and Irish descent if that also helps paint a picture of his personality for you.
With that quick discernment comes quick irritability–he clearly sees what needs to happen while all the “little people” around him are still scrambling. During those dark times of his irritability I would immediately fall into self-pity and with it, the thought that he was a horrible person. My dad, in contrast, was so mellow and kind. I did not know how to handle My Man.
I am a natural leader, too, but not of the same caliber or as lightning quick
You might as well call me SLOW in comparison to My Man–or you could more nicely call it mellow. My blood pressure is genetically very low and if I sit too long I go into a mini coma. This is something my husband is still getting accustomed to. Remember his fast hiking and quick, decisive ways on the crew?
There are many times that we are in a situation and My Man kicks into full gear before I even know what is happening.
He’ll have the four wheeler unloaded, off of the trailer and running, his full gear on, and I will still be unbuckling my seat belt. Oh dear!
Where are we and what just happened?
Despite those times of self-pity, I am thankfully, overall, an optimist. I thank God for that trait. I don’t think our marriage would have lasted otherwise. I am always hopeful that in whatever situation it is “going to be alright.”
But it couldn’t be that easy; we were still in that cycle of clashing personalities. My “it’s going to be alright” attitude, clashed with My Man’s—especially when it came to navigation.
That dreaded word–Navigation
Our navigation styles are polar opposites. Are there any wives out there nodding their heads? I have a feeling I am not alone in this. I still insist that I have a good sense of direction but, once again, my mellow nature is the problem.
What’s the big deal about having to turn around once in a while? I didn’t realize it was such a life and death situation every time we were trying to go somewhere! By now I have learned that men and women are very different in this part of life.
To men, you might as well be mapping out a war zone
Most women are content to go on a relaxed joy ride; it really is a lose-lose situation. If I am driving you better give My Man a sedative. If I am not driving then I am navigating and it wouldn’t be safe for him to take a sedative. Oh well, we seem to have gotten things pretty well worked out since by now we have literally driven tens of thousands of miles together.
Back to the honeymoon where we had not figured it out yet
We were still clashing at every turn. My Man was irritable and I was full of self-pity. He wanted to hunt and I wanted to relax. We still had many miles ahead in our travels but how could I navigate when I felt lost? The situation was cold, dreary and confusing. My only choice was to draw near to the heat source, to a grounding force, to the Lord. Otherwise our marriage would have failed before we even left the gate.
“Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,
And walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” Jeremiah 6:16
Would we walk in His way? Would we draw near to Him?
Or would our isolation leave us out in the cold?
In my next post I will share one of my very foolish actions during our honeymoon and how our personalities continued to clash.