This Saturday, July 23rd, will be my eleventh wedding anniversary to my beloved wife. In lieu of this celebration of love, I decided to ask my lovely wife a few question about how she has matured as a result of being married to a hunter. What has she learned, I wondered? She is clearly a better person for it, but I had never asked for specifics. Until now…
It’s important to understand that Steph did not grow up in a hunting family, and since our dating relationship was entirely long distance (she was in California and from Minnesota, and I was in Tennessee and from Vermont), she was caught a little off guard by the amount of time and money it takes to enjoy this pastime in our first year of marriage. She claims I blindsided her with my ability to misrepresent the truth. It’s not my fault she was too focused on my charm and good looks and ignored the reality of what it takes to put meat on the table.
I started off by asking her how she likes being married to a mighty and successful hunter. Her response came rather quick and is not one that should be stated here, as there are a few young children who read this blog and I’d hate to introduce any negative thoughts in their minds at such a young age. At my suggestion she try looking at hunting and marriage from a positive angle she offered the following.
- It offers ample opportunity for conflict resolution. I can’t disagree with this assessment and will add that anytime you grow as an individual the process can be painful. Two examples come to mind. First, the whole 3 A.M. alarm clock going off is not looked upon with favor and just this past turkey season we had to have a real heart to heart. She had forgotten the importance of getting up early when hunting and after a few gentle reminders from me as to why an early wake-up call is necessary, she encouraged me to leave the room quickly. That’s because we’ve learned that it’s a good idea to give each other some space until emotions cool down, especially in marriage at 3 A.M. when one of you wants to be asleep. Second, a good marriage requires that spouses be willing to sacrifice for each other. One of her favorite times during hunting season is when I get a call from a friend asking for help recovering a deer as we are just about to start a movie on a Friday evening. That’s her favorite. Despite my assurances that I won’t be gone long, she still finds a reason to be to be upset when I return home at 11 P.M. and wake her up. Sacrifice, marriage takes sacrifice – including sacrificing sleep. Hello! Venison doesn’t just jump in your freezer on its own!
- Hunting gets my lazy bum off the couch. That’s not a direct quote, but pretty close.
- Absence makes the heart grow fonder. After dwelling on her statement for a second, she realized that’s not really what happens. My absence actually just provides more opportunity for conflict resolution, which I reminded her, can be viewed as a positive. The jury is still out.
- She can go shopping guilt free. Apparently, because of the time and money I INVEST in PROVIDING FOR OUR FAMILY, she feels she can go buy a new pair of pants guilt free. Unreal.
- I do a lot of chores around the house to earn points to apply towards hunting time. The points system works well until you lose them all. The problem with points is that they take a long time to build up and they can all be lost in an instant, often before hunting season arrives. It doesn’t seem fair, but I subscribe to the process anyway because it’s an unwritten rule of marriage. And from what I’m told, a positive one.
It’s times of reflection like this that can add that spark of love back into your marriage. All this talk of sacrificing for one another, working hard to put food on the table, and longing to be in each other’s arms that can only come after hours apart due to hunting (conflict resolution) make me want to give her a big kiss. She probably feels the same way after reading this.
Venison and I have a lot in common, neither one of us are cheap and easy but we sure bring a lot of satisfaction to life. After eleven years, I think my wife is finally catching on that I am more than just a pretty face. Right, Sweetie?
Did I just lose a few brownie points? Time will tell. One thing is for sure, I am one lucky guy to be married to such an awesome girl. What she ever saw in me, I don’t know. She clearly didn’t see how much I loved to hunt. Ha!
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