Marriage is Like Football: You Can't Cross the Goal Line if You Keep Fumbling the Ball

Around this time of year is the anniversary of my first date with Hubby 15 years ago. Sometimes we can't believe we've made it this far. We've actually known each other since we were in second grade. We attended the same huge Catholic elementary school together. Despite having been in the same class of 35 kids together three times, our paths rarely crossed.

He went to an all-boys high school, and I went to an all-girls high school, and again, our paths rarely crossed. He went to all the parties (had some of the parties) and I stayed home . . .a lot. When I did see him out and about, he always greeted me with a huge smile and a "Nice to see you!" Hubby is just a really nice guy.

It wasn't until much later in our twenties that we met up again and, well, here we are. But the unbelievable part is that we even made it this far because of all the fumbles that were made along the way, mostly by me. After all, a guy can't cross the goal line if one of his players keeps fumbling the ball.

Fumble #1: When he finally called me to talk, I called him a loser. He called me on a Friday night, so I called him a loser for not having anything better to do.

Touchdown: I said yes when he asked me out.

Fumble #2: While on our first date, I told one of his female friends that we were not on a date. In fact, I kept insisting we were not on a date. She kept insisting we were. I still didn't think it was a real date.

Touchdown: I accepted a second date, and I picked him up wearing really short shorts and a tight t-shirt, I might add. Not a date, my former skinny ass.

Fumble #3: While watching our state's football team at a bar with all of Hubby's friends, one said something to me about Hubby being my boyfriend. Now, you have to understand how much I hate when girls go out on one or two dates with a guy and start calling him her boyfriend right away. That gives us all a bad name. So I said simply, "He's not my boyfriend," because I didn't want Hubby to think I was a psycho.

Yeah, that backfired.

Hubby still has his Hanes in a bunch over that. Every time he tells the story, and he does a lot, the emphasis will get bigger. It's grown from, "He's NOT my boyfriend!" to "HE'S NOT MY BOYFRIEND!"

Touchdown: I decided about a week later that he really was my boyfriend.

Fumble #4: (This one was Hubby's.) We had traveled to Kansas City for the weekend right before Christmas. We were having such a wonderful time, the mood was right at dinner, and I felt he was on the verge of proclaiming his love so I leaned across the table and I told him I loved him. He said, "Whoa, whoa, whoa . . .I wasn't thinking that!" Screeeeeech. Crap.

Touchdown: He got up in the morning and warmed the shower up for me. It really is the little things that give away how they feel.

Fumble #5: A couple months later we were sitting in the airport waiting for our flight to Chicago. I was taking him for his birthday. We were talking about this and that, and he asked me who my best friend was. I started rattling off some girls from college and asked who his was. He said, "Well, you, of course." Awww . . .

Touchdown: I took him to Chicago for his birthday. Duh. We had an awesome time!

Fumble #6: I almost missed my proposal. It was New Year's Eve 1999. We went out and had a great time. We watched fireworks downtown, met some random people (whom Hubby told we would be married someday and I didn't get it), and spent time with my family. The whole time, I am drinking bottle after bottle of wine . . .and I was feeling fine. At one point I left the party to go somewhere with my sister-in-law, and Hubby was freaking out! Little did I know, he had a plan. A plan that was to happen at the stroke of midnight on the New Millennium. He carted me off back to my apartment a few minutes before, and as the fireworks went off on t.v., he got down on one knee and proposed.

Touchdown: I said yes.

Fumble #7: A cake debacle. I insisted on having a certain baker make our cake. I had seen his cakes at the bridal shows and loved them. We were to meet with him one night after work to discuss our wedding cake. Hubby was stressed about having to take his Boards and just wanted me to decide, but I insisted he come with me. The baker, who was very flamboyant, proceeded to talk to us for two hours about other people's weddings. He drew one picture of our cake the whole time, to which we agreed. Hubby left fuming over the study time he wouldn't get back.

But here's the kicker: when the cake arrived at our wedding, it wasn't even the one we had ordered! Twelve years later, Hubby is still bitter about that.

Touchdown: The cake was lovely and delicious, and our wedding was so beautiful and fun that it didn't ruin our day at all.

So, long story short, despite some fumbles along the way, here we are fifteen years later. Neither our relationship nor our marriage are perfect, and we've obviously had our challenges. We've had low points and high points and more low points, but our current thinking is that if we can keep working toward the goal line together, even if we fumble the ball along the way, we'll get there.

Here's to many more touchdowns along the way.

*This post was originally published in August 2013. 

Did you and your spouse have any SNAFUS along your relationship road?

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