We Are Incompatible

Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

  • 1 Corinthians 7:1-7

My wife has complained over the past four years, plus a few months, about how I praise her in my writing, and she thinks she is not that good.  We do not have the perfect marriage.

In fact, we are almost totally …  ummm … incompatible.

Our incompatibility started before we were married.  My soon-to-be sisters-in-law pulled me aside one day and they said that my wife was a tiger in bed.  They did not mean her sensual aptitude.  They did not mean that she was born in the year of the tiger.  Okay, according to the Chinese, and she is about one eighth Chinese (or was that her mother?), she was born in the year of the tiger and me being a dragon means incompatibility – if you believed in that silliness.  BUT …  My sisters-in-law used to sleep with my wife, one each night.  My in-laws had four bedrooms at the time.  The master bedroom for the parents. One bunk house room for the youngest four girls.  One bunkhouse room for the four boys.  And my wife had a private room to herself, but to let each girl experience it, they could sleep with her.  One problem.  They usually ended up on the floor and my future wife would, in her sleep, demand her space – forcefully.

That was resolved in that we each were wrestlers in our sleep.  She usually got all the covers though.

Then after two boys came along, she started snoring and I cannot sleep in the same house with a snorer.

Now, the cultural differences were astronomical.  I was raised on a turkey farm, but others in the family had beef cattle.  There was never any want for beef or poultry on the table.  I grew up a meat and potatoes person, mostly bland. Worcestershire Sauce was as spicy as it ever got.  My wife had an oriental background on her mother’s side.  She might have meat and potatoes, but meat was scarce when you had nine children.  She grew up on Indonesian food with rice, noodles, and plenty of digestive tract destroying spices.  Burns going in, burns more as it goes through, and then burns … You get the idea.  I developed Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD) before we were married five years.

And thinking of the digestive tract.  I have IBSC while she has IBSD.  “C” stands for constipation.  “D” stands for something much more urgent and much more watery.  When I am doubled over in pain, she yells at me to not hold it in, just go.  It does not compute with her, no sympathy at all, that my problem is that it is tearing me up inside.  It needs to exit, but it simply loves tormenting me, sometimes for a full day or two.

My wife watches old sitcoms, 10-20 times over.  I feel that if you failed to pay attention the first time through, why watch it again?  You obviously did not care enough to pay attention the first time.  My one weak moment in my life was Mel Brook’s Blazing Saddles.  I have seen it five times on the big screen and each time I found a nugget that was hilarious that I had missed before.  But at home, she watches dramas and cooking shows, where I usually write, not watching anything unless a decent game (football, hockey) is on.

One note here.  My wife and I love action movies and comic book hero movies and war movies.  She might dabble in other things, but those are her first loves and my only movies.

My wife is an extrovert.  She needs people around.  No, you are not thinking of a large enough crowd.  No, I know what you are thinking and it is still even bigger.  When you get around to thinking of a full football stadium with crazy fans, you are finally thinking of what she might dream of as a small gathering to satisfy her need for being around people.  I am an introvert.  Give me…  Please, do not even come over.  If you gave me peace and quiet, then you would be close enough to make me feel uncomfortable.  Just stay home and let me have peace and quiet … alone.

Maybe it is the anticipation of being in a crowd, but my wife needs to travel.  On occasion, we drive to Ohio, West Virginia, or Maryland, just to say we’ve been in another state.  I wish I could afford to hire a driver so that I could stay home and get caught up on my writing.

She needs noise, having grown up in a family of nine children, and being the second oldest.  I was nine years younger than my brother, living on a farm much of the time.  I need quiet.  Sometimes, I would close the windows because the crickets were chirping and the frogs were croaking too loud.  And those infernal bob whites, “Bob White!!”  “Bob White!!” they would whistle.  “Yeah, yeah, I know who you are and where you live!  And I know how to load a shotgun!!!!”  If you keep whistling your name, we’ll be eating squab tomorrow night for supper!

Too many marriages end in divorce.  One of the big “excuses” is unreconcilable differences.  Nothing that I have mentioned above has been reconciled, unless the brief periods where my wife was on the verge of dying if she did not tone down the spices to avoid her own GERD, bleeding ulcers, and diverticulitis.  Yeah, even cast-iron stomachs can fail us late in life.  But her dietary changes last long enough to start feeling better, and then …

But in a couple of months, we will reach 48 years of wedded bliss.  With all that incompatibility, how can that happen?  With all those differences that are still unreconciled, HOW?!?!

Simple.  We are both a little stubborn.  But we both love each other, and we both love Jesus.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.


Add yours →

  1. I think you two are a perfect match!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sweet and fun to read. Happy days of long marriage, satisfying!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well Mark, you definitely had me smiling! My wife and I will be married 52 years, come the 19th of Dec. You and I should get together because I’m pretty sure we could write a book! Someone said that opposites attract and I know in our case, in a lot of areas, that is true. I like the outdoors, my wife’s idea of camping is having a sandwich on the back deck. And how about those comments when we are watching the same TV program. My wife: “That woman has been wearing those same shoes for the last two years!” My though: “And that relates to what she is saying …. how?” But I digress. I honestly don’t know how it came about but we two have become one and I love my wife with all of my heart. I know what she likes and she knows what I like and through God’s grace, not only do we like one another but we truly love one another. My wife now has advancing dementia and I love her more than I ever have before. How? God’s grace, He has opened my eyes and my heart in so many areas, to the joy and gratefulness I share with my wife. Two imperfect people who love one another. And I would do it all over again, gladly. I have been blessed. And Doug, I highly suspect, spices and all, so have you! The key is always, the grace of God. Blessings brother!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. And what Bible verse were you beginning with? Or ending on? This really is a lesson in faithfulness.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hatrack, as they say, “If two people are exactly alike, one of them is unnecessary.” Sounds like you and your wife have an interesting marriage – a lot like ours.


  6. Powerful! SO much emphasis today about compatibility…but it is true we are in so many ways incompatible…only by Christ can marriage work!

    Liked by 1 person

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