10 years and we’re still not on the same page

By Brandon and Amy Chaffins

 Amy ChaffinsAmy: Brandon and I celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary this summer and, incredibly, after being together this long… we’re still not “on the same page.” We can have an entire conversation talking about two totally different things and it’s not until there’s an awkward pause and blank stares at one another that we realize we’re soooooo not talking about the same thing. It happens all the time!

Brandon ChaffinsBrandon: The whole “on the same page” frustration is only because Amy is easily annoyed by me saying, “What?” a lot. I only say it because I have experienced the consequences of the automatic “Yes” or “Yes, Dear.” What can happen as a result of too many “Yes, Dears” is the unexpected appearance of new throw pillows – that I am sure all guys out there don’t really know the purpose of – and how they seem to multiply overnight like mushrooms in your yard. Am I right? So, saying “What?” a lot is my attempt to get “on the same page.” Instead, I get the wife-eye-roll.

Amy: I’m pretty sure we’re not even “on the same page” with this column. Let me give you an example. Have I mentioned my husband obsesses over his lawn and sprinkler set up? Well, he installed his own intricate irrigation system – with the turn of a dial, I can water sections of yard and gardens. In an effort not to overwater, we tried to communicate about which sections I had already watered. His version of “behind the house” is very different from mine. My version of “behind the house” means the space located directly behind the house. His version means somewhere over by the garage. Round and round we went trying to figure out what he meant by behind the house. We were waaaaay off. Ugh.

Brandon: I used to be a groundskeeper at a golf course and I found the sprinkler system there amazing! Miles and miles of pipes, countless valves, pressure regulators and… the sprinklers! Ah, the sprinklers! I have several options at home. There’s impact, rotor, pop-up and the micro systems. I drag hose but fantasize about the day I will, at last, have an underground automated system. In the meantime, I installed a couple of sprinkler systems that water around our house and garage. There is a fairly complex valve system involved, but I thought it was pretty easy to comprehend. I think it was a “Yes, Dear” moment for Amy when I explained the system I had concocted. So, ha! My “Yes, Dear” theory goes for women, too! See how easy it is to slip off “the same page”?

Amy: Here’s another example: He was going to do some shopping for a new truck. A few hours later, he rolled into the driveway all giddy and googly-eyed in his brand-new pickup. It’s one of those major purchases in life that you should consider “checking with the wife first.” Fail. This was his one “get out of jail free” card and he burned it up the first month of marriage. Being a new bride, I still thought he was adorable back then. If he did that now, it might not end well. Note to fellas out there: At least call your wife before you buy the truck. That’s all we want really – to be consulted and included in the decision.

Brandon: C’mon! The truck thing again! I told you this one still comes up from time to time. I am not too proud to admit the oopsie-doodle on this one. But, now that I apply my newly revolutionized “Yes” and “Yes, Dear” theory, I think this is yet another moment when Amy tuned me out a bit. So, here’s what I’ve concluded: Being “on the same page” and listening a little closer are priceless and, ultimately, will save all of us from the “oops, I brought home a new truck” moments in a marriage. Keep the faith, guys.

Brandon and Amy Chaffins of Alexandria have been married ten years – long enough to have learned to live with each other’s “quirks.”

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