wedded wednesdays guest post: on breaking the secret code.

{We need to get talking about what marriage really looks like. In that spirit, we chat about it here once a week, on Wedded Wednesdays.}

Y’all, I need more fingers and toes to count how many times I’ve turned something very simple into something very complicated. You too? Admittedly, I’ve done so in my relationship with Mr. S. way too frequently. So thankful today for Andrea Reitman‘s perspective. Cheers to simplicity.

wedded wednesdays image 2

We may have had very little furniture in our new little home, but I still wanted it decorated for every major holiday.

Ladies, is it just me or isn’t holiday decorating a rite of passage for the first year or two of marriage?

So, when the home decorating catalog came in the mail that January, I began perusing the pages for something to deck the halls for Valentine’s Day.  And there it was.  The most pretty, whimsical garland of glittered hearts nested in a colorfully beaded vine that I had ever seen.

It was beautiful, but the cost was beyond my budget.  Bummer.

But wait!  My birthday is in February!  And then my mind went wild . . .

Hmmm.  I will get my hubby to buy this for me for my birthday, and I’ll have it in time for Valentine’s Day.  Great idea!  But wait . . . if I tell him what to buy for me, then I won’t get to enjoy the benefit of a heart-felt gift. 

I know!  I will give him a hint, and then he’ll buy it for me and I will get exactly what I want AND it will be just like he did it all on his own.  This will be perfect!

cake image

So, I began the top secret mission “Crack the Birthday Gift Code” with my husband. I don’t remember all the details, but the game of hinting went something like this . . .

Day 1:  Mention in passing how pretty the garland is.

Day 2:  Take black Sharpie marker and circle photo of said garland. Lay catalog on coffee table.

Day 3:  Move the catalog to the breakfast bar and open it up to the page containing the desired gift.

Day 4:  Ask him if he thinks the garland would look pretty hanging over our kitchen window. When he says, “Yeah,” tell him it’s just too bad I don’t have the money for it right now.

Day 5:  Write “for my birthday?” by the garland. Place catalog back on counter in full view.

It was later that day I noticed the catalog had been closed and moved to the other side of the breakfast bar, which could only mean that he got my hints. Right?

Wrong! Ladies, (most) men do not crack these silly codes. They need specific requests. I learned that lesson the hard way when my birthday rolled around and I got a gift that in no way resembled my whimsically beaded and glittered heart garland.

I remember talking to him about it later. I asked my hubby if he had gotten any of my hints, and he wasn’t even sure what I was talking about.

The problem wasn’t that he could not break my code. The problem was that my coding habit needed to be broken.

Today, if I want something specific, I just state my desire in plain, direct language. Other times, if I don’t have a specific request, I enjoy the element of surprise.  I’ve adjusted my expectations, because I have learned that I can’t always “have my cake and eat it too.”  (Birthday pun completely intended.)

andrea reitman headshot

Andrea Rietman is a disciple of Jesus Christ, a writer, speaker, Faith Coach, and teacher of women’s Bible studies.  She is a wife and mother of three who enjoys cinnamon dolce lattes and writing notes on beautiful stationary with her collection of colorful Sharpie markers.  You can follow her online devotionals on Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter too.


5 thoughts on “wedded wednesdays guest post: on breaking the secret code.

  1. My first birthday after we got married was also a few weeks before our anniversary. I wanted some Restoration Hardware patio chairs (back when regular people could afford their stuff, let alone newly weds) I hinted and asked and begged and cajoled until one day my husband said, “You could just buy them yourself and say they from me.” COMPLETELY missing his sarcasm. So I bought them told him thank you for the gift and then was surprised when he was totally annoyed with my for not letting him get them for me. We laugh about it now, but he really was quite annoyed with me that I didn’t just let him get me a gift on his own.

    Of course, now we have three kids and we are lucky if we remember get gifts for each other’s birthdays!

  2. We actually had the opposite problem when we got married – my husband had experienced a tremendous amount of grief from other women in his life (relatives) when they used elaborate codes to telegraph what they wanted and he didn’t decode them perfectly. I have never been the coding type, and I recall being so baffled when we were dating and he kept trying to figure out what I was suggesting and didn’t believe me when I insisted I wasn’t suggesting anything!

    Communication is hard enough as it is… unnecessarily making it harder is just silly!

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