How often do you stop and really think about your marriage? I often give mine a great deal of thought. When I married Tom Duff, well over thirty years ago, I wouldn’t have bet one thin dime on us still being together three decades later. Tom is my second husband. My first marriage was simply a horror of abuse, and I rarely think of it any more. But that marriage and the five years I spent as a widow, once that terrible little man died, hardened me. My view of marriage and men in general was one of complete distrust.
Tom was the one to completely change my view of the world, but it wasn’t easy. I couldn’t really understand why Tom was attracted to me at first. I may have looked pretty good back in the day, but Tom was looking for a lady and, in my case, I felt he looked in vain. Although I’d been reared in a very proper, if loveless home, I was rough back then, I drank too much, cussed too much, partied too much, gambled too much and would lay low anyone who tried to stop me. But, thanks be to God, Tom fell in love with me anyway.
When Tom came into my life, he taught me about things I truly never knew existed ? respect, honesty, caring, and most of all love. Tom talked to me; he listened to me, he calmed me and cared for me as no man had ever done before. I fell in love, and I fell hard, but even with that I expected he’d leave me one day, all the men I’d known had eventually abandon me. But it never happened, and I no longer fear it.
I don’t mean to give you the impression that Tom is perfect, he’s not. While his list of positive traits far out weigh the negative, the negatives are still there. My Tom tends to be bossy, controlling, and is more than a bit old fashion. And there is one last trait that easily fits on both the positive and the negative list ? my Tom is a spanker. I knew nothing of the ‘spanking lifestyle’ before I met Tom. Tom’s parents lived this lifestyle and he has always been convinced it’s the path to a long satisfying marriage. Although there are times I fight it tooth and nail, secretly I do admit that he’s probably right.
* * * * *
My marriage isn’t the only one I think about at times. Tom and I, with almost no blood relations, have a wonderful family. Though we were not blessed with children, we have been blessed with the best friends in the world. There are two couples who have been with me longer that Tom has, Annie and Andy Holmes and Sue and Steve Moore, who are as dear to us as any brothers or sisters could possibly be.
Annie and Andy’s marriage is a true love story. They are soft and gentle with one another. I’ve rarely heard them exchange a cross word in over forty years, and I’ve watched their love grow deeper every year. Sue and Steve, now that’s a different story. For the vast majority of their years together, more than forty, they have snapped and snarled their way though the marriage. Sue has always had a sharp tongue, and she’s not afraid to use it. Often Sue would brow beat Steve who would stay quiet and withdrawn until he suddenly barked back at her, causing her to lash out again. We all got used to it over the years, but I still hated it for them.
In the last few years, however, their relationship has greatly improved due in no small part to Tom’s harping that Steve needs to take a firmer stance and put Sue over his knee when she turns so hateful. While this is true, Tom’s been pushing this since he met them, to no avail. Therefore, I take credit for finally talking to both Sue and Annie about the wonderfully erotic side of the paddle. Spanking can be sexy as all get out if used in the right way. These two ladies have known that Tom spanks me for most of my married life. They were there to witness my one and only public spanking, but although Sue was often furious at Tom for this part of our marriage, we never really discussed it up until a few years ago. I downplayed any discipline and played up the delightful side of spanking, I evidently convinced them to give it a try and they both bought leather paddles to give to their husbands. Sue has been a changed woman ever since.
Perhaps not really changed, she is still right by my side, as trouble often seems to find us. But even thought I know Steve doesn’t spank as hard or often as Tom has over the years, it’s still brought stability to Sue’s life. I think she feels safer with Steve acting as the head of their family, and I’ve certainly seen for myself how much happier they both seem to be.
The last relationship I think about often isn’t a marriage, thought I hope it will be one day. Allie is our beautiful young neighbor. When we moved to the river several years ago, I would never have thought the young girl next door would become one of my best friends. That lovely, dark haired girl with vivid green eyes had just turned sixteen when we met. Allie and I became friends, and we also brought with us the love of Allie’s life, Ryan.
Ryan had come to us looking for lawn work a few years before we moved to the river. Such a sweet boy, so skinny and gangly, his eagerness and hard work won him Tom’s respect. But it was his sweet gentle nature that captured me. I just fell in love and I’ve been a kind of batty old grandmother to him ever since. When we moved, he still came to work on our lawn, and once he and Allie spotted one another, our lawn definitely became a secondary reason for his frequent visits.
Ryan went off to college a few years ago and Allie followed a couple of years later. It’s been an absolute joy to watch their relationship bloom. Ryan looks to Tom for advice and Allie, bless her heart, often looks to Sue and me. Perhaps not the wisest choice on her part, but they seem to be happy with one another and what more could we hope for.