During our time in New Mexico last week, Hillary and I had an experience that defines our marriage. Hillary’s dad loves toys and one of these toys is a four wheeler. With us in New Mexico were Hillary’s two sisters and their husbands. After shooting an AK-47 the day before, we decided to borrow another four wheeler and head out to some open space. Hillary was definitely not excited about four wheeling but she didn’t want to be the only wife not going, so she went.
Before I tell you the rest of the story, I want to explain one part of our marriage relationship. Very early on in our courtship, we realized that I was the dreamer and driver while Hillary was the discerner and voice of reason. When I asked for Hillary’s hand in marriage, it took her a half an hour to say yes because she had to think it through. Almost nine years later, we both know it was a wise choice. Since then I have been the one to dream and carefully help Hillary out of her comfort zone. She is the one who carefully helps me think through my wild ideas and throw out the crazy ones. The key word here is “carefully.” It is a perfect balance most of the time.
So back to the story. We drove out to the open space and I could tell that Hillary was not too excited for the four wheeling experience. It was soon our turn to ride the dirt trails of Roswell. I jumped on with intense zeal and Hillary reluctantly climbed behind me. As we started up the first small hill, she clung on for dear life. Here’s a picture of us starting off:
After the first hill, I drove slow because I really wanted Hillary to enjoy four wheeling. Then we came to the “Ruts of Death!” There were two deep ruts in the dirt and I chose to go to the right and keep two wheels in the middle of the road and two wheels a little higher off the road. I went a little too slow and the four wheeler leaned left at about a 25% angle. Hillary instantly freaked out and slid off the side of the four wheeler. As she slid off, she yelled, “I’m done! I’m walking back!”
I knew I couldn’t talk her into jumping back on so I drove off and she started the short walk back to the car. I looped around and came back to her and carefully convinced her to get back on and I would slowly drive her back to the car. As we slowly and carefully drove back to the car, we both knew we had just had a “marriage moment.”
This was one of the marriage moments when my zeal got the best of me and Hillary strongly reacted against it. Buying our big screen TV a few years ago was another one of those moments. I don’t have any principles for marriage yet from this experience, just that I won’t try to get Hillary on a four wheeler again.
If you want to hear Hillary’s side of the story, check it out here.