The good stuff?


I guess I thought the good stuff was going to be the sex.

And maybe the travel. The post-marriage trip to the Maritimes, perhaps a trip or two here-and-there to Myrtle Beach or Niagara Falls and the occasional weekend getaway between endless days of romantic bliss. Yeah, exercising all the wisdom of a person of the male gender, perhaps I envisioned matrimony as a window into a never-ending honeymoon. That was going to be the ‘good stuff’.

As I write this, 11,737 days, three kids, five dogs, dozens of cars and multiple careers after that wonderful Saturday in August when we said “I do”, time has managed to help me to redefine my evaluation of what qualifies as the good stuff in a relationship.

Life is an excellent teacher, and experience a priceless lesson.

Sure the east coast was great. As have been the scores of voyages to other destinations that my wandering wife has lead me to. And yes, we have certainly had our fair share of passion over the course of three decades and counting (and nowhere near enough) married life together. But despite the anticipation of twenty-something Joe, fifty-something Joe knows that as good as all that has been, it is not the true good stuff.

The good stuff?

That would be earlier in the summer, battling our way through bugs and endless scratching of the limbs as we trimmed the overgrown shrubbery around out truck. The way she kept pointing out where I should cut the next branch and the laughter we shared as we loaded the twigs and leaves into the box of our old truck.

The good stuff?

That would be a dozen years earlier and the trips to the woods and the local nurseries as we decided what shrubs we wanted to plant beside our newly-built house? Digging the hole in the earth together and planning the next phase of our life together?

The good stuff?

The nightly treks along the sometimes dusty, sometimes frozen, sometimes even reeking-of-liquid-manure dirt road where we share our struggles and victories of the day with each other. Walking the same road in silence…just being together.

The trips might be memorable, but it is the time spent together in airports waiting on flights, the time spent side-by-side in the front seat of a minivan making that familiar pilgrimage south…that hold the most value. As far as life in a marriage goes, the journey is the destination.

That is the good stuff.

4 thoughts on “The good stuff?

  1. For sure Joe! Like in the song ,.. when the guy goes into the bar ( post arguement with wife) , and asks for the ” good stuff “. The bar keep, being of a more numbered years of learning said , ” that’s not the good stuff” it’s just all the everyday things . The things that , in my opinion we couldn’t do without. That’s the honeymoon! Loved your comments.


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About Joe Martelle