Series: Improving Companionship In Your Marriage #3
Lee and Annie Gleason had a disagreement about how much money she had spent on buying sugar. The year was 1931, and the Great Depression had just begun.
In an angry fit because of the disagreement, Annie saddled the old mule and rode into the town Anahuac, Texas. She bought—in the days of the Great Depression, remember—a fifty pound bag of sugar. It could have used up all the money they had!
When she got back, she rode straight to the barn where her husband Lee and his brother were shoeing a quarter horse. She took a jackknife out of her apron pocket and jammed it into the bag of sugar, which flowed out onto the barn floor.
Lee looked at Annie and said three final words—“You silly…” and one more I won’t repeat. That was it. They stopped talking to each other that day. They still lived in the same house. They still slept in the same bed. They still ate at the same table. They just stopped talking to each other—period.
This went on for ten years. If they had to communicate something—a grocery list, for instance—they left a note. Later, they sort of start to anticipate each other. If Annie needed lard for the kitchen, Lee had already somehow bought a jar for her at the store.
One Sunday—Annie had gone to church for some sort of all-day event—a nephew showed up on the farm. Lee immediately recruited him for a project on the house, on which they worked all day. In the late afternoon, Annie came driving up in their old Jeep just in time to see them pulling her half of the house away with the tractor.
They had sawed right through the house—roof to floor—and split it, clean as a whistle, down the middle. Then they nailed rough-cut planks over the open sides and that’s how they lived (with some pine trees in-between them) for the next thirty years until Lee died. (Mary Carr, The Liar’s Club [New York: Penguin, 1995], 35ff.)
We’ve been looking at how to improve the companionship aspect of our marriages. Lee and Annie Gleason missed out on the companionship they could have had. Why? Because of a conflict that arose. If we want to have good companionship in our marriages, we’ll have to know how to deal with conflicts when they arise.