Getting’ Your Married On
by Theresa Rizzo
If you grow up in a less than a Leave-it-to Beaver home environment like Catherine and Thomas did without good role models, there are bound to be some adjustment issues. Heck even with good role models, there will be growing pains.
Living and melding your life with another person’s is hard—then when you add in the complications of old emotional baggage on either, or both sides, it can really be really challenging and one has to keep a sense of humor and perspective to survive those early years where a couple is feeling their way around, trying to create their own rhythm—hmmm no sexual puns intended.
But now that you went there . . . sex does serve to complicate things. Just sayin’.
Anyhow, sex aside, trying to live with another person and be a good, roommate, companion, confidant, support, lover, etc. takes work, as Catherine and Thomas found out. And there are bound to be a bunch of missteps—like Catherine making Thomas enough breakfast for four men, and the eggs that could be used as hockey pucks that Thomas gamely tried to choke them down, while trying not to look at his watch ‘cause he never ate breakfast and taking the time to do so is going to get him stuck in traffic and make him late for work.
Catherine tries again and again to connect with Thomas, without actually coming out and telling him what she’s doing or why. She reads magazines about how to please your man and follows that advice, but it doesn’t work out so well for her.
Even couples from functional families (is there really such a thing?) have their initial missteps and awkwardness in learning the marriage ropes. We all do silly things when first married in effort to be the perfect spouse.
He Belongs to Me is a love story ... a tale of betrayal and deception and of a young mother's determination to recover what belongs to her.Forced to leave her baby and tricked into relinquishing her parental rights, four years later Catherine Boyd is back and she'll do anything to regain custody of her son--even reconcile with the husband falsely accused of killing their son's twin.All in the name of love for a little boy, generations of pain and tragedy are exposed in a courtroom drama.
Set up is that Thomas has agreed to pretend to be happily married with the wife he hasn’t seen in four years in order to regain custody of their six-year-old son that Catherine’s parents have custody of. They’ve moved in together and are getting used to living as a “normal” married couple, but it’s awkward between them. Catherine still secretly loves her husband, but she’s accepted that their painful past will never allow a real reunion, but she’s hoping for some peace and friendship with her son’s father.
All her research said that guys loved it when their ladies drank beer with them and watched sports. Check. They also claimed to love a good, long, relaxing foot massage. Catherine looked at Thomas’s big feet.
She was the one with ticklish feet, so no worries there, but would he really enjoy that? She seemed to recall him liking his shoulders rubbed. She used to rub his shoulders and then slide her hands down over his taught chest and nuzzle that sweet spot behind his ear and then he’d flip her over his shoulder onto his lap and they’d make out for . . . She drew in a deep breath to calm her pounding heart. Nope. Better stick with the feet.
Forums claimed that guys loved it. Well, what did she have to lose?
She slid down on the floor and with her back to the couch, she watched the game and stared at his feet for fifteen solid minutes while gathering her courage. Should she ask him, or just do it? When she was sure his attention was glued to the TV, she edged closer. She put her hand flat on the floor, inching it over until it rested next to his bare foot.
Taking a deep breath, she pursed her lips and reached out and grabbed his foot and started massaging the top of it.
“Wha—” He yanked his foot back. She held on and lifted his foot shoulder high so she could get to the bottom, tipping him backwards. If he’d just relax, this would be a whole lot simpler. She pressed her thumbs deep into the arch of his foot.
He tugged on his leg. “Hey. What are you doing?”
She tightened her grip and doggedly rubbed. “Hold still.” She pulled his foot closer.
“Hold. Still.” She got a better grip on his foot, then resumed rubbing. “You’ll like this!”
“Are you crazy? Let go!” He pulled back harder.
“I’m,” Catherine pursed her lips and tugged on his foot, “giving,” she crawled closer on her knees, “you,” pant, pant, “a foot,” she raised his foot so she could get to the heel, “massage.”
Thomas jerked his foot loose, vaulted to his feet. “Are you crazy? What the fuck’s the matter with you?”
Catherine blew the hair from her face and sat back on her heels. “Guys like foot massages. I’m being nice.”
Hands planted on his hips, he leaned toward her. “You’re being a whack job. What the hell is wrong with you?”
“What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with you? You act like you’ll catch cooties from my touch.” She gestured at the bowl. “Accidentally bump my hand and you’d think I’d poured hydrochloric acid on you.”
“Why were you touching my foot?”
“I was giving you a foot massage,” she corrected.
“Because I was being nice.” Exasperation crept into her tone.
“Why was I being nice?” Her eyes widened at the stupid question. Who doesn’t like to be treated nicely?
“Yeah. What do you want?” His eyes narrowed. “Don’t think I haven’t noticed it all. Making my bed, the coffee, cleaning up after me, cooking, cleaning,—” Touching. “You can just stop.”
She frowned, hurt that he’d think she had some ulterior motive. All she wanted was to make it easier. To make them easier. To go back to the time when they’d had fun together and he’d loved her. “Why? Why should I stop being nice? Afraid you’ll have to stop hating me then?”
“I don’t hate you.”
“I’m not denying that you’ve got reason to hate me, but I’m trying. I’m trying, and you’re not helping any.” She got off her knees and stood. “I know this, this pretend reconciliation is weird, but you’re not the only one who made sacrifices. I turned my life topsy-turvy too.
“I had a life in California. Good friends. A darling home on the beach. A job I loved. I gave up a lot too, to rectify this mess.” She threw up a hand for forestall his potential argument. “And I know it’s my screwup, but I’m trying.” She paused. “What do I want?” She shrugged. “I want you to like me.”
Theresa has generously offered an ebook copy of He Belongs to Me to a lucky commenter!
To be entered just leave a comment and answer Theres's question: What silly newlywed thing did you do in an effort to please your new spouse? What awkward/funny incident will you never live down?