A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. – Mignon McLaughlin
The letter arrived in an envelope that looked more like junk mail than official correspondence from a mortgage insurance company. I took the bait and opened it because I wanted to make sure the letter wasn’t legitimate.
As expected, the company’s name on the masthead wasn’t my mortgage company. I threw the letter in the trash.
A few weeks later a second letter arrived. This one made its way to the trashcan, too.
A month passed before the third letter arrived. Irritated, I opened it because I wanted to find the contact information so I could call or email and request that I be placed on their do-not-mail list.
Scanning the letter, I read that since I hadn’t responded to the earlier correspondences, a $15,000 forced-wind policy had been placed on my home. I immediately logged in into my mortgage account and saw the next payment had almost doubled.
It was clear that my next step was to tell my wife, Mary Beth.
Like most marriages, we divide household chores. I take care of paying the bills, vacuuming, and laundry on the weekends. Mary Beth is responsible for most of the cooking, home repairs and making sure the right greeting cards are sent to the right people and at the right time.
Even though we tag team the everyday tasks, we share the most essentials responsibilities like raising our children, planning our future and strengthening our marriage.
Since bill paying is in my area, I wasn’t looking forward to telling my wife. Not because I thought she would be angry, but because I didn’t want her to worry.
After explaining the series of junk-mail-looking letters and the fact the letters didn’t appear to be coming from our mortgage company, Mary Beth offered to help. She knew it would take effort and time to get it resolved – time I really didn’t have because of the work with finishing my book.
Mary Beth took the first pass at resolving the problem by spending over two hours on the telephone with various customer service representatives and their managers. She explained our position and was able to make significant headway.
My wife was successful in finding the people who could help us before turning the next step over to me. My task was to keep the investigation going by following up through email and an occasional telephone call. Our proven tag team approach was the strategy we decided to use.
Two months after making the initial contact, Mary Beth and I won. The forced wind policy was removed and the monthly mortgage payment has returned to normal.
A Simple Choice
Even though we have shared 29 years, that doesn’t mean our marriage is on autopilot. Every day we have the choice to offer support and to show love; or not.
The mortgage company battle was another challenge we overcame. It was also a good reminder that no matter how frustrating life may seem, as long as we rally together, we will always find a way to overcome, move on and live to fight another day.
So, what gives us the energy to vacuum the house, send the birthday cards or spend two hours on the telephone with a mortgage insurance company when we feel tired and overwhelmed?
The answer is simple: Love.
Love builds us back up when we feel discouraged and it renews us with we feel tired. The choice to love makes our tag team approach a force that will never be defeated.
And what strengthens our marriage the most?
The answer to that question is simple, too: Love