Love Tip #1: Stop Listening

6:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 79 Comments


This is my husband, Chad, and I in our engagement photo, circa 1990.

Yes, we do make a cute couple- just ask my mother. 

And yes, we do get along great. 

I think he's the bomb-diggity, and he knows he's lucky to have me ;)

The truth is...we almost didn't make it to that picture. 

I was pretty sure he was a jerk. 

As a matter of fact, I was so vocal in my distaste for the All-American hot-shot that when we finally started dating, I'd hold my breath while we were out, waiting for one of my friends to say something like, "You know she once said she'd be a lesbian before she'd ever date you?"

Then the date would get awkward.

You see, here's the thing... 

Every time I thought Chad Seckman was cute, or thought I liked him...out of his mouth would come the stupidest stuff. 

Case in point, when I was in the 7th grade and he was in the 8th, we danced together. It was a St. Paddy's Day dance. Of course my young heart went pitter-patter. He had biceps by age 13. 

Next day, he asked me if I padded my bra. 

Chad Seckman WAS a jerk. 

Then came high school. 

My homeroom was next to Chad's handicapped brother's classroom. Every day at lunch, Chad would come out to his little brother's classroom and spend time with him. 

That was sweet. 

Surely, I misjudged.  

So, I ran track. Yeah, me. The girl who despises sweat. I ran track. Totally not to hone my athletic skills. It was 100% to get on the track bus....where that sweet, handsome Seckman guy was.  

It worked like magic. In no time, we were sharing a table at McDonald's, and I gladly gave him my extra chicken McNuggets. (For the record, he hates chicken nuggets, but young love is so much about pandering.)

Then one day he walked me home from track practice, and he said....

I can't say it here. It's a family-friendly blog. 

I put the actual pick-up line in Defying Reason (Chapter 29). It's one of those situations where fiction and reality mix. I needed a gawd-awful line for a drunken stooge to lay on a girl, and my filterless husband's drivel was the perfect well to draw from. 

My beta read the line and messaged me...OMGosh, I am sooo jealous of that line. I'm dying. LOL.

I texted back. I didn't make that up. My husband used that thinking he was clever. 

She was like...


Well, Jo (the girl MC in Defying Reason) forgave Tanner (the male MC) in a chapter or two. 

Fiction works that way. 

Chad, on the other hand, took a few years of abuse for the comment. 

My loathing was so strong, even thick-skulled, young Chad picked up on it, often asking, "What did I do?"

I said nothing. One, I wouldn't stoop so low to repeat his comment. Two, I assumed our conversation would go something like....



He never had a clue what he did. Instead, he kept a log of every insult and injustice I hurled at him. 

After we got married, he'd throw all my evil comments back at me. 

Then we had kids and still he joked about how mean I was. He'd tell the kids, "Boys, your mom tried hard to find you a different dad, but I hung in there."

Or, "Tell the boys about the time you called me stupid in front of a class full of people."**

Then I'd have to explain to the boys, "Your dad's insane."

Come on, I wasn't telling them the truth!

**(It was in history class. Chad caught me giving him an eye roll that I'm certain he deserved. He said, in front of the class, "You think I'm stupid." To which I replied, "I most certainly do not think you're stupid. Stupid implies an inability to learn. I think you're ignorant, which means you're fully capable of learning...you just choose not to.")

Finally, after years of me being made the bad guy, I asked him, "Don't you remember what you said to me?"

Of course he didn't, so I reminded him. 

To which, he laughed. "Yeah. That's something I'd say. You didn't like that? It was a compliment."


So, how did it ever work out? 

One night his best friend asked me to go for a ride...to give him the opportunity to state Chad's case and vouch for his friend.

Thoughtful. Generous. Patient. Kind. 

Hell, to hear Kevin talk, Chad was born in a Boy Scout uniform and spent his free time throwing himself in front of buses to save puppies. 

I believed him. Young me never figured one devil might be vouching for the other....and that's a good thing.

Once I stopped listening to what Chad said and started judging him by his actions, I had a winner. 

So, stop listening. Actions do speak louder than eloquence.




Thanks to our hosts LexaL.G, and Tonja Drecker for this weekly good things check in!  

~Boy #1, Caleb, was offered a full scholarship to Cornell. We're thrilled and excited. He has so many great offers from some exceptional law schools, he has a tough decision to make soon.

~Boy #3, Carter, scored a 31 on his ACT. That puts him in a much better place to pull in some scholarships.

~I'm ditching my old internet provider. I had the new internet lines run today. I cannot wait to tell the old measured internet service to go fly a kite. Woot woot. Raise the roof. Good bye Suddenlink!!



79 comments:

  1. ohhh...bet Chad's mom is rolling her eyes.

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    1. She's probably think, "Not my baby...he's a good boy."

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    2. Well written, Ms. Jones, well written - and straight from the heart :)

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  2. Congrats to the boys and hopefully the internet is better. lol sometimes one can be oblivious to what they are saying or stick their foot in their mouth a bit.

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    1. I'm loving my internet so far. It's not even dropping like the other one did.

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  3. What a wonderfully refreshing post to read. Loved the story and pictures.
    You do make a lovely couple and here's to a great week-end to you both.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Thanks Yvonne! You have a great weekend too.

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  4. Scholarship guitar solo!! Friendly intervention helping to create a lovely marriage is never a bad thing. Congrats on your lovely family Liz. :)

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  5. I love this story. No wonder you ended up writing romances. Lol. ;)

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    1. I've always been a romantic at heart. I think that's why he irritated me so much. He wasn't at all acting noble or heroic!

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  6. You did good, hanging around to find out what kind of man he'd become. You are obviously still very much in love :-)

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    1. Between you and me, I like him a more each day. (and I can trust that life will never get boring because I never know what will come out of his mouth!)

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  7. This is one of the best dating stories ever. I love it, and I love that you actually shared it with us.

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    1. Aww thanks. I was always hesitant, but I wrote it, asked Chad if he minded if I outed him as a former cretin, and he gave me the thumb's up.

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  8. This is one of the best dating stories ever. I love it, and I love that you actually shared it with us.

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  9. What a wonderful post! Actions do speak louder than words. :) Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. Yes, they do. I'll take my potty-mouthed guy whom I can trust over an eloquent cheater any day.

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  10. I loved reading this! I also love hearing about childhood sweetheart stories- even if it was more like child sourheart w/you guys, sometimes, lol!

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    1. I suppose my mom was right- immature boys tease you when they like you. Or maybe not, because my husband teased a lot of girls. Hmm.

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  11. Ha! This was funny. I haven't stopped by here for awhile, but I'm glad I did this morning.

    It sounds like you and Chad had a real David Addison versus Maddie Hayes relationship. Great stuffs!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. I'm glad you stopped by too! It's hard to hit all the blogs, so I'm flattered you found time for mine.

      I loved Moonlighting. Excellent show!

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  12. Loved this! Actions definitely speak louder than words. :)

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  13. So, funny. My hubby always says the problem with marriage is communication, too much communication. I think it's a Simpson's quote. He thinks he's hilarious.

    In all honesty, actions do speak louder than words, and we all make stupid comments. I've made enough. I much prefer writing where I can edit before hitting send.

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    1. LOL. Yeah, sometimes it's best to stop talking. I talk too much and I always get myself in trouble. I'm with you, I prefer to be able to edit myself.

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  14. Well, guys we mean well even if we don't always say things right...didn't stop my wife from marrying me though:) Great story:)

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    1. It's not just a guy thing. I say lots and lots of stupid things.

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  15. Aww, I'm so glad you got past his mouth and down to his soul. :D

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    1. I'm glad I did too. He really was a great catch.

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  16. It's a beautiful picture, Elizabeth. You and I are fortunate with the people we chose. :)

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  17. Glad it all worked out in the end. Now I have to find out just what it was he said. I love that engagement picture of the pair of you. Those boys sure look like their dad with a touch of mom thrown in. Congrats to them.

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    1. He'll take the boys looking like him as the greatest compliment. :)

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  18. OK just found the offending sentence. LOL. Didn't you slap him?

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    1. No. I'm more of a hider, less of a fighter.

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  19. Such a lovely story! Thanks or sharing it with us!

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  20. Love it! Great story. I've often said that I've known my husband since I was twelve... but I married him anyway. There's a lot of truth to that, ya know. Adolescent boys CAN be a little jerky. But luckily, also smart, funny, and sweet. And isn't it great to share such a long history?

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  21. What a great post - I had plenty to smile about whilst reading and plenty to think ha ha that's me and my hubby too! Great news about the Cornell scholarship and the ACT scores for your boys. As parents, we have to worry so much that everything will work out for them so it's lovely when things do :) Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

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    1. Smiles are great things. Glad you found a few :)

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  22. I loved your engagement pic and all the funny memes! I'm glad it worked out for you two. I'm on my 3rd husband, and although I've heard about the mythical wonderful husbands from some women, I've never actually met one...

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    1. I'll tell you a secret- there is no such thing as a perfect husband. Mine got me winter radials for our first Christmas together. And a few years ago he got me an impact wrench for Valentine's Day. He's not perfect, but he's perfect for me.

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  23. Talk about a wonderful hanging in there story! My hubs needed filters in many areas (still does ;)), but somehow . . .for some weird reason. . .forgetful forgiveness always creeps in. Hey, and look how much it helped your writing later in life! Blessings :)

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    1. My husband still has no filters. I'm constantly stepping on his foot or jabbing him in the ribs.

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  24. Yeah, sometimes it's best not to listen to closely to them. I loved reading this story. Really funny. Congrats to your sons! That's awesome news. Yay on new internet.

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    1. And if you do listen closely, be sure weigh the comments with a grain of salt.

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  25. We do some of the dumbest things when we're young...but then we sometimes manage to make it work out anyway! I think it's SO sweet that you guys have such a long history together. That's rare.

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    1. I did plenty of dumb stuff. Fortunately, I did my dumb stuff pre-Facebook, so there is no left over public record.

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  26. I'm just impressed that through it all, you still managed to marry a guy that hates Chicken McNuggets. Love truly does conquer all. But really though, what a cool story, and it's so cool to see that you're still so happy after all these years.

    I'm glad I didn't meet my wife when I was in 8th grade... because I'm 6 years older than her, and walking around with a 2nd grader might have seemed a bit, uh, inappropriate.

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    1. He hates chicken in general. He doesn't even like wings! Weird, right? I'm not at all certain he's human.

      Yeah, if you'd hit on your wife when she was in the 2nd grade, you might have been on the sex offender list.

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  27. Bless our mothers. They're always in our corner. But you were and are an adorable couple.

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  28. That was so cute. I loved every sentence of your love story. The two of you are just meant to be.

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  29. That was so cute. I loved every sentence of your love story. The two of you are just meant to be.

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  30. I absolutely love this post. It's wonderful. And yeah, I get it. My hubby has a hard of gold. And really huge foot that spends a lot of time in his mouth. :D

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    1. Sounds like we married the same kind of guys!

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  31. I loved reading this. I sometimes have to ignore what someone says to look at their much louder (and thoughtful) actions.

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    1. It is a much better tell to watch what people do, rather than what they say. I've known plenty of silver tongued people who do really bad things.

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  32. You two shared a wild ride. You know you liked him if you joined track for him (so it isn't so unbelievable that he won you over...finally... and with help). I'm dying to know what he said to you. Seriously. It's all I can think about. I don't suppose you'd email it to me. I like getting "trashy" email. Ha!

    I think I've seen the error in my ways with regard to actions and words. I've been a sucker for the words in the past. They always come back to bite me in the rear end. Actions are what matters. Words are nice. Women like words. But without the corresponding actions... crickets.

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    1. Always judge the actions over the words.

      Hmm...some trashy email...I'll see what I can do.

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  33. Whoa, you guys have known each other a long time! He sounds very sweet, Elizabeth. Thanks for sharing, had a good laugh, LOL!

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    1. In a small town, it's almost impossible not to know everyone.

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  34. What a fun, playful and mean-spirited rollercoaster. The fact that you survived the adolescent love-hate thing prepped you for anything that would follow. But I'm still wondering what line he fed you. I sense that he knew he needed a fine woman to refine him, but he went for someone hot and fun instead. Smiles.

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    1. I'm still working on the refinement process. We have quite a way to go!

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  35. Great post, Elizabeth. Thanks for sharing. So pleased that all worked out in the end. Sounds like you got to know each other's faults well in advance :) Surely that's a good thing? Have a great week.

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    1. That is true. Neither of us have any secrets. I mean we've tried, it's just too hard in a small town ;)

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  36. Wow! Isn't it amazing when men finally grow up and realize to think first and then open their mouth. You know, some of them never learn this. I'm blog hopping with C. Lee McKenzie, et al. I love your blog and the post. I'll be back. I'll also follow your blog and connect with you on social media. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by!!I'm glad you enjoyed.

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  37. LOL!!! Thankfully I got both. My hubby was a total ladies man--not because he was a womanizer, but because he was a gentleman. I had too much pride to go for anything less. I'm glad you looked past his mouth though.

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    1. Pride. That's a quality all young girls should learn early and often.

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  38. Thanks for sharing...was fun to read!

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  39. Loved this post, Elizabeth and I bet you're also glad he hung in there with you .. and yeah, I'm still curious about what he said. :D

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  40. That was a cute story. And a good marketing technique. I'm so curious as to what he said I feel a need to buy the book and turn to chapter 29.

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    1. I suppose it is, though the honest reason not to put it right out there is to save myself some public humiliation.

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