My Husband Is a &#%!^@

It feels good to call someone '&#%!^@' when you're irritated with them. Really, it does.

My husband is a fucker. But then again, so am I. Let me explain.

Like all couples, my husband and I bicker. More often than not, we are bickering about the same few topics over and over, or bickering in the same situations. Sometimes we say things to each other that aren't very nice, though we both try hard not to do that. With our kids grown and gone, most of the time it's just the two of us together, and without the distraction of kids, we can get on each other's nerves—though that happened when the kids were around, too. Marriage is a challenge, however you look at it.

It takes a sense of humor to be married—at least it does for us. Too often in the past, a small disagreement has led to a really dumb argument that led to loud yelling and slammed doors (that was me, not my husband). It can be exhausting to fight, then make up, then discuss what the fight was about. And most of the time whatever we were arguing about was fairly inconsequential, because on most of the big things, we tend to agree. Most of them.

Mostly what we fought about over the years were the two big topics I would imagine many couples fight about at one time or another: our kids and money—sometimes both at the same time. As much as we love each other, we're very different people in some ways.

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One night, as we exited a restaurant after dinner, we were arguing about something stupid. I don't remember exactly what it was.

"OK, Ned," I said. That was my father-in-law's name.

"OK, Harold," my husband said. That was my father's name. And he's right, I do sound like my father when I'm angry. But he sounds like his, too. That's not necessarily all bad, but we both cringe when we hear our respective fathers coming out of our mouths.

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Exasperated, but with a touch of humor, I called my husband "fucker." I said it in only the most affectionate and annoyed way possible—the exact right mix after 26 years of marriage. A quick, short, barely audible version of the word.

To my surprise, my husband laughed, and called me "fucker" back. And thus, a new marital tradition was born.

More and more frequently we would employ this tactic, and now it's become something of a code word between us, basically meaning "this is a stupid argument and I'm finished with it."

Being a passionate fan of curse words, I am delighted by this new option. Any chance I get to use the F-word without being rude, I'm happy to do so. This new and fun way of saying "fucker" has not only opened up the opportunities for unleashing my native New Yorker, but it's become an automatic way to get my husband to laugh.

After the initial shock of hearing "fucker" come out of my husband's mouth (most people are used to hearing such language from me), our friends have caught on, and every so often will employ the "fucker" tactic, too. It feels good to call someone "fucker" when you're irritated with them. Really, it does.

My marriage is better than ever these days. Our grown kids tell us we seem to be on a second honeymoon, and I'm certain it's partly due to the fact that we're both fuckers.

Tags: marriage