Guns & Marriage

There are many things to consider when it comes to guns and marriage; however, have you ever thought they can be very similar to some degree? They both take a lot of practice. The end goal would be to build proper muscle memory.

There are many guns, and there are many marriages. Let’s focus on the firearm first. It doesn’t matter which one is selected; there is going to be a lot of practice. Muscle memory is an essential thing to build. Draw strokes, trigger pull, and magazine reloads. There are many challenges to perfecting each of those concepts. The goal is to create muscle memory. After years and years of experience, the easier it becomes.

Now, let’s say a new instructor comes to the program. He watches the draw stroke, trigger pull, and magazine reloads. He notices something that isn’t quite right, not wrong, but not the most efficient. The correction happens, and after a few rounds down the range, things become more natural. 

  • How come these concepts haven’t been part of past instruction? 
  • How has firearms training missed these opportunities? 

That’s the thing about firearms training and guns. It always changes. It’s up to the shooter holding the weapon to train. The training day is maybe eight hours. It’s not enough time to build muscle memory. If the shooter wants to become a marksman and work on the new skill they learned, they will have to train that skill on their own time. Humans revert to their old ways. Sometimes immediately. It’s not always on purpose, but out of habit. It takes time and effort to perfect a skill. Remember, patience is a virtue. The gun is usually more forgiving than the marksman. So, don’t get frustrated. Try, try, try. Build muscle memory and always consider new concepts. There may be a better way than in the past. Be open to learning and applying! 

Now, let’s focus on marriage. How can either of these two concepts be similar? They can both be difficult, that’s how. They are both changing and always new things to learn. Just like a gun, a marriage takes a lot of patience, and both partners have to be open to learning and applying new concepts. From experience and like the gun, a spouse is usually the most forgiving. Oh, and more dangerous!

After years of marriage, things can become stagnant and stale, just being honest. Muscle memory sets in within the first few years of marriage. They are learning about each other, in-laws, finances, children, etc. After that and from years five to ten, it can be some rough road. Why is that? Maybe because we allow the muscle memory to take over. During the first five years of marriage, it’s easy to get to the “gun range.” The practice is still fun, and there are new things to learn. After that, work, school, family, and everything about life creeps in. New friendships, new promotions, traveling for work increases, and everything else starts to get in the way. 

After a few years, it’s not uncommon to go home exhausted and irritable. Let’s face it; the communication efforts in the marriage have failed. Marriage is there, and if someone asks how long the marriage has been, it’s easy to bust out the muscle memory and say, “Well, twelve years!” WOW! Great job. You were able to draw stroke, pull the trigger, and reload on that one quick. The harder question, “How is your marriage?” – uhhhhhhhh Well, liking their social media posts is excellent, text messaging happens sometimes, and sex happens a few times a month (okay, maybe less). 

Dirty jokes, pitiful chats, and sad humor are happening with buddies or girlfriends. Yet, the conversations with the person we married are almost non-existent. These things are called LIFE, and they can get in the way. After years and years of the same practice, we revert to muscle memory; however, this muscle memory needs a change. The marriage is much different than it was during the first five years. Things change, people change, and new things have happened. Every time marriage needs serious work, it’s typical to try and do what worked years and years ago; however, those concepts don’t work anymore. When a disagreement happens, the arguments occur. Meh, give up and try the next day, or in a week, or month. 

It’s almost like living a marriage full of “secrets.” How can that be? Easy! Practice stopped. New things have happened. Everything has grown, but what’s left for neglect? Yes, marriage; the friendship that rocked for several years. 

  • How can this be fixed?
  • Who is going to fix it?

Unfortunately, a firearms instructor doesn’t want to fix marriages. The one who wants to fix it is probably the one we married. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it! Open communication is how it’s fixed. It’s not magical. Just like learning a new concept from the firearm instructor, it’s going to be crucial to practice outside the range. Yes, it’s fixable, but how? Try, try, try. Never give up. Communication is going to be hard. Talking about what’s been going for the past several years is going to take some serious conversation. The conversations are not going to be easy. Learning about each other all over again is going to be extremely challenging. It’s going to take forgiveness on both sides and patience. After all, why does anyone get married in the first place? LOVE! When was the last time in the marriage, this sentence happened? Looking at each other in the eyes and saying, “I LOVE YOU.” The harder the conversations, the quicker the marriage will recuperate. 

It’s okay to hit reset and refresh. Guns and marriage are all about change. They change constantly, and practice is required to be expert marksmen in both categories. You need to re-build muscle memory and don’t forget to broaden your skills. Continue to develop different communication skills and always remember to say I LOVE YOU!