Is there a Heimlich Maneuver for love?



I am loved. My husband works out of our home, yet finds time to make meals for me, do most of the grocery shopping, and take care of cars and bills. In a few days, we will celebrate 32 years of sharing the same last name. We have walked through joy and heartbreak together, and in every step he has remained kind and patient. Not once, and trust me, I would remember, has he ever raised his voice toward me or said an unkind word.



For the past 32 years, I have worked as a Quality Control Inspector putting my husband to the test. I’ve subjected him to impatience, sharp words, anger, silence, and rigorous door slamming. No matter how I act or what I do, he remains the same, his goodness still in tact.



Does he have flaws? Yes. The most egregious: he cannot read my mind. I have powerful thoughts that I beam toward him on a regular basis. Since he claims to love me, I don’t feel it is necessary to actually say what I want or need. Obviously, his goodness has limits.



One of the greatest manifestations of his love is buying me dark chocolate. He regularly buys a box of truffles or other delights and puts them in the cupboard so that I can medicate as needed. Last month, he came home with two bags of bite-sized treats and a container of dark chocolate mint balls. I usually eat one piece a day, though two pieces a day is not unheard of. Sometimes I take some to my coworkers, and I also share with my daughter and grandchild because my husband eats only sweet, milky chocolate.




I worked on emptying the two bags of candy, which seemed to disappear more rapidly than usual, saving the dark chocolate mints for last. Then one evening last week, my husband walked in the living room with the clear container of dark chocolate mints.




“How do you like them?” he asked.




I looked at the half-empty container. Although I found it hard to breathe, I managed to get a few words out. “I don’t know. I haven’t eaten any. Have you been eating my dark chocolate mints?”




“I don’t really like them,” he said, “but I’ve been choking them down.”




Choking them down! Horrors! Were they deadly? Defective? Radioactive? Unsafe for older women? Did they have some ingredient that would harm me if swallowed? What depths of love drove him to risk his life for me?




Over the next few days, he managed to choke down the rest of the mints, saving me from that fearful ordeal. During the day while I was at school, I tried to stay occupied and not think about what he was going through; otherwise, I would envision him sitting in a corner, carefully removing the lid from those innocuous-looking but life-threatening mints, forcing himself to eat them, possibly choking, and doing it all for me.




I will never know what that good man spared me from and endured on my behalf, because I never tasted even one of those mints. For days after, I lauded him, recalled his deed, and thanked him for his heroism. To prevent me from making too much of his courage, he placed a big box of dark chocolate truffles under my pillow. He thinks this will still my incessant praise. He is wrong.




He’s a humble man and doesn’t want to talk about the mints and his act of bravery, but I do. It’s one more reason I love the man.




32 thoughts on “Is there a Heimlich Maneuver for love?

  1. A beautiful post, and I will save it forever. With such a fine husband, all you have to do (and I say this wryly), is learn to live with yourself… but I know just how hard that can be at times… Give him a kiss from me.

  2. This past year has been richer for the sharing of your words…I love your humour…I love your love for that husband of yours. It has been a beautiful year coming to know the you that is written and I thank you! May you be richly blessed this season!! Painter Lady

  3. Does he have flaws? Yes. The most egregious: he cannot read my mind. I have powerful thoughts that I beam toward him on a regular basis. Since he claims to love me, I don’t feel it is necessary to actually say what I want or need. Obviously, his goodness has limits.

    My favorite part and one I may use, if you approve of course, when I am talking about Mr. Moody. It is the only part of this post that fits him. You are a lucky woman. Having a husband that is willing to lay his hips on line for his woman is priceless.

    • Please feel free to use that part. I think it is true in many relationships. It has been one of life’s sorrows to discover that my husband receiving station is defective and cannot receive my mental broadcasts. I think quite loudly.

  4. Forget fancy flashy stuff that so many equate with “He loves me”…it boils down to the simple stuff…consistently delivered over 32 years! I heard ‘mint’ and thought of the U.S. Treasury. Sounds like your other half is minted of gold. My heartiest congratulations to you both. Dan

  5. My husband started eating chocolate recently after he read an article that it was good for his health. Unfortunately, he eats it like a vitamin with no anticipation, does not savor nor does he suffer the guilt. However, if he ate my stash it might be curtains for him.

    • I won’t say it’s his only flaw, just the most egregious. (Can you tell I like that word?) Most women are disappointed in their husband’s mind-reading ability. We suspect that are husband’s are not really listening when we’re thinking.

  6. My husband shares that one faltal flaw of being unable to read my mind. I just don’t understand how he could not receive the messages which I send. But I suppose all of the other benefits outweigh the burden of living with that flaw.
    Congratulations on your 32 years. I know what an accomplishment that is.

  7. How did I miss this lovely post. Happy Anniversary. Your husband sounds nearly perfect, except for that flaw. I wonder if they sell the mindreading app on the iPhone5…

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