Something Smells Funny In My Marriage

Just about four years in, I've figured out something smells funny in my marriage. What happens when your senses don't match your spouse's senses?

Something smells funny in my marriage.

And by something, I mean someone.

And by someone, I mean my husband.

He doesn’t smell bad.

Rather, wonderful, I must say.

But he smells funny, as in his sense of smell.

He smells everything.

I interrupt our upcoming fourth wedding anniversary to ask, “Why didn’t you mention this before I got married?”

Of all the things we were supposed to figure out if we’re compatible—religion, politics, money, raising kids, health.

No one mentioned smell.

Did you, Dear Reader, do a premarital check to see if you are smell-compatible with your spouse?

It only takes one bad whiff to send Husband over the edge.

It’s worse that he can smell things I can’t.

He’s like a take off of the cell phone ad, “Can you smell that now? Can you smell that now?”

Invariably, my answer, is, “No.”

He can put DarlaDog’s nose to shame.

The second most powerful nose in our family.

The second most powerful nose in our family.

Speaking of Darla.

Boy, does he smell her.

“Phew! Darla! You a stinky dog!” he’ll declare several times a day.

He asks if our wedding vows included, “In sickness and in health and stinky dog.”

Musty, old, 16-year-old old dog with odors that only a creaky old dog’s body could create.

Personally, I wouldn’t trade her stink in for the finest French perfume.

That doesn’t exactly make scents to him.

He sees it differently.

Which leads me to he literally sees differently.

Mr. Nose happens to be colorblind.

Mother Nature giveth him smell, subtracted him in vision.

Red and green, green and brown, blue and purple.

They’re all one color to him.

Husband's colorblind world.

Husband’s colorblind world.

Crayola will not be hiring him anytime soon.

“Does this shirt go with these pants?” he often asks.

“Sure,” I fudge, reminding myself the day’s odd color combination will be fine since he works from home.

One day while trying to hide my shock at his green and purple selection, it came to me.

The answer to the question that has vexed so many marriages, friendships, international relations.

“Why can’t he just see things like I do?”

Why, indeed.

He can’t because he actually can’t.

It’s this way by design.

We don’t experience things the same way because we’re not supposed to.

Spouses, friends, co-workers, strangers on the bus.

We’re all taking in this messy, imperfect world and each other through different filters.

Husband can never know how the colors he’s picked clash, only that I will save him from himself and adjust his selection if he needs to leave the house.


The color of the roses he just might bring home for me next week on our actual anniversary.

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 11.14.02 AM

He won’t know they’re red unless the guy at the flower shop tells him.

But, you can bet he’ll know how good they smell.

Maybe even good enough to cover DarlaDog’s smell for a few days.

What an awesome anniversary present for all of us.

Might sound funny to you.

We can see it quite clearly.

(((Please catch my column each week in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Dayton Daily News and other Cox Newspapers across the country.)

And if you like my column about this marriage thing, you might like my book–

“Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts On Losing Her Job, Finding Love, A New Career, And My Dog, Always My Dog.”

final front cover



Something Smells Funny In My Marriage

by DarynKagan time to read: 2 min