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I don’t know much about marriage, but here’s what I DO know

Although it feels like an eternity, it wasn’t all that long ago that I had to sit down and admitrings that my marriage was in shambles. It wasn’t something that happened overnight; it took a long time to unravel to that point, and even longer to actually accept it as the reality of my life in order to repair it.  First I had to decide if I even wanted to. I wasn’t sure. Marriage was not at all what I thought it would be, which made me think perhaps I was in the wrong one.
It was at that moment I really had to think to myself- am I in the right place? Do I want to say? I took a long hard look at my marriage and then asked myself one simple question: could I picture myself with anyone else?
The answer was no.
That was when we slowly, but surely began to pick up the pieces.

Here we are, over 6 years into this strange thing called marriage, looking back and saying “we did it!” Looking forward and seeing just how much farther we have to go, because if there is one thing we learned, it’s that the journey never ends. It’s not always uphill, but it always takes effort. If there’s anything else I’ve learned, it’s that I don’t really know anything at all. Marriage is a strange creature. It is always changing and full of confusing and questionable things. It is what we expect and isn’t all at the same time. We all have different lessons to learn, hurdles to clear, successes to celebrate- and they are never the same as the couple standing next to us, even though we might want to compare to make sure we’re doing things “right.” Like parenthood, there is no one right way.

In life, I always feel like if I had to go through something terrible and made it out the other side reasonably unscathed, it should be turned into a positive. Why not use our experiences to benefit other people, or to make them laugh, or not to feel alone?

Over six years of marriage, two kids, ups and downs and a couple of fender benders, and these are the very few things I have figured out along the way:

Love and marriage doesn’t mean you’re never going to fantasize about smothering and then burying your spouse in the back yard.
There’s no such thing as a “perfect” union. Hell, it’s usually the imperfections and the ability to admit them that makes a union stronger.
There is no competition for who is happier, and we shouldn’t even base how happy we think we are in marriage on how happy we think we SHOULD be, or how happy we think everyone else is.
It takes two, duh, but sometimes you are going to have to be the one to kick shit into gear. Don’t expect your spouse to always know there is something wrong with you. We might consider each other to be the most predictable person on the planet, but we’re not psychics.  Well, most of us anyway.
Calm down and explain. It doesn’t matter how SIMPLE something seems to you, it may not to your partner; especially when you are over the top emotional. If you can’t say it without losing your shit, write it down.
Talk. For the love of all that is holy, COMMUNICATE! Even if it’s just about the dumb shit you did all day. TALK! To each other! When you live with someone over time, it’s easy to get caught up in routine and monotony. You might not even realize you’re not talking until you’re not talking about anything anymore and you find yourself feeling uncomfortable even bringing certain things up.
If you have kids, it’s important to remind yourself of the couple you were BEFORE them. I know that parenthood changes things in inevitable and BIG ways, but you were a happy childless couple before procreating, who had conversations and did things together as a couple. Remember that. You still need to MAKE time for just the two of you, or you will forget who the two of you were without children, and then you might forget why you two were ever happy in the first place.
It’s okay to argue. Seriously, it really is. Remember that whole communication thing? At least you’re doing that!
If you want something, ASK FOR IT.

The most important thing, in my humble opinion (and I am NO expert here) is to remember that there was a reason why I married my husband. I might lose sight of it at times, but we ALL at one time or another, thought it was the best idea we’d ever heard to marry the person who is currently driving us insane. Maybe we were just batshit crazy… or maybe it was love. It’s worth finding out, isn’t it?

Posted on September 9, 2013 by Holdin' Holden 7 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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  • Agree, I know your affinity for Disney but that has ruined us all. There are no perfect prince charmings; no perfect fairy tale marriage. It takes work, tears, love, patience and good self control… trust me I wanna that Mother F’er 3 tints a week… but as much as I hate him sometimes I love him twice as much… Worth it…

  • I love reading your blogs and your facebook posts. I think this rings true for me on many levels. My husband and I recently found out we’re pregnant and I am certainly looking forward to enjoying the ups and downs of my first crotchfruit. 😉 much love.

  • I have a hard time letting go of what my expectations are. Weather they’re about how I thought marriage should be, how far along we should be, what he should be doing, etc.

    I blame Disney.

    I love you Disney!

  • Don’t have to be an expert to say something completely and utterly true.

    I needed to hear this today. Thank you.

  • The Hubs and I will celebrate 18 years of marriage this May. With two girls ages 17 and 11 and having a “shot-gun” wedding. There wasn’t much time to be a “childless couple” and there have certainly been times that we almost didn’t make it. Hanging in there and reconnecting is the best decision we’ve ever made. No, we’re not experts and even the couples in my family who have made it to 30, 40, and even 50 year mark have had points in their union when they “almost didn’t make it” – it is work, it isn’t easy, but it is so worth it. You’re right, when you ask yourself, “Can I picture myself with ANYONE else?” and the answer is “No, I really can’t” …. well, for me, it’s ALL I need to know. I’m so happy for you and your husband. Happy Anniversary to you both, I wish you a lifetime of happiness together! <3

    • Hubby and I didn’t get much time to be a “childless couple” either. We married in October, he went to California for most of November for desert training, then our oldest was born January 1. Right after Valentine’s Day, he deployed to Iraq, leaving me to suffer major depression alone. We’ve been together nearly eight and a half years now, had our ups and downs. Two years ago this summer, we had all the divorce paperwork signed, agreements made regarding custody and money, and I was looking for a job and an apartment. We agreed to give it one more chance and ended up getting another son during the makeup period. We’re still together, trying to get approved for a mortgage so we can buy a house, and working to fix what we broke.