This may sound a little crazy, but hang in there with me will ya?
Marriage is Hard.
No, I’m not divorced today. I often find myself teetering on the edge of possibility, however. Nothing and no one can prepare you for marriage. Not even when you have lived with the individual beforehand. It’s like some magic switch is turned on the minute you say I do, and the person who you used to know, is no more. And you have to start all over again. Only this time with different expectations. As a girlfriend, you’re a partner, you’re a friend, a lover, someone to experience life with. When your title changes to “wife” you turn into the obligation, the caretaker, the counselor, the accountant, the child-rearer, and someone to “share” your life with. And that difference, experiencing versus sharing, is where I have been struggling as of late.
See, when I was just a girlfriend, we got to do things. Have fun, hang out, go on trips, our money and lives were still separate. Yes, we were serious and committed to each other, but it was a different type of serious. The type of serious where an argument wouldn’t cause me to stray into the arms of another, but it would end up with me sleeping alone, in my own bed, in my own home. Marriage serious? Well for starters, if you want to sleep alone there is no more “own” home, more like “ours.” And if you aren’t fortunate enough to have an extra bedroom, that “own bed” turns into “our couch.” And you have to work it out. You have to. Because the girlfriend can spend some time alone at her home cooling off, the wife can only walk by you too many times in the kitchen in silence before she feels like she is about to explode. And if she does explode? What then? Where does she go? Where can she go? It’s as if upon signing the marriage license there is some invisible lasso that reaches out and binds you and your spouse together, squeezing tight with no room to breathe. No room at all. (In my mind the lasso is wielded by some big, floppy hat-wearing cartoon cowboy, with boots that have big spurs that spin like pinwheels. I watched a lot of cartoons as a kid).
I’m sure these sound like the bitter ramblings of someone who is disenfranchised with the whole idea of marriage, but it’s actually quite the opposite. Not only do I believe in the sanctity of marriage, I actually will recommend it, (if that’s your thing). I, myself just struggle with the whole, “what’s yours is mine and mines is our thing,” not to mention that part about in “sickness and health” or perhaps what’s the scariest of all, “till death do us part.” The whole, forsaking all others, I can dig. While the thought of actually being with someone until I leave this earth is a little scary, the actual act of being with someone until I leave this earth, isn’t all that bad.
I Promise I'm Not As Crazy As I Sound.
If these sound like the viewpoints of two different people, I assure you they are not. And if sounds like I might have a split personality, I assure you, I do not. (At least I don’t think so). That’s just how marriage or any serious long-term relationship can be. There are ebbs and flows, days when you want to kill one another, days when you can’t keep your hands off of one another, and times when you’ll literally feel like you don’t know what to think, or feel. There will be instances where you will question your judgment when you watch your significant other pick their nose and wipe it on the couch without a second thought, with no regard to how disgusting it is AT ALL. Times when you question your decision to try and be a fully functioning member of society and not the raging alcoholic that being with this person has you craving for. But also times when you’ll feel down, and that person will know just what to say, or not say. When you reach out your hand, and there is someone on the other end. Someone you can ride out what is surely the end of the world, quarantine be damned, with. Someone who will not only indulge you when you have questions about how weird your poop looks, but will come into the bathroom and inspect it with you, (my husband is the real MVP).
So yes, when I was a girlfriend, it was A LOT easier. While there were some anxiety and stressors, there was no elephant in the room. No big cloud hanging over my shoulder, pushing me to make this work, or else. There was a sense of security, but to be honest, I always knew there was a way out. There was no sense of responsibility, even though I am responsible. I felt as if I was with someone, but not as if I was someones. Commitment used to scare me and caused me to run in the opposite direction if the word was even uttered. And yes, it still freaks me out at times, but for now, I’m choosing to ride that cowboy until the end.
Thanks for Listening.