I want to thank everyone for your comments on yesterday's post. I enjoyed writing it. And I'm going to get some of our old photos put on disks so that I can use them in future blog posts. But in the interest of not furthering the "romance fantasy" as I call it, I want to point out that while we've been together for 22 years, it wasn't easy. We've probably had as many downs as ups and some days the fact that he's breathing the same oxygen as me is on my nerves. And I'm sure there are days when he looks at me and wonders if I'd melt if he threw water on me like the Wicked Witch of the West. I think that true love is finding someone who likes you even when you may not like yourself and accepts you for who you are inside. And is willing to work with you to get through the bad things because they have faith that there are more good times on the other side. And then you hang on to them for dear life! As my mother succinctly put it yesterday~
Marriage is a full time job.
Romantic? No. True? Oh yes. And I think that's a lot of why there are such high divorce rates these days. People watch movies and get the idea that true love is easy. It falls into your lap and then you live happily ever after. False. True love falls into your lap and then you bust your ass to keep it there. I'm pretty sure there were days after the fairy tale ending that Cinderella wanted to throw those glass slippers at Prince Charming's head. Probably because he forgot to take out the garbage again. Or he went hunting when he knew she'd been stuck at home with three small sick children all week. Or he forgot to pick up bread at the grocery store when she specifically asked him to not five minutes before he walked out the door. Shit happens. Every day. Bigger shit than that happens. Believe me. But the determination to stick it out and make things work is what keeps people together. The idea that this person is worth the effort. Remembering what you saw in them in the first place and knowing that that part of them is still there. Finding new things to respect and admire about them. You don't just toss out people like you would a pair of jeans with a hole in them. You don't just go buy another pair. You slap a cute patch on that hole and sew that puppy up!
Alot of people we've known through the years have thought we had a "fairy tale" marriage. I'd like to disabuse everyone of that notion. Because that would imply that it's easy to maintain. Oh hell no!! There have been days when it was like cleaning out a septic tank let me tell you. But the fact is we both put on our coveralls, hip boots and gloves and waded through the shit to clear things up. And never doubt communication is key. Like any other couple, we fight. Alot. Because even if you're fighting, you're still communicating. We don't attack each other. We would never call each other stupid, worthless or worse. But don't think I don't yell. And sometimes throw things. But unbreakable stuff like tupperware. Because I learned that lesson. Hubby's not really much of a voice raiser. And he's definitely not a thrower. He's way more laid back than me. And if we're fighting over something stupid? I usually slam out of the room dramatically and shut myself in my room until I've calmed down. If I'm wrong? I apologize. If I'm not? Then I decide if it's really a big deal or not. Choose your battles. If we're fighting because of something important like one of us feels taken for granted? Or hurt? Then we talk it over. We go somewhere quiet, away from the phone and the kids. And we say "I feel this way. And I feel this way because..." and we give the other person a chance to say "I didn't mean to make you feel this way. Let's change this". Does it always work? No. Do things really change? Not always. But just the act of getting it out there and knowing maybe the other person didn't mean to make you feel that way is sometimes enough of a solution in itself.
I'll stop preaching now. And I promise that tomorrow I'll be funny. And I apologize for all the analogies. In the end...I just want to add on to my mom's statement~
Marriage is a full time job. The work is hard. The pay is bad. And the hours are long. But the benefits make it completely worth it. Don't do it for the money. Do it for the love.
Disclaimer~ If you are in a bad relationship, being abused either physically or mentally, being cheated on repeatedly (Mrs. Tiger Woods this means you!), or neglected, I am absolutely not saying you can work it out. Get out now. Because people like that don't change and they aren't worth the effort. Sometimes you have to return those jeans because they just don't fit. Or they make your ass look huge.