Friday, January 29, 2010

My "fairy-tale" marriage...

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.


  1. print this out and leave it every every marriage guidance counselling centre in the land.


  2. Right on! After 18yrs and going through all the ups and downs, it takes work and patience and communication and a whole lot of love and respect.

    I went through the negletful relationship and the abusive relationship, before I finally woke up to what it really takes.

  3. This is a brilliant post! I am not married yet, though I hope to be one day. I am not disillusioned by the idea that things end happily ever after. I know marriage is work. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Dang! You're like the Dr. Laura of the blogosphere! Very enlightened outlook on marriage. And you're absolutely's worth the hard work but sometimes being truly successful at marriage is knowing when you've done enough.
    Good post!

  5. As one of those who couldn't make it work, communication is definately the key. As some of us found out the hard way, without it everything fails and you begin to doubt it all including yourself. Denying it all will only extend the pain.

    I'm so glad that you have a wonderful relationship and that you introduced me to the love I could have never imagined. He is my other half as mike is yours. For that I will be and am eternally grateful. Love you.

  6. Spot on Spot!! And congrats on 22years.

  7. Honey, I'm soooo glad you put in that disclaimer at the end, 'cause I was cruisin' for a bruisin'.

    I was married for 20 years. Twenty. NO-ONE can tell me that I didn't try....with every ounce of my being. I did NOT want to be a divorced, single mother of three sons, struggling to make ends meet.

    Sometimes, it's truly a monumental mistake...and you don't realize it until it's way too late.

    Some (like you) are lucky and find the right ones and work hard & keep it going. Some just give up because it's too much work and they expected it to be easy. And some try everything to make it work...(3 marriage counselors, endless talks, etc, etc) and sometimes you discover that one of you simply isn't happy being married at all, much less a Dad. (I mean, parent.) It happens...that's all I'm saying.

  8. I love that you just compared marriage to cleaning a septic tank and I still feel misty eyed.

    You are completely right (I know you knew that already ... but I have made it my bid-ness to say it to you now and then)

    I love to hear about other relationships that work ... they are few and far between. I am happy for you ... and for me :)


  9. So true...and such a shock when you're not expecting perfection to last. It is work. Every. Damn. Day.

    But it's also love, which = irreplaceable.

  10. I don't think I've ever heard it said better than what you just did...BRAVO!!!!! Your mom is right, marriage is a full time job. In Sept, it will be 28 years for us, hard work, ups, downs, happy times, all worth it. You're right that so many marriages don't work because people are too lazy to invest in it. Again, this is a fabulous post!

  11. I stumbled across your blog this morning and have been looking over some of your past posts and adore your site. Just became a new follower and wanted to say hi! Happy Saturday.

  12. Hello my love! Just thought I'd drop by and check you out. Of course I agree with you! I think it's important to point out that a lot of marriages fail too, because people are not friends. I know I don't have as many years{11} invested, but a major part of how we made it this far is that we're best friends. I don't think I would waste time trying to make a man into what he wasn't either. Counselors or not.

  13. Sas~ Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    Heather~ I'm so glad the third time was a charm! =]

    UnA~ well at least you are going in prepared instead of starry eyed! So when it falls into your lap (and I know it will because you rock) be sure to grab on with both hands and hold tight!

    Mindy~ it's true. What's that Kenny Roger's song? "Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, no when to run". I know it's about gambling but I think it could work for marriage too. Lol.

    Roxy~ Oh my. Now you've made me sound like a successful matchmaker as well. Yikes! I'm glad that your happy! Love you too.

    AA~ thanks!!

    Kathryn~ that's why I put in the disclaimer. Sometimes putting too much effort in is as bad as not putting enough. And some people are just too toxic. At least you have 3 wonderful boys though. =]

    Dani~ haha. I'm just good like that. Lol. And ten years is nothing to sneeze at missy! Congrats!

    Jessica~ that's for sure! And you seem to have a really good marriage too.

    Suzi~ thank you very much! And congrats on 28 years!! I think we should all get pins or somthing. Like you do for job service?? Lol.

    Sunshinemeg~ hello! And welcome! I'm glad you liked what you saw!! And I hope you decide to stay for quite a while.

    Hildi~ oh for sure. Romance and lust fade but not so friendship. And I think it's the friendship that gets you through the rough spots! You should totally come her more often!


  14. I think the key words are that in a marriage you 'have to work at it'. Success in marriage isn't handed to you, it has to be earned every day. Sometimes it still doesn't work -- but to have any chance at success, you have to work at it.

    Thank you for your kind and helpful comments. We do appreciate it.


  15. Now, this is what I needed to read today. It is a job and sometimes it sucks and that doesn't make it wrong or worthy of quitting.

    How is it that you can be the ♥spot who writes these posts AND those comments on dick's blog? How, I ask you? Outstanding.
    ♥check out my heart. i didn't understand your "old school way of making your perfect little heart". You do the ampersand and the word hearts??

  16. tattytiara~ oh my! That was my laugh for the day!! You haven't met my mother. She said it in a really mean voice with a glare at my dad. You're right she is wise. But also mean. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you stay.

    Jerry~ Aint that the truth! I'm touched that you find them wise and helpful. Again, my heart goes out to her.

    Magda~ glad it was the right post at the right time! Gosh, guess you haven't been here long enough...I can do both because I'm awesome. Really. No, my comments at Dick's blog are just fun. They allow me to channel my inner bitch. Most of the time she's locked away and I feed her chocolate to keep her happy. Yes, you do the ampersand and the word hearts and the semicolon. Your way=so much easier.


  17. Hear, Hear sister! SOOOOO true! Raising my glass to you. I heard you have quite an arm with that tupperware.

    I am already doing a LOT of work and we are not even married yet. I just know what it takes after TWO "practices". :-P