Friday, April 25, 2008

A half-carat rock and a hard place.

Sometimes I feel torn between being a good wife and a good blogger. Seems like it would be a pretty obvious choice, huh? It is but also it isn't. Let's see if I can explain.

I've noticed that I tend to only post things about my husband that are positive. Big shocker, I know. Why would anyone want to post negative stuff about their spouse unless they were trying to get a divorce? Well, for two reasons really:

1) Writing is cheap therapy
2) I'm not a liar

Writing helps me sort things out. If I find myself all stuck in my head and moping around feeling sorry for myself for no particular reason, writing can help me come back to reality. Sometimes it makes me realize what was bumming me out in the first place and other times it just gets me out of my funk so I can move on with my life.

It also helps me communicate. I've noticed lately (or perhaps it was brought to my attention...) that my verbal communication tends to resemble word vomit. I don't think this is the case with everyone I speak to (God help me...) but it is definitely the case with Bill. I'm not sure if it's because I've known him for so long or what but when we talk I tend to swap out "You know what I mean?" for actual words. This inevitably leads to me being frustrated that, in fact, no, he does not know what I mean. Sometimes I think it would help if I could communicate with him in a way that allowed for lots and lots of editing. Maybe, just maybe, I would finally get my point across. Or maybe I'd realize I didn't have a point to get across in the first place. Either way, I think it would be an improvement.

So why not send him an e-mail or tuck a perfume scented letter under his pillow? Why even toy with the idea of posting negative stuff about my marriage for all to see? Because of #2 - I'm not a liar!

I hate for anyone to think for a minute that my marriage is perfect just because I don't write about the bad stuff. It's not that I wouldn't love to have a perfect marriage it's just that, well, THERE IS NO SUCH THING! If someone you know has one, THEY ARE LYING! This happened to us. We got married young (I was 22) so we didn't have a whole lot of married friends, just one couple. They were like our marriage gurus. They were happy, adorable, perfect - just what we wanted to be like. We said "I do" thinking, "If that's what marriage looks like, count us in!" Come to find out that is NOT what marriage looks like. Marriage is hard. Really hard. It took us well over a year to find our footing. We fought and fought and fought. Doors were slammed, obscenities were screamed, threats were made. You would have thought we were in a marriage arranged by brutal dictators or a mail-order bride situation or something. Surely we didn't choose this life! But we did make a choice, a vow really. Eventually we had to realize that it was time to stop fighting with each other and start fighting for our marriage.

It was a lot of work to get to where we are today. Some days we get to reap what we sowed and other days (ahem...) we find we still have an awful lot of work to do.

Oh, and our perfect married friends? Divorced. Not three years after we got married they split up. We never saw it coming but I'm sure they did. If only we had known that they weren't this fairy tale couple perhaps we wouldn't have been so scared when our marriage turned out to be less than perfect. How nice it would have been to know we were NORMAL, not doomed.

Since then, we've tried our best to be honest in the hopes that if any of our friends face tough times like we have had (and continue to have), at least they'll know they're not alone. I know it helps me to no end when I'm struggling with something and a friend confides that she knows exactly what I'm going through. What makes it even better is 10 times out of 10 it's a friend I admire and look up to (is there any reason to have friends you don't admire?).

What a relief to know we all struggle from time to time. There are no perfect people - just normal people and liars!


Callie said...

What a great post about marriage. Love your writing and you just expressed I think how a lot of people feel about their marriage.

Alyson & Ford said...

Loved reading this post. Thank you for the good reasons to be positive and work with the marriage... we are on Anniversary #22. Great post!

Alyson LID 01/27/06

s.twist said...

ok, discovering your blog has been fun. almost as fun as discovering you and bill a few years ago.