Marriage is No Cakewalk

I love my husband. In fact, I’m not sure that love begins to describe just how I feel about him. In so many ways he is my light and my life.

Every single day I am thankful that we came together by seemingly random change. Every single day I am thankful that he chose me.

Yet, every now and again I am reminded that marriage is no cakewalk (side note, what is with the saying cakewalk? I naively thought it was a random saying until Wikipedia enlightened me to a deep history I knew nothing about).

I love my husband, and we continually choose to live our lives together. But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. I don’t believe marriage is meant to be easy – the very idea of joining two people together for life is bound to take work and constant effort to keep things on track. Heck, I cannot even keep a plant alive in my house for a few weeks, so keeping a marriage alive for years is bound to take some sort of effort.

I often think one of our biggest strengths is that Mr. MPB and I genuinely like each other. If we have the opportunity, we choose to spend time together. We both seem to like to make the other one happy, and so that helps too. And of course we communicate pretty darn well most of the time. As two analytical minds that often think things through to the nth degree, we have become very good at talking things through early and often.

But all this said, we are not perfect. Sometimes I worry that I portray an image of our marriage that is idyllic. Trust me, it’s not always a bed of roses (another saying I don’t quite get – a bed of rose petals would be okay, but a bed of roses just sounds thorny).

In the past while we were living through recurrent pregnancy loss and trying desperately to grow our family yet feeling like we were failing at every turn, we realized that we had to learn to respectfully disagree with each other in a way that validates how we are both feeling. And, it takes work to continue to implement these strategies. Sometimes we forget and sometimes one of us simply chooses not to follow the “rules”. Sometimes one of us just wants to throw a temper tantrum and be unhappy about something, which undoubtedly does nothing to help the situation.

I suspect like all married couples we have things that constantly annoy the other one and grates on the other one’s nerves.

For example, we are both convinced that the other one never empties the dishwasher. In fact it’s become such an annoyance that I find myself announcing to the world whenever I empty the dishwasher so that I will get the acknowledgement I want. I’m sure this only serves to drive him even madder. And don’t even get me started on folding laundry, we both despise folding laundry!

Or another one is that I love to suggest another home project, which only Mr. MPB can do. Hey babe, can you switch out that light and wire up the new fixture I bought? Ya, I have no idea how to wire up a new light, but that doesn’t stop me from buying a new light and suggesting the idea. I can only imagine how much this excites him, because his dream clearly should be to spend his rare downtime replacing light fixtures not relaxing in front of the TV with a glass of wine in hand.

And another example is my complete and udder dependence on him for anything technology related. When it comes to fixing any sort of technological problem I throw my hands up in the air like a 95 year women who has never used a computer in her life. Alas, he is our home’s IT Support, and I am quite sure without him I wouldn’t even be able to turn on the TV.

And what do I do to annoy him? I asked him and he refused to answer, rather he said through roaring laughter I am not stepping into that minefield!! So, I’ll use one thing that I know drives him insane. Mr. MPB loves watching movies and shows. Me, not so much. In fact, I hate watching any movies after 7pm because I fall asleep, and I hate watching new shows. I love watching reruns, bring on some classic episodes of Friends or Frasier or even MASH and I’m a happy girl. It is almost a nightly occurrence that we struggle with what to watch because I want to stick with a tried and true classic and Mr. Adventurous wants to watch something/anything else.

The point of these examples, the little squabbles and the continual and seemingly constant annoyances is to show that we are just like everyone else. Or at least what I imagine other couples are like in the privacy of their own homes. We squabble. We have differing opinions. We may not get along perfectly every single day, and in fact there are days where we just don’t see eye to eye on almost anything.

20150708 - Marriage Is No CakewalkBut what we do have, and what makes me think we have a fighting chance at being one of those old married couples rocking on their front porch holding hands, is that we choose to see through these things. We choose to roll our eyes over the small stuff and leave it, most of the time. We choose to find something to watch that satisfies both of us. We choose to call each other out on their irrational moments. We choose to say, I don’t understand why, but we don’t seem to be on the same page today, and this isn’t earth shatters so let’s figure this out another time. Really, we just choose each other, each and every time.

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40 Comments on “Marriage is No Cakewalk

  1. Oh my God!! Are you sure you are not my clone or vice-versa??

    My husband and I fight over emptying the dishwasher, doing laundry, folding laundry and what to watch on TV. I can only watch re-runs and if its a new movie i wiki it to know the plot and then watch it. He is the complete opposite. The most we struggle with is how to handle downtime. I love spending weekends at home with family, and he wants to go out on adventure.

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  2. I love this! We choose each other!

    We squabble over laundry, or rather, I point out often that he doesn’t fold it, EVER. But he does… And then puts it away so if it’s a load I had nothing to do with, I don’t know he did it. I, on the other hand, rarely put it away right away so he can see I folded it. Ha! We don’t fight about this anymore.

    I like how you handle things. Like you mentioned in my post a couple of weeks ago, I think we both deal with things similarly. Everything you write here is advice my therapist gave me that we try to always use. We don’t always succeed, but we try.

    I think challenges like IF and RPL do one of two things – year a marriage apart or bring the marriage closer. I’m glad you got closer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • First, I think you are right, we seem to have similar approaches to our marriages. And I think that’s absolutely awesome.
      Second, I refuse to put away Mr. MPB’s clothes. I’ll fold them, but he can put them away himself. I’ve always stuck to this rule because his drawers are messy and it drives me crazy and then I find myself refolding everything in the drawers and then I end up annoyed. But, now I’m wondering if I actually have been leaving the laundry out for hims to see it folded so that he knows I’m doing it? Oh the power of the subconscious!
      Third, I agree, RPL/IF either makes you strong as a couple or helps put distance and hurt into the mix which is not going to lead anywhere positive. It’s hard, but I’m glad that I can say we are one of the couples who have chosen to turn to each other, not away from each other.

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  3. Ha! I love that Mr. MPB refused to step into the minefield of letting you know what bugs him in your relationship — that is one wise fellow you’ve got there. 🙂 I also think you’ve hit on one of the important principles of a successful marriage — to try to see past the little things to the big picture, and mostly just let the little stuff go (unless it’s turning into big stuff). Sometimes I think that infertility and pregnancy loss have strengthened our marriage, because we’re totally a team on this really big thing, and it makes the little things seem less important. It also makes us more gentle with each other — my husband sees how much work I do on pregnancy-related stuff (or these days, how exhausted and queasy I am), and will surprise me by doing the grocery shopping even though it’s my turn — or he’ll fold my laundry when he folds his own. I love the little things that show that he loves me and is thinking about how to make life a little better — and I try to do the same for him in return sometimes. I’m so glad that you and Mr. MPB are also able to see past the little annoyances to how much your relationship really means. Any couple that’s been through what you’ve been through and come out still able to make each other laugh and love has got to have a VERY strong relationship. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for sharing! I too find myself thinking sometimes that if our marriage was able to withstand RPL, then we’re doing pretty darn good! RPL Is one of those things that very few people have to experience and navigate, so it’s one of those things that’s incredibly difficult to get through. I’m glad we weathered the storm together.
      Also, I love that your husband is going the extra mile right now, and that he is trying to help a bit more. I think doing those little things, like getting groceries even when it’s not your turn, just go so far to making each other feel valued in the relationship.

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  4. Oh my goodness…this post had me laughing because it’s just so true! J and I have the same problem with the honey do list only I always say “we” need to do something even though J knows it will more than likely just be him, lol. And I love that Mr. MPB said he wasn’t stepping into that minefield. Totally something J would say and now it just makes me want to come meet you even more! I love that you are honest that it’s not all sunshine and roses. Marriage is hard and it takes so much commitment on both people’s parts to make it through, but the good times make the rough times so worth it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup, I think Mr. MPB and J must be similar, because every great idea I have means that Mr. MPB is required to help make it a reality. And in fact, often times his effort is required more so then mine.
      Also, you are so right, the good times make the rough times so worth it!! And as long as we are committed to each other, we are at least half way there. I’m glad you and J get this too. Love you my friend and wishing you and J a lovely week.

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  5. As long as you can communicate, you will have a strong marriage. it does take time to adapt and accept each other. I have only been married for a year and a half and we have these chore arguments constantly. I swore I would never argue about dishes but it seems like there are more and more dirty dishes everyday even though we run the dishwasher about 3 times a week. It’s just two of us! Where do all of these dishes come from? My husband suggested we just use paper and plastic so we can throw them away, however I have resolved to be grown up and use the real dishes so we have to clean them. Thanks for the insight into your marriage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for sharing! I have to agree about how often we seem to run the dishwasher – for two people, it seems like it’s on a lot! I’m with you on the paper and plastic – if it were economical and environmentally friendly, there are days where I think it would be a great idea to not have to actually clean our dishes. Of course, like you, we are adults and somehow it seems like the responsibility of emptying the dishwasher is a must. 🙂

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  6. Ha, yes, Tim is both the IT support in our home, as well as the electrician. And I’ll admit it: I NEVER EMPTY THE DISHWASHER. Ever. And we also both hate folding laundry. We just let it pile up on the guest bed and then root through what we need every morning. This last time, the laundry was on the guest bed for months until my mother in law folded it. We are in our late 30s and my mother in law folded our laundry. Super nice of her, but we need to get it together.

    I love it when you said that you choose each other. I think that’s kind of what I was getting at in my last post, but didn’t go as deep into it as you did, nor explain it as eloquently. I think T and I have recently reached a point where we both took a step back and realized that, whoa, we haven’t really been choosing each other lately. We’ve been choosing the stress and the crap life throws at us, but not really each other. It was a scary realization. We are going to see a counselor together on Friday and I am really looking forward to it. But enough about me, jeez! Sorry for the tangent — marriage is just something that’s I’ve been thinking about a ton lately.

    Even though you and Mr. MPB have the normal relationship squabbles, it sounds like you have something strong and wonderful. If you’re relationship has weathered five losses and now adoption, I’m pretty confident that you can weather anything. Not to mention that you guys seem to have so much fun together — I wish we lived near you guys so we could go on double dates and such!

    Liked by 3 people

    • i LOVE that your mother-in-law eventually folded your laundry! And seriously, what’s wrong with it sitting on the guest room bed? I don’t see any problem with that. In fact, I like the idea so much, that I might just do that next time instead of digging through a laundry hamper of clean clothes to find 2 matching socks!
      Also, I’m thrilled to read that you and Tim are going to try counselling. I think RPL and IF test a relationship in a way I never expected (but then I never expected RPL…), and I can honestly say our counsellor is key to why we are here today and why we are choosing each other each and every time. No, it’s never going to be perfect, but if we are both committed to trying our best, we have a decent shot at making it through the rough stuff and thriving in the good times.
      Also, I totally agree about the double dates! I have to say, as much as I love the blogging community, it’s friendships like ours that I wish were in real-life too! I wish it were as easy as stopping by for a coffee when either of us needed a friend! But, at least we have email, blogs and texts.
      Love to you my friend.

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  7. I always feel like you guys have the perfect marriage with no issues ever. It’s nice to know that you’re a “normal” couple, hehe! B and I bicker all the time it feels, since we’re both very stubborn and we’re both always right. Some days I wonder how we’ve managed to make it this far…but then I realize that it’s because we do really love each other, and want to be on this road of life together. I think it’s normal to drive your partner nuts, at least a little bit…we wouldn’t be human otherwise!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, we have ISSUES! 🙂 We try to keep them small, and we try to deal with them before they become massive blow-outs, but I can assure you, from time to time we have them. Honestly, I don’t know how two people living together could actually get through life without at least a few disagreements.
      I’m glad you too share a relationship that is based in love, and a desire to be together. I think without that, you and B, and Mr. MPB and I, we’d all be doomed and lost. That love piece, it’s kinda a big deal to a successful and mostly happy marriage.

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      • Very true. We’ve definitely learned over the years how to argue more constructively, instead of just getting mad and screaming at each other. Actually I used to freak out, but now I tend to stay fairly calm while B freaks out lol. I’m sure it will shift again over time. 🙂

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  8. Yep, I think you guys are pretty normal! At least, like you, I hope that’s normal, because that sounds so much like our marriage. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth the work when you love the one you’re with. P.S. Cakewalks were commonplace when I was growing up at school and church fundraisers. I have participated in many a cakewalk in my day! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad we are normal together, or crazy together. But either way, I’m glad we are together on this one. And you are right, it is worth the work when you love the person you are with.
      Oh, and seriously you’ve done a real cakewalk?! I honestly had no idea it was a real thing until i googled it when I wrote this post. I love that you’ve done them before! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hah…LOVE that Mr. MPB refused to step into the minefield. Smart man! Catch and I have had very similar conversations in the past! (And funny enough, she is presently unloading the dishwasher.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, he was a smart man not to get involved! And I think he knew it was for my blog, because I was sitting at my computer typing away, so he was extra careful to stay on safe ground. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Haha, this sounds so familiar!! I do love that you can both pin point the things that bug you two and respectfully agree to disagree. Marriage isn’t ever perfect, and if it is, there are big issues that are simply being ignored. I too, wouldn’t know how to even turn the TV on without my man, so you are NOT alone 🙂 XO

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  11. I literally never want to watch movies and I like 100% against starting a new show. I have a few I have been watching for years that I will keep up on, but I am like dead set against finding something new, and it drives my husband crazy. I would rather watch an episode of Friends or Big Bang Theory that I have seen 10 million times before finding something new. Also I think the whole dishes/laundry squabble is normal. We both feel like we are the only one who does it (although I swear I do it more often). I feel like if I see something that needs to be done, I just do it, while he will wait to see if I do it and then throw a huge fit if he has to do it. OR my favorite is when I do something (like say take out the trash) and he sits on the couch watching. When I come back inside in promptly tells me he would have taken out the trash after its done. I think that living with anyone is hard. Period. Finding a way to effectively communicate and balance the workload that is everyday life is the key.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my, we are so similar on this one! I’m like you, bring on the reruns! And, I think I can be like your husband and sit on the couch watching Mr. MPB doing something and then offer to help once it’s basically done – I’m sure that must drive Mr. MPB crazy.
      Thanks so much for sharing and for getting it!

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  12. Marriage is hard work. It’s two completely different people deciding to figure this life out together, side by side, hand in hand, even when we don’t agree. Even when the other doesn’t get it. To our friends, Callie and I have it all together, but in real life, it’s just like you and Mr. MPB. And you hit it right on the head in your last sentence. We choose each other, every. Single. Time…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing and for getting it! I think to many people we seem to have it all together, and yet we don’t. Being married isn’t always easy, and being married and going through hard shit in life like RPL and adoption, we’ll I think that’s one of those things that either makes you or breaks you as a couple. But, Mr. MPB and I both believe that it is about the choices we make, and so long as we choose each other every time, we have a pretty darn good chance of making it. Just like you and Callie! 🙂

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  13. I love this post. I’m not married, and I used to not even believe happy marriages were possible – it was easier to just give up before I tried, BUT I found someone I genuinely like and respect so much. I hate when she goes to bed without washing her feet or getting the gel out of her hair – gross. But if I tell her, it hurts her feelings. I try to get her to tell me things that gross her out about me, but she says nothing. I mildly resent her when I pick up her shit around the house. But then I remember that I do annoying things all the time. I hear her on the phone with her office and get turned on just because she’s so smart and competent. Anyway, following your marriage with Mr MPB has been a privilege, because you really seem like a couple who cares so much for one another and has so many happy moments. Going through RPL could tear a couple apart, but you guys endure. Thank you for sharing!

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    • Thank you so much for sharing. I think you get exactly what I’m talking about, when you love and respect someone the annoyances are worth putting up with! And sometimes we have to remind ourselves of that because in the moment they can just be sooo annoying. 🙂
      And thank you so much for your kind words. I like to think we have a pretty good marriage, but I have learned in the last few years that it takes work and it takes commitment. Love and compassion will get you pretty far, but communication is pretty darn important too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I love this!! My husband always wants to watch documentaries. It doesn’t matter what it’s about, he will watch it! I would rather watch Sex and the City re-runs or a Netflix series. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the dishwasher! I am fine with unloading it, but by gosh, don’t leave your dirty dishes in the sink!!! It makes me crazy!!!
    Thanks for sharing! It’s nice to know we’re not alone!! 🙂

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    • I’d much rather load the dishwasher then unload it, but only because I load it better then he does. Hahaha! 🙂
      I’m so glad we aren’t the only couple who squabbles over the little and completely useless things. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Nailed it! Marriage is weird and hard and glorious all at the same time. Going thru rough stuff together and coming out the other side still liking that person shows strength and resilience and is a good indication of getting to that golden anniversary. Great post!

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