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.
But 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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