“Andrew….” (driving in the car, him distracted because he has a major sailing competition on this week)
“Did you read my blog post about religion today? Do you ever read my blog?”
“Ummm, baby I don’t know.”
“Do you think it’s hard to be married?” I said to him fishing…
“Sometimes you’re hard to love…just kidding. No, I haven’t thought it’s been hard to be married.”
“But it’s not always rainbows and butterflies and french champagne, is it?”
“Oh, never mind”
I was speaking with one of my friends yesterday on my walk. They were lamenting that after 2+ years of dating, that they felt that their idea of what the relationship should be has become “too practical” and “less romantic”. WHERE’S THE ROMANCE?
I never ever thought that marriage was rainbows and butterflies (oh well maybe I did, maybe I had hoped against hope that it was euphoria 24/7). I have seen enough marriages break-down around me, I’ve seen both of my grandparents celebrate being married for 50+ years. I have seen women become ‘farmer widows’ to their hard-working husbands every summer. I have heard the religious, hippie, feminist approaches to marriage. Since moving to Australia I have heard why being married isn’t necessary…it’s ‘just a piece of paper’.
I love being married.
I love watching my husband excel at things he loves.
I love waking up to him every morning.
I love sharing my life with him.
I do not love picking up clothes off the floor.
I do not love making sacrifices in some of my selfish ways.
I do not love how I can come across as selfish as I do.
I do not love cleaning a bigger house.
I miss the euphoria of dating
I embrace the daily hugs, his smell, his scent, his random check-in text messages, his unwavering support of me.
I think it’s incredibly dangerous to enter any relationship wanting it to be dripping in chocolate fondue and bubble baths. It’s not realistic.
It’s a daily commitment to love, nurture, respect and work alongside each other.
It is NOT always easy.
There have been times when I’d rather be anywhere other then having to confront my own issues with Andrew. I have guilt, at times, for dragging my own crap into our marriage and ‘burdening’ our relationship with my issues. There have been times when the angst of no longer being ‘solely independent’ was so overwhelming I responded in, for lack of better words, tantrums. I know I can go and gallivant through the world saving lives…but my priorities have changed. That shift was hard at the beginning, but it’s what I’ve chosen for myself…what I feel is right for the two of us in our marriage.
It’s not right for everyone. It has to be right for the two of you.
In saying that, I think it opens up the larger issue that so many people expect out of other people. To bring them constant joy, euphoria and box ticking. It’s not fair to them and it’s not fair to a relationship. Once I realised that the euphoria of dating had subsided and let the dust settle of my tantrums…I realised that my idea of ‘romance’ was replaced with stability, doing things together, carving out my own life within our relationship, supporting each other in our own endeavors, being excited about planning future things…and now journeying on together as parents.
Our life doesn’t drip in the daily spike of hour long conversations, the long awaited email response or weekends together which are saturated with gooey love. Our life and our romance has evolved into the special weekends away, folding laundry together, dreaming together of the type of house we want, the things we want to do with our children, and having big conversations about our hopes/dreams/aspirations.
I’ve had to readjust my framework of what I thought relationships would be. I’ve had to be more open about my heart, had to become more selfless in ways and selfish in others. It is constant, beautiful work.