On the weekend hubby and I had a rough day. There were no major blowouts but we spent much of the day taking little jabs at each other and feeling like we were just out of sync. At the end of the day I told him that my next blog post was going to be titled “Marriage is hard”. He laughed but I bet he didn’t think I was serious…sorry honey.
Okay…first a little background. I love being married…I love my husband…I love our children…wouldn’t change it for the world. But the bottom line is that marriage is tough. It takes effort, commitment, and sacrifice to make it work. It’s worth all the effort of course…but it’s not easy.
So for this week’s Quotable Bits I knew that I wanted to find a quote that accurately represented how I was feeling. And I think this does it:
Love is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person.
~ Selwyn Hughes
Simple but true. We are all imperfect people…that’s a given. If anyone claims to be perfect run for the hills…because it simply cannot be.
This subject even came up on Monday’s episode of the Bachelorette. Emily just couldn’t believe that Doug had no flaws…so she asked him what his ex-girlfriend would say were his worst traits.
“That I spend too much time with my son.” was his gag-me-with-a-spoon inducing response. I mean really…can we not play the game of turning a positive into a pretend negative. This is isn’t a job interview for crying out loud.
I figured next he was going to say he was also a ‘perfectionist’ but he went with ‘I didn’t wash her car enough.”
Run for the hills Emily…
But it got me thinking about me and my husband and how our marriage works. We met in grade 9 and started dating in grade 12. This means that we have been together for 17 years. Holy shit. That is CRAZY!
Especially when you consider that – on paper at least – we are polar freakin’ opposites. So much so that trying to figure out where to go on our honeymoon was a huge issue. If we went to a beach resort he would spend the day scuba diving or waterskiing and I would sit under the shade of a palm with a book in one hand and a margarita in the other. Spending our days apart didn’t sound like the best way to start our marriage. So we went to Disneyland. A great compromise.
Of course, over the past 17 years we have both changed. We have matured through life experiences. We have grown together as a couple. And we have found a rhythm to our relationship. And now we find that time spent apart is actually good for us.
We spent our evenings together as a family but once the kids go to bed we often find ourselves in separate rooms. He in one playing Xbox and me in the other watching TV. And that’s okay – because there is no judgment. I don’t want to listen to the sounds of Gears of War and he doesn’t want to suffer through reality TV. Understood…no offense taken
That said, just as often we will watch a movie together or spend time on our deck talking. It's not all about separation... ;)
The key – as I recently wrote on the t-shirt of a groom-to-be – is communication. You can't keep all your feelings in side and expect your partner to be a mind reader. You have to be honest and open with them even if you know what you say might hurt their feelings. Because a little short term hurt is worth it to avoid long time resentment.
In hindsight I should have written one more word on his shirt – respect. You either respect your partner or you don't - it's that black and white in my humble opinion. I also believe - and have seen this in other couples - that once you lose that respect all is truly lost. How do you ever get it back?
We must accept our partners for their imperfections because they have accepted ours. It doesn’t mean you have to love them or think they are cute. They can still annoy you…but you have to let them go.
Last Christmas I put together a photo book for hubby showing our life together. I called it the "Story of Us" and the only photos included in the book were of hubby, me and – eventually – our girls. Putting that book together made me fall in love with my hubby all over again.
I remembered what our early years together were like. Before kids and careers and mortgages. When our relationship was still new and we still looooovvvveeed each other.
And I realized that I can forgive the occasional “forgot to replace the toilet paper roll” moment. Because I have these moments:
And all the memories yet to come.