You know how it goes… You spend Saturday morning entertaining your kids AND trying to get your house cleaned. The timer on your phone chimes, and that gleam of pure bliss glazes over your eyes. It’s NAP TIME! Yes, I set a timer because if I get too heavily invested in organizing the junk drawer, I will forget about nap time and all hell will break loose by 4:30. Thankfully, your child goes down without a fight, and you JUST get done bleaching the kitchen counters, when Mr. Care-if-I-golf-this-morning walks in. Your husband is humming and doing a little victory dance down the hall to kitchen (I guess I would be that happy too, if I got to spend 5 hours every saturday morning doing my hobby), opens up the cabinet, reaches for the loaf of bread, goes to the fridge and proceeds to pull out EVERY condiment known to man and whatever else he can manage to fit on said sandwich. As Chef Flay passes by, you notice the enormous amount of breadcrumbs he left all over your freshly cleaned counters. Thoughts of suffocation fill your head. Sound familiar? No? Then you are lying to yourself. At some point your spouse has committed some act of selfishness, and flashbacks of your favorite Dateline episodes are replaying in your head. If it hasn’t happened yet, it will.
My husband and I couldn’t be more opposite of each other, yet our union seems to balance us out. He’s relaxed and I’m a OCD anxious freak with a bad temper and a short fuse-it works well. My point is this, marriage can be a fairytale (not like the way they are portrayed in cartoons), it can be harmonious. It can also be a nightmare. If you choose to morph into a creature from a horror movie, every time he doesn’t separate the whites from darks, or if he chooses to go on some rant about how you never put his seat back every time you drive his car, you have a rough road ahead of you. A healthy marriage is about balance, and picking your battles.
Anthony is a man a very few words. He is a simple man. My husband wants to play golf, eat a good meal, spend time with his family, and then catch up on sport highlights. He goes with the flow and very seldom has something negative to say about someone or a certain situation. He lets nothing bother him. I really admire that about him and respect that to no end. I, on the other hand, over-analyze situations. I can be confrontational at times, and I want to talk about everything. If I am mad, I will show it. If I have been offended, you will know it. Again, balance. If I am upset about something, he always says, “I think you’re making more out of this than what it really is.” Sometimes, that statement makes me mad. Most of the time, I know that he is right. That’s the anxiety in me that makes me worry about things I needn’t. A healthy marriage (in my opinion) displays give and take.
This year, so far, has been an eye opener to me, about our marriage. I have learned (and continue to learn) about the both of us. I have learned that it’s okay to have different opinions, regardless of how obnoxious those opinions might be. I have learned that the bickering and the arguing are going to happen, but that they are nowhere near as important as how we deal with those disagreements, and how we move forward together. Now, there are times that we might not always resolve an issue; we just fuss about it for a few hours or days, and then it vanishes. We have had plenty of those quarrels, but time took solved the issue. You may have arguments that seem unfinished or that vanish without speaking of it again, but it could have been something that seemed larger than it really was in that moment, and all it needed was time to minimize the situation. Marriage needs time.
My marriage is not perfect by any standard, it requires that we both work together to make it strong, not only for us, but for our son. I believe this year, unlike any other, has revealed to me AND my husband, that we are setting the foundation for what a healthy and strong marriage should be, to our son. It has also revealed that we have underestimated the strength of our love, by allowing us to see our short-comings and inspiring each other to be better. Arguments and disagreements are inevitable, but I am comforted by the fact that we at least have the ability to realize our faults, genuinely apologize, and move forward together; helping each other become the best person we can be. Marriage IS work.
Marriage is what you make of it. Not everyday is going to be the day in the life of princess and prince living happily ever after. You need the power of adaptability; to adapt to the constant changes within your marriage (and spouse). Both of you, need to react appropriately especially if you have children, because you are setting the foundation for healthy relationships and communication, and either let it go or decide to work on the issue together. Disputes will occur, don’t be narrow-minded; try to understand why your spouse is upset, and come up with a productive plan of action. No matter what, ALWAYS remind yourself of all the beautiful things about your spouse, that made you fall in love with them. Choose your battles. Do you really want to waste a good argument on why he insists on watching the golf channel after he just got done playing 18, just because you’re bored? You could, but it has zero benefit-trust me, I know from personal experience. Save argument energy for when he comes home with a brand new flat screen TV, and are forced to remind him that license plate renewals are due next week. Let your spouse vent about their shitty day at work, and empathize with them. Be there for each other, and show each other every chance you can, how much you love and appreciate them. Marriage is work, but it doesn’t have to be HARD-work, if you work together.