marital bliss?

i once heard that the more you talk about how great your marriage and love life are, the greater chance there is that it is struggling. which is why i probably don't talk about "us" very much.

one of my college professors told our class one day that you aren't always "in love" every day with your spouse. what the? talk about making an entire classroom full of mormon girls pass out from shock. how could he burst that bubble? but the point was: marry your friend. someone you really, really like and admire. because on the days you don't love them, it helps to still like them. did that make sense? probably not. 

i'd say we are just like every other couple, but i don't know what every other couple is like. i do know at our wedding i must have had a funny look on my face when almost every 3rd person said, "just wait, after your honeymoon, you'll wake up and not even know the person lying next to you."  first of all, is that advice? or a misery loves company kind of thing? secondly, every morning after our honeymoon i would barely open my eyes and squint at ty, worrying that the prophetic advice was true. but nothing was different. i don't know if it's because we dated for 5 years before we wed, or because i'm much more of a realist then a romantic. but we both knew exactly what the other person was like, and guess what? things never changed, and we didn't expect them too either. maybe that's the trick?

now, we're a far cry from being a "great" couple, and can't pass out marital advice like candy. 7 1/2 years is nothing.  we argue about the same things we did since day one of marriage: money, family, time. i drive him crazy with my excessive talking and over-critical assesment of anything i've ever done, cooked, given away or accomplished.  and he continues to be a man, which means he could care less about what i wear, what someone said, what my/his feelings are, or what color scheme we should do in the living room.

on our healhty marriage? hahahaha. we are happy, but i don't know if healthy is the word?  i mainly attribute a lot to my mom's advice. my mom always taught me to never say anything you don't mean in an argument. no threats, no shouts, no put downs. because you can't take them back.  i'm sure i remember saying in my head,  "if you spend one more minute on that truck i'm leaving you!". but i don't say it out loud.  nope nope nope.  i try to steer away from nagging (well, as well as any woman can) and using intimacy as a weapon to get him to do things or stop doing things that i want or don't want him to do. so far it's been succesful. intimacy is a completely neutral aspect of our marriage. wink wink.

but we've been lucky. the good times have enormously outnumbered the hard. we have 3 great kids. we still enjoy spending alone time together. we still take care of each other. every year we are happier then the former, which makes me excited for our 50th wedding anniversary. and just when i feel things are good, he'll say something that makes me think, "really? you said that knowing it would throw me into a fit of fury?".  he's learned in our marriage to answer questions about if my butt looks fat? is the house too messy? are the kids horrible? with a NO, NO and NO. he's pretty smart that one.

i know he still loves me because this morning he got phoebe out of bed in the morning and shut my door so i could sleep in till 8. 8 AM!  what a stud.

so yes, we are happy. and no, it's not easy. marriage is a lot of work in my opinion, so i'm glad i married my best friend.

holy crap, we'll probably get divorced now that i've written this.


Becky J. said...

You just described my marriage in a nutshell. Joseph didn't change on me after our honeymoon either. Here's to marrying mellow, good guys! (In my case a little bit of a geek. It's awesome!) And I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who doesn't talk much about our marriage, because it really is a good one. I've often felt a little guilty that I don't mention it much to anyone, but what do you say when it's just going well? And no, you're not going to get divorced now. :)

Whitney Baldwin said...

loved this post.

I appreciate good marriages that aren't afraid to admit that IS work, that you DO disagree, that you are not "soooo in looove" every second of the day. And that you can be really, truly, happy even if it isn't perfection. So, thanks for this.

but wuh-oh. I talk about Brad all the time. hmmmmm. didn't realize that upped my chances for divorce. :)

Bowler Family said...

My wise aunt Katie told me, "men are completely different beings. They are made up of the same cells and technically we are both humans. But they think, act and respond differently than we do. And sometimes they are just stupid. But sometimes they are wonderful." I really liked her advice!!

Tam said...

so if we talk badly about our marriage/spouse, does that mean we're actually very in love and have a rock solid, hot and heavy relationship? just kidding.

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