One of the things I love about the blogosphere and the sometimes raw honesty that seems to happen online is that people are starting to share the stuff we're not "supposed" to talk about. The less-than-glamorous aspects of life, say. Or that you can love your child with every fiber of your being and still sometimes want to pinch his fool head off. Stuff like that.
So it's not that I don't appreciate the rampant discussions of the hard parts of marriage, or the commiseration and empathy over things being "not what I pictured" or whatever. It's just that sometimes, I wonder if it's become passe to be happily married. It seems like a declaration of loving marriage relegates a blogger to "brainwashed" status, and I find that depressing.
Here's my secret: I love being married. And no, I haven't been brainwashed; I don't belong to a religion whose teachings prescribe submission to my husband; and yes, I do know it could be very different. I think I am so happy in my marriage because I've experienced the alternative. I was married before, for nearly ten years. It was very different than my current marriage. I'm different now than I was then.
In this marriage, I know what's important. I'm much better at accepting the necessary-mundane and a lot quicker to work against the erosion of complacency. I'm not perfect (and neither is my husband), but we're happy together. We both appreciate what we have here. And at a very fundamental level, it's just plain fun. No, after two years it's not fireworks and romance and whirlwinds all the time. But it's still completely entertaining.
I'm not the only one who wonders when it became unhip to be happily wed. I loved Aaron Traister's recent article on Salon titled It's hot! It's sexy! It's ... marriage!
My wife and I have been married anywhere from seven to 150 years (I'm not good with dates). During those years we have moved six times, and each move was like an exotic gift that happened to be covered in shit. We have each had multiple jobs, and multiple uniforms with name tags. We've been broke, we've been well off, we've been broke again. We've bought our first house together, and it has a giant hole in the kitchen ceiling and sparks come out of the third-floor outlets if you hold anything metal too close to them. We have fought, raged, nearly cheated, and been totally out of sync with each other during chunks of our time together. We've also produced two enormous redheaded babies who are as terrifying to us as Mothra and Godzilla were to Japan in the '60s. We have been depressed, we have wanted more, we have wanted different, we have wanted out. The years since we got married have been the most challenging and at times most frustrating years of my life.
They have also been the most productive, happiest and most hilarious.
And that is what I'm talking about. Marriage isn't supposed to be cartoon bluebirds and endless happy days. But if you look at it and feel like you've grown as a person and laughed a lot... isn't that kind of sexy?
Please understand, I have nothing against those who are struggling and sharing openly about those issues. I would just love to see more writing like Traister's; let's acknowledge the absurdity of trying to mesh two (or more, if you have kids) lives together in harmony, and then celebrate the awesomeness when at the end of the day, we still really like each other.
Katie Allison Granju of mamapundit says of Traister's piece:
The one point that [...] my personal experience would bear out, is that for any marriage to make it, BOTH parties have got to want it for the long haul – fully, completely and soul deep. Whether their individual motivation is based on stoic determination or whether it's based on inexplicably enduring fascination with the other person (or some of each thing), if both people aren’t completely present and engaged with the idea of the relationship taking precedence over everything else, forever, it's probably not going to make it.
Amy of Assertagirl just celebrated her third anniversary:
I love you, Graham. You’re more than just my husband. You’re the half of my heart I didn’t realize was missing until we met. Happy Anniversary!
(All together, now: Awwwww!)
Your Wishcake was feeling a little wistful for the earlier, more exciting days of romance as her third anniversary came and went. But ultimately she concludes:
I do miss the days where the romance was fresh and exciting. I always will. It's tough to know that none of our kisses will ever feel like those first kisses, and that if I attempt to steal a flirty glance at my husband from across the room he'll probably just give me a look of concern and wonder how many glasses of wine I've consumed.
But then, the other night, as we were reading books in bed before going to sleep, I had that sudden rush of happiness. [...]
I think that every girl needs to realize that just because something changes, it doesn't mean that it's any less wonderful than it used to be.
Lindsey Ferrier wrote a beautiful post on Suburban Turmoil last year on her anniversary, and then, dammit, she did it again this year. Aside from the obvious--which is that Lindsey is a gifted writer--I think her posts really get to me because her family is also a second marriage/blended family situation. The failure rate for second marriages is higher than that of first marriages, but I would contend that those of us who make it work are hyper-aware of how good we have it.
And that's worth sharing, too.
My name is Mir, and I am a married suburbanite with two children. My marriage is unremarkable, except for the part where it's one of the best things in my entire life. And yes, I think that's hot.
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