Marriage has been on my mind a lot lately.
It could be because we’re closing in on our 9 year anniversary in March, or that I have been hearing about so many people getting divorced or it could also be the marriage book that I’ve been reading. But I’m not sure.
OK, obviously it’s the book right? What you read tends to permeate your thoughts at random intervals, especially when it’s about the relationship with your partner in crime, who happens to be all up in your face every day.
A relationship that I had no reason to question until I opened a birthday present containing a book filled with marriage advice. At first I was like, hey, what do you know that I don’t? Is my marriage in trouble? Then I was like, “Oh no you didn’t just try and imply that my marriage sucks did you? Do I have to pull a round house kick to your waist?”. (We all know I’m too short to land the kick in anyone’s face!) And then because I knew it was from my sister in law (that would never do such a thing), I tucked it into its little place on the book shelf to be consumed when I thought we were in trouble.
That was September last year.
Then this year, instead of making hard and fast resolutions, I decided to do more reading. In my search to read something (anything), I stumbled on this little old marriage book again.
Now, we’ve come a fair way since our busyness issues of last year, so why bother reading a book all about how to fix a broken marriage, if there’s nothing wrong with it? Like, don’t fix what’s not broken right?
Well that’s what I’ve been thinking about. People don’t talk about marriage openly – probably because of the fear of judgement from their peers, feelings of failure in themselves or because saying it out loud makes it more real, but marriage is freaking hard man.
It’s not all love and cuddles, laughing over shared memories or a wildly creative sex life.
Sometimes you’ll disagree over important issues on how to raise your kids. Other times you’ll argue about something that neither of you have control over. If you’re like me, you’ll overthink too many moments and internalise irrational feelings that aren’t even based on reality. Some days you might feel like you’re the only one doing the slog work in making your relationship better. Some days you’ll be feeling unloved and the only one present in this relationship. Other days you wonder if they will ever change that flipping annoying thing that just makes your eye twitch. Sometimes you may look at your partner and you wonder (even if it’s only for a second), why you chose to spend your life with this person?
I’m going to go ahead and say that this is normal.
I’ve had those thoughts as I’m sure Seth has had about me.
What should not be normal though, is to just accept that you’re not in love any more and that’s that. Time to get out. No matter how hard marriage can be, how sometimes we don’t see eye to eye and how regularly we may feel unloved, we’ve made a commitment. I don’t take that lightly. Not even a little bit.
Look, I’ve never had to experience divorce first hand. I’m not saying that it’s ever a decision that anyone takes lightly, but what I am saying is that I don’t even want to imagine a World where I find myself actively wanting to get the hell away from Seth. And I’m sure there’s a few ways to make sure that we never get to that point.
It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
— Cindy (@CindyAlfino) January 3, 2016
I don’t have any advice to give here, I haven’t gotten to the end of the book. But what I have always known and been reminded of again, is that marriage is work. If the feelings of fondness has been forgotten, sitting back and waiting for it to come back is not going to get you anywhere.
Talking to your partner is paramount. Making sure you’re on the same page. If you’re feeling unloved, saying so, but in a way that doesn’t put the blame solely on their shoulders. Because in a relationship situation everything has two sides and it’s never completely one persons fault. That’s probably the biggest thing I’ve taken from the book so far. Whenever I sit back and think of what Seth should change, I should instead be wondering what I can change to make us better. That’s not to say that they don’t have anything to change, but if you both have that outlook, you’ll find an easy middle ground.
I don’t even know where I was going with this. I just felt the need to talk about it all. To let you know that marriage is more and less of what you thought and that it’s worth putting in the work. That it’s normal to have the sad moments but it’s not OK to let them fester. You know.
Keep on keeping on guys and girls