Love and Marriage.
Since I’ve spent the first two years of my marriage either pregnant or having babies, I sometimes have a harder time learning the lessons of love and relationships, than I do learning the lessons of mother and child-rearing. After all, pregnancy, motherhood and babies can all have a way of eclipsing the life/lives of all those involved, and without noticing, becoming THE ONLY THING(S) IN THE WORLD.
But they are not the only things in the world. And lately, this is really, REALLY important for me to remember/remind myself.
I also got married two years ago, you know? I got married, without the instruction manual or all the experience (I’d never been married before, and I didn’t grow up with married parents). I didn’t know what marriage was when I said, YES, LET’S DO THIS! And now, two years later, I still don’t.
I know a few things about marriage, though. And some of those things go like this:
- Marriage is more than love, but it requires love. Love won’t always save it, but without love, it won’t work. Love has to be flowing all over the place-between the two married people and within each person, individually. You’ve got to love yourself AND your partner. Both of you.
- You’ve got to work, but not too much, or everything will feel like work, and it will suck and then it’s no fun anymore and love starts to leak out (AND YOU’VE GOT TO HAVE LOVE). The working part of marriage is the part no one tells you about in any specific terms, and I understand why: IT CAN BE REALLY UGLY. The work does not always look like putting on overalls and building houses from recycled goods on Saturdays. Sometimes, it is being in the same room, angry, frozen, helpless and totally empty AND FINDING A WAY OUT. TOGETHER.
- It’s amazing/terrifying/awful/wonderful being known and sharing all the corners and nooks of my life with someone. The scary parts give me a lot of work, and the cuddly parts remind me it’s worth it. All the baggage and damage and dark places in my life that I would be able to run from, were I not pushed up in the face of my husband, require light and love and acceptance. Because I’m married. Thank you. AND OH MY GOD THIS HURTS.
- There are no sides. Everything’s a story in marriage, and the sooner you accept it, the easier it gets (but it doesn’t get easy-so lower your expectations). What I think I know to be true is not THE TRUTH. What my husband is sure happened is not THE ONLY WAY. Everyone gets to put their two cents into the bowl, and then, we have to leave them there. And walk away. And be okay with knowing that we don’t know what ever really happens, because we’re not both of us. Our work is to share, to give, to make space, to let go.
- ALL OF THESE THINGS CAN BE HARD. Or rather, they can feel hard. Who wants to bare their soul? I DO!/HELL NO WAY! The ambivalence that rises up in the life and times of our married life is something I didn’t expect, but now count on with regularity. I have to make the choice to choose the positive side of the coin, and that takes a certain amount of consciousness that I don’t always have when I’m juggling my babies/motherhood/pregnancies (don’t worry, we’re done), but I STILL HAVE TO DO IT, GUYS. Because?
I got married two years ago. I did that. We did this. We committed. We stood up together, we wrote and said words, and with my unborn son inside my body, growing, we promised each other that WE WERE POSSIBLE. And we are possible. We’re moms and dads and sisters and daughters and humans. We’re imperfect and stubborn and bratty and sassy and clever and kind and courageous and afraid.
We don’t follow any manual, and there isn’t any manual because NOBODY HAS THIS SHIT FIGURED OUT. But we’re learning. And we’ll get there.
Keep on keepin’ on,
~MShare on Facebook