This past weekend, Will and I had just a really hard time. I was struggling, and he was struggling with my struggles.
And this is where we should be honest about why most of us get married: we want to be with the person who is going to put up with our shit every single day.
Marriage isn't easy, people coo. I hated hearing that, especially when I was dating Will - even though I knew it was true. So I planned and we talked and we came to the same conclusions, and thus, engagement was natural. Marriage followed. Babies happened, and so did unhappiness. The growing pains of marriage are natural, and those who wish to ignore the root causes are apt to be unhappy that they will never be resolved until you take a shovel and dig them out. Claw if you must, but the longer you let ills grow, the harder it is to eradicate the problem.
I've seen it in too many marriages, and I tried to avoid it in my own. But one cannot avoid human nature. Humility is often the antidote.
So, this past weekend, we talked about my struggles, his struggles, our struggles. He was gone for most of the past week, and that's always a hard adjustment for us both- we work better together, and when we're separated, neither is the best version of ourselves. Add in my postpartum depression, and it's a mountain we're both climbing together.
And after two hard days, we had a beautiful Sunday together. In our Catholic marriage vows, we pledged, "I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life."
This is what is hard. How do you honor each other? Not making side comments. Gossiping about your spouse. Being direct. I wanted flowers from Will. I was feeling more like the maid than the wife. So, what did I do? I asked for them.
Will took the girls to Target and Wegmans, did some shopping for me, and bought me tulips. Win-win situation. I told him, and he followed through.
It's too easy to blame your spouse. I tried to last week. He bounced back what he had done. Grumble grumble. FINE BUT...
We talked about frustrations. He hates the way I do the laundry. This is no secret. In fact, this is probably what we "fight" about the most. Oh, if that's the worst you fight about, then you're fine, some people sigh. But it's how a person fights - it's not the topic. If you are constantly right and your spouse is constantly wrong, then you are wrong too. If you belittle your spouse and get passive aggressive and dismissive, you are part of the problem too - even if you are right or justified on principle.
If you want real romance in your marriage, you have to handle tough situations together, as a team. There are no winners and losers in marriage. There cannot be a right and wrong for a marriage of true minds. We must sanctify each other. We must hold each other accountable.
Romance is the intimacy of allowing your spouse be who they are. It's saying "I'm sorry"-- and he's sorry too, and you two hug. Will's biggest romantic gesture is the absolute patience and kindness he shows me when I am struggling through the day.
And surprise tulips.
My "rules" for this series are short (especially before commenting): this topic is personal and I am currently living in it. This is not an abstract for a dissertation. I do not have 20/20 hindsight yet. I don't need any medical advice, as I keep in close communication with my own PA + Dr., as well as being married to one. My husband and I practice many different types of coping mechanisms as well, which I will write about too. My situation is 100 percent unique and I am writing only about myself. These posts are directed at no one, and still, I am opening myself up to share my experiences. If I can help one person, it will be worth it. Please respect this adult conversation at face value.
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