The View from in Here

7 Aug

Out at a long and over due Happy Hour, while on the topic of all topics, a girlfriend confided in me that she just wished she had someone to take care of her. Although the way I remember it now after toiling it in my mind all night may be different than the way the words actually rolled off of my tongue, I believe my reaction was something like, “Well, that’s bullshit.” Maybe she saw my eyes as I opened my mouth to speak because she snuck in a quick, “NOT financially,” which was a double slap in the face. Even if she had misspoke, WTF?

I will be the first to proclaim, the loudest even, that I have a wonderful husband and that behind closed doors we are exactly the couple that most of our friends think we are. B is an easy man to fall in love with but if I said that being married is easy that would be a lie and simply saying that marriage is work, that would be the understatement of…infinity.

Let us take my friend’s statement at face value, even though she spent some time back peddling what she meant to say, (GF, I Love You!). Anyone who is out there looking for someone to take care of them should immediately pick up the phone, call the folks, let them know they are moving back in and hope they’re cool with it, because there is no such thing and if you think that sort of relationship exists outside of a Craigslist promise you are in for some hard life lessons.

Marriage is taking all of your own neuroses, childhood trauma, past relationship baggage, and idealized pop culture bullshit version of what you think love is suppose to look like, which is hard enough to sort out in your own mind as a single humanoid, then combining it with someone else’s turmoil that you will never be able to understand fully. Straight couples, factor in the automatic miscommunication that will occur from one another’s mouths to ears. Add in family stuff, monies, sex and the fact that other people are out there with boobs and penises and nicer asses and possibly better personalities. Ugh. It is not give and take. Sometimes it is give, give, give some more and take. Other times it’s take, give, take, take. Like Duck, Duck, Goose, it is never the same and at some point in the game both of you are running in circles trying to catch the other and the roles do not always alternate fairly. Marriage is a struggle to say the least. A constant mind fuck.

Here are some things I do that make my marriage pleasurable.

1. If I am not saying the words, “I love you” I am texting them or making them in a breakfast, or putting them in the washer with his favorite shirt and pants or getting up at five a.m. to mix them in a fresh juice.

2. I recognize that there is a time to sex and a time to get sexed and I take care of business when it is my turn for the former. I believe that any woman who holds out sex as a bargaining tool in a serious relationship is a frigid bitch who should count on another woman eventually filling that role.

3. I am not passive aggressive. If there is something to be said, it should be stated directly to avoid confusion, if possible with forethought and kindness so hopefully not after a glass of white wine.

4. I use intuition and my knowledge of my husband’s habits and attitude to try and counter any negativity in our home. If he had a hard day and I am in a bad mood I have to pull myself out of it and try to comfort my spouse.

5. I make sure when he leaves me each day it is knowing he is loved.

This is the short list. Writing these out is easy. Implementing them sounds simple, right? WRONG! Because even though he is lovely I am not a robot and have my own shit and so does he. Refer to paragraph Four, neuroses, childhood trauma, baggage, etc. But, I try to do all these things and what I receive in return is exactly what I put out. B reciprocates all of these things and even adds to them, which makes me in turn want to do more. But note that although we live most of our lives trying to be all love-y and schmoopy there have still been reports of flung plates, hurt feelings, bruised egos, tantrums and many, many, I’m sorrys.

I lived my twenties with on and off relationships. In hindsight, with no one that really loved me. I was free to do what I wanted and I did. I traveled, I went out, paid my own way. There were times I did nothing and it was glorious. Single me could mope for days and decide who I was in accordance with whatever show I was into. Single me ate out and didn’t need to care if there were groceries at home. Single me never had a man look at her confused and almost frightened stating he was out of clean clothes and if one had, single me would have probably laughed in his face.

Entangling my life with B’s was the most surreal moment of my existence. The good will always outweigh the bad but I have my thumb on the scale. We both tip it in our favor. All the hardships, all the misunderstood emotions at the end of the day, they don’t matter. Finding one another in the dark each night just to fall asleep touching makes it all worth it. I do not take care of him. He does not take care of me. We only nurture this life we have chosen to make together. It is what most people want but not many go into it thinking the hard stuff, “I want someone to worry sick over 24/7”, or “I feel the need to entrust my fragile heart to this other flawed person who, if they wanted to, could rip it apart with just their words”.

My sister and I use to ride bicycles. We also watched C.H.I.P.s Patrol religiously. Once, we tied our bikes together to ride up the street pretending to be on patrol. It was fun but once we got going I put my feet up on the bars to let her do all the peddling. She slowed but kept on until she couldn’t anymore. Her bike fell over, she busted her knee and there were tears. It is nice that I have found a man such as B to share this life with, who is so patient and kind and blah, blah, blah. But he was married before. For ten years! His core was just the same but there is some broad out there who thought he was just too much work. I am not saying I make all the difference nor am I saying that all people that are married are compatible but I might be suggesting that someone put their feet up. I just got lucky.

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