You meet someone. You fall in love. 🤪🥰 After days/months/years of courtship you get engaged or dedice to tie the knot. Venues and plans are explored. You pick a date based on the experiences that best describe your relationship. Perhaps one that is close to your future spouses birthday, or your own, so no one forgets it. Even before you get married you already know there will be hell to pay if you miss it. The pressure is real. With some luck you don’t have a Marriage: Year One fraught with unfortunate events.
Fortune favors the bold.
For me, the monotony of monogamy started to take a heavy toll on the relationship. We went from liking each other to tolerating each other to liking each other again. Full circle. The special feelings evoked by the first anniversaries started fading away under the strain of managing careers, goals and Zach. Instead of celebrating the love and joy of the union I’m just grateful to have survived another year by my beloved’s side. The psyche has a very creative way of making meaningful moments ironic; a big loss, unfortunate events or weird happenstance can turn the best of intentions into long lasting regret.
To paraphrase my BFF A-Rod3:
“No one has a rosed colored life. Maybe to the outside world they paint it this way. The most important thing [to remember] is to keep pushing forward…if you buy into their fairytale, they will be chill while you stew in hate and envy.”
No longer two separate spheres, the new circles of trust and influence have overlapped to create magical moments that make it easier to endure each other’s company. To be honest, year 11 has been a crapshoot. I wasn’t expecting my husband to have such a hard time supporting me through my mom’s cancer diagnosis, her death, and the estate matters. I’ve had to push through harder than a woman in labor to forge ahead in grief and distress. The MBA stopped being a priority but we managed to cross the finish line with respectable GPAs. Zach got injured and had to be rushed to an emergency vet.
Life was fine, until it wasn’t.
The pantry remodel project became a dual lesson in finance and trust that will remarkably enhance my business decision making process. This last year has been about growth, about persistence and resilience when facing death and the insurmountable eventually of losing everything you hold dear. About love, liberty and the real pursuit of joy. I had to let go of so many old ways to do things. I had to learn how to approach ideas anew. It took me twice as long to refocus and re-center because I couldn’t visualize the end of the tunnel. I had to redraw my comfort zones to see the light and embrace its warmth. I literally torn down walls to effectively define my vision of home; to create a safe haven after being lost at sea after mama’s passing.
Staring down the barrel at 40 with W but without my mom is scary, yet inspiring.
Looking back, my biggest take away is this: It is ok to break the façade of “it’s all wonderful” and share the true joy and/or apprehension of being on the spousal rollercoaster ride. The well seasoned soldiers with trench experience won’t judge, and will definitely listen. The new recruits will appreciate the candor. In time, you learn to see through the 🐂💩, mostly because you survived it! No one is expecting things to be just peachy. If they are, I will mercilessly change their perception by expressing my truth, unabashedly.
Marriage is NOT about compromise, it is about the win-win.
The real question is: Are YOU satisfied?
If I don’t effusively answer your question or congratulations, please forgive me. I never aspired to marry my best friend nor to find a better half. I’m whole all by myself. Being married doesn’t fulfill me in the ways other mortals have expressed. It has been, and continues to be, an interesting experiment. I’m not fully convinced that I’ve made the right choice, nor the wrong one. I do know I need more time to heal and to make any decisions that will alter the fabric of my life. I need inner peace. I need it now more than ever.
May year 12 make up for the previous ones.
To new beginnings!