Today is my wedding anniversary, and I’ve been married to Marc for eight years, ladies and gentlemen. That’s almost three times as long as Britney Spears and Kevin Federline were married, and though we might have had the same amount of drama, I’m still calling it a win overall.
I’m thinking back to our wedding day. We got married on a hot July Saturday evening at 7:30, and I was sweating like a third grade boy after recess, not because I was nervous, but because I’m pretty sure the air wasn’t working in that old chapel. I sat on the couch in the Bride’s Room at 7:15, staring at the clock, ready and waiting. It was quiet, and remarkably calm, but there was no hesitation or worry for me. I was marrying the guy I knew was meant for me, and I was ready.
Fast forward to tonight. It’s late. We’re tired. I made salmon and veggies for dinner because it’s what I could throw in the oven the fastest, but we’re going to ruin that healthy meal with some Blue Bell ice cream soon, probably. Amidst the faint sound of Maggie watching YouTube Kids on my (her) iPhone, and of Ruby’s swing swishing back and forth on my side of the bed, I’m laughing. Laughing because it’s so different now, and we were so stupid back then. I know no one could have told us the Real Deal, because we were twenty-one and invincible, and wouldn’t have heard it anyway. But I’m going to give my best shot at sharing what people told us, what they didn’t, how they were right, and how they were wrong. You know, because eight years is a long time to be married, and I know everything.
All knowledge reflected below is not necessarily based off of my own marriage. See note below.***
***All knowledge reflected below is absolutely, definitely, painfully, and joyfully based off my own marriage. If you disagree with me, then I’m happy for you, or sad for you, depending on the situation. Read this with a sense of humor, or you’ll end up thinking I’m a terrible person. I swear I’m not a terrible person. Ask Marc, who has known me and somehow loved me for half our lives.
Nice Person Thing #1: “Never go to bed angry and always kiss goodnight.”
Yeah, no. That saying is nice, but it’s about as helpful as the sign you bought from Kirkland’s that you hung in your bedroom to remind you to do this very thing. On more than one night, you will think about taking that sign off the wall, and chunking it at your husband’s head, but you don’t because you WILL PROBABLY HAVE TO CLEAN THAT MESS UP TOO. And just so you know, I’m always thinking of the “just in case it’s the last time” scenario too, but if something tragically happened to either one of us, I’d die knowing my last words were fighting words, because we were worth fighting for. Boom.
Nice Person Thing #2: “Love is all you need.”
Yeah, mkay, no again. I’ve never not loved Marc. I’ve always loved him immensely, and always will. But I’ve loved him more than I wanted to be married before. We almost lost everything, and it’s not because we didn’t love each other. We made all kinds of mistakes, and the biggest thing was not being on the same page, or at least in the same book. If I’m being an asshole, and if you’re being an asshole, we better talk about it and figure it out, and it better be a conversation about tangible, measurable shit, like money, or chores, or what I actually need from you and what you need from me so that we get better. Duh, we love each other. Now show me how much with your laundry skillz.
Nice Person Thing #3: “Whatever you do, don’t talk about your spouse to anyone because they’ll never forget the bad stuff.”
You can do that or you can call your mom/sister/BFF and say, “Can you believe this %#*^+?” Call them. Vent. And carry the type of friends that know you love that %#*^+ more than anything, even when he’s driving you crazy. You might even find an opportunity to really nail down what’s bothering you, and talk reasonably about it with your spouse later, after you dropped all the f-bombs on your girl. “NO HE DIDN’T.” Yes he did, girl. Yes he did.
What Those Assholes Didn’t Say #1:
You will fantasize about what life would be like without your person sometimes. Without them. Without your kids. Without your bills. Without your problems. With someone else. And I have two comments on that: 1) Don’t bother with the someone else thing, because they will probably end up annoying the shit out of you too. Even Jake Gyllenhaal has smelly feet, you know?. 2) You’re not a jerk for thinking about it. You’re just not. Because it’s a lot to ask of two people to come together and become one thing. It’s a lot to combine your feelings and bank accounts and expect that everything is going to be easy. It’s so, so not. It’s nice to get away from it all, as long as you come back down to earth knowing that marriage is hard sometimes, but getting past dirty laundry next to the hamper instead of in it is worth the good stuff. It’s worth the friendship when you need validation, worth the sex with someone who still thinks you’re sexy, and worth the love that grows deep into the earth, giving you a good foundation to stand on and be your best self.
What Those Assholes Didn’t Say #2:
Here’s a fun experiment: Get pregnant. Have a baby shower. Come home with a new crib and ask your husband to put it together. Now try to agree on how to put it together, where it goes, when the baby will go in it, and everything else after that. No one told us how complicated things get for a marriage when you add kids to the equation. They all smiled sweetly at us at baby showers. Those dicks. Listen, we don’t always agree on how to handle situations with our kids, but I can honestly say that making/raising a HUMAN BEING with someone is truly, at the end of a very exhausting day, the coolest experience. We made a THING that is a physical representation of our marriage. Two sets of something, now one. A crazy, loud, full-of-attitude-and-zest version of you and yours. Worth the hard part. Really worth the hard part.
What Those Assholes Didn’t Say #3:
Marriage can be a roller coaster, and sometimes you won’t like the guy you’re stuck next to on the ride. But most of the time, once you get past the big drop, you might realize it was you being the jerk the whole time you were screaming that you hated this ride. And then you’ll laugh. And maybe throw up. But the guy you’re stuck next to ends up being the guy you thank God for while you’re holding his arm, realizing you might actually be having a little bit of fun. What I’m saying is: you should be open to look in the mirror and figure out if you’re part of the puke or part of the fun. Maybe it’s both. But do both with each other. It sucks if you do puke or fun alone.
I wonder if in eight more years I’ll read this and roll my own eyes, thinking about what an idiot I was. Maybe, but hopefully I’ll be an idiot who still gets to do this thing with Marc. I’m grateful for our eight years, and hope for 80 more, at least. I love my husband so much, and I’m thankful he loves crazy, messy, imperfect me. I truly wouldn’t want to do this with anyone more than him. Except for maybe that guy who wrote the blog about helping his wife with everything without asking because that’s his job and she deserves it. Just kidding. Not even him.
Love you all. Especially you, Marc, you big doofus.