I think at times we all have this ideological bias on what marriage is supposed to look like; what your partner is supposed to act like and how life as a unit is supposed to go. Man, throw that shit out the window because ain’t none of it right. In a few weeks, my husband and I will be married for nine years and it’s been the most challenging time of my life.
My parents were married briefly and the divorce was less than amicable in the beginning. My dad left my mom for a woman with five children. He eventually married another woman and spent almost twenty years with her. But I’m my immediate household, it was just me and my single mother. I idolized her strength and resilience in always seeming to make a way when there weren’t any. She taught me to be independent and fierce. Take no shit from no man!
As I look back though, I never really learned how to compromise or how to make concessions. I always wanted to have a partner who would ‘take care of me’ but I knew nothing about how to be submissive or less vocal with my partner. I am an Alpha Female. You’re not going to tell me what to do or how to do it. Period. Why depend on someone else when you can do it yourself. My mom did it. I came out alright, right? Wrong.
My spouse grew up in a two parent household, but it was toxic. Constant physical fights and harsh words. He learned that the husband is supposed to be a good provider, but that’s about it. He watched his father work and his mother blow money/handle the finances. So when it came time for us to become a unit, we naturally fell into the roles that we were accustomed to seeing. I’ve said this before, generational cycles are such a hard thing to break. You have to literally make a conscious effort to do something that fees so unnatural. And that is in all aspects of a relationship. We do A LOT of communicating. It ain’t all sunshine and rainbows and it definitely ain’t what I thought it would be. My husband said that he thought marriage was gonna be us hanging out and having sex everyday. HA!
In the down times, it’s hard to see the good. A friend of mine recently reminded me that no one is perfect, myself included. She said that I needed to regroup and start over. While that’s easier said than done , I will say this: YOU NEED TO ENSURE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IS IN ORDER before you commit yourself to someone else. Suffering from depression and anxiety really makes me feel like I’m an absolute failure. I have turned the smallest things into the biggest blow ups for no reason I can remember. About a year ago, I realized that the reason my marriage was the way it was, was because I didn’t listen. I didn’t listen to him, my body, or the doctors who told me why I was lashing out.
I’ll tell you what, no matter how many times I’ve told myself that I’m unlovable, he’s been right there. Not giving up. Pushing me to fight through the sadness and the uncertainty, for that, I’ll be forever grateful. Most days he’s giving it 80 and I’m coming in at a cool 20. Marriage ain’t perfect. It ain’t pretty always and there will be some obstacles. It’s all about how you handle them. Are you going to push forward? How hard will you go for your mate?