Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The hardest years

Nobody ever told me marriage would be so hard. The more I talk with my married girl friends, the more I hear the same thing: "things just aren't the same as they were". "Were" meaning: pre-children. When I was pregnant and waddling around buying baby clothes and crying for no reason, Pete and I were close. We'd talk and laugh and sleep in! We'd make time to play, and have fun. Not long after Cooper was born those lazy Sunday mornings turned into us practically drawing straws to see who was going to wake up with Cooper. I don't know how many times one of us would say "I was up yesterday morning... it's your turn". It's not that we didn't love becoming parents - we fell in love with him the moment he was born, but something happened to us. We became tired, cranky and short. I think of some of the negative things I say to Pete that I would never in my wildest dreams say to any other person in my life. And I'm sure he feels the same way. It's like we are each other's sounding board for all the shitty things you can say to another person (before they want to kill you) and although it's wrong and hurtful, we love each other and maybe that's why we feel like we can say anything. I don't know.
I was food shopping the other day and an elderly woman was staring at the freezer filled with OJ. She turned to me and asked "what is pulp?" I explained pulp and told her my husband loves it, but I don't so I buy "some pulp". That made her laugh! She said "Good for you dear for compromising... I was married for 50 years and I think it's from just turn'in my cheek". I knew what she meant. Picking battles, meeting half way, letting go, and making compromises. She swore to me that after her 4 boys (YES, 4) had grown and moved away, she and her husband started travling and playing Bingo. Her story reminded me that life exisits after children. They don't always stay young and the house won't always look like a bomb went off. Loving relationships repair. Ride the storm I guess, together with the unspoken understanding that one day the chaos will end and something new will begin.