Marriage. It kicks my butt. On a daily basis. I think it is the hardest thing I have ever done. Why? I watch Lifetime Movies, the Hallmark Channel, loads of Hollywood romances at their finest. Sure those couples have their trials and their disagreements but they never stop flirting (or looking perfect.) They still make googly-eyes at each other. And it always works out. They stick together. They work as a team. Men say all the right things. They are sentimental and talk about their feelings. They manage to laugh about things that irritate the crap out of me.
And yet, Hollywood has a dark double standard. If someone cheats. . .. then it is over. If you cannot find happiness in your partner; then walk away. No harm, no foul. You see it happen almost daily. Hollywood couples divorce all the time for "irreconcilable differences." What does that really mean? My husband, after 7 years still cannot seem to get his dishes into the dishwasher. Or replace a toilet roll. Are those irreconcilable differences? Because sometimes the culmination of all the little irritants in my day make me want to play in traffic.
It sounds so petty as I type it. And admittedly it is. But that is the way it is. Perhaps the way I am. I have discovered when living with someone, the romance quickly dies and it just as quickly replaced with everything that they do wrong. The list is endless. I spend my days trying to get along. Isn't that romantic?
It is. I think that IS marriage. Choosing to love someone that is as perfectly imperfect as yourself. Committing yourself to getting along when it seems that there is nothing left to give. When the "irreconcilable differences" seem to overwhelm everything else. THAT is romantic!
I was spending a quiet evening alone last night watching The Vow. Sigh . ..Channing Tatum. There he is saying everything that girls want to hear and looking good doing it. The perfect mix of brawn and sensitivity. Standing strong for his lady, fighting for his marriage. I am beginning to believe that a man that loves children and fights for his marriage. . .well, nothing is sexier.
At one point in the film the daughter confronts her mother about her father's infidelity. She demands an explanation for why her mother didn't leave. "How could you stay?" It is unthinkable! Any self respecting woman would be gone. In a heartbeat.
Her Mom sets her straight and slaps me upside the head with something every wife needs to hear.
"I chose to stay with him for all the things that he had done right,and not to leave for the one thing that he done wrong.I chose to forgive him."
Pow. Hollywood got it right. Forgiveness is key. A vow IS a vow. It is not a maybe we will stay together if you do what I want. Marriage is about staying the course. Letting go of expectations and accepting your spouse as they are. Letting go of petty annoyances. Those are so easy to hold on to and can cloud the sunniest day.
Choose your bliss. CHOOSE IT! Do not expect it to smack you in the face everyday. Happiness is your responsibility. Another person cannot make you happy. They cannot make you stay. Marriage is not something that happens to you. It is something you build together. Despite differences. Despite annoyances. Despite the fact that neither one of you look your best anymore. Despite the fact that it is SO MUCH WORK.