For the past several nights, I have gone to bed and each time was hit with the thought that the smoke has settled and things are going to be okay. The first night I figured I was simply tired but last night it really hit me…things are okay. If you are a new reader to my tales, then you probably never saw a post I wrote last year Heavy Lifting…Marriage Restructuring Project Underway. For the click adverse, it’s basically about how my marriage needed some work.
Well after a long and rather strange year, it’s finally safe to say, we have emerged on the other side of things. This afternoon the Spousal Unit and I talked about just how hard this past year has been and I was struck by how little time is spent telling couples before they marry that life will happen and if you aren’t prepared it can blow your marriage up. We all know about money woes, illness and of course how kids if they come will change your marriage. Yet very few people really talk about the fact that just because you marry at some stage of life, the fact is very few of us remain the same over the years. This growing up and growing older thing creates change individually and collectively.
Looking at our relationship, we weren’t the same people we were back in 1995 when we first go together, nor were we the same people we were in 1997 when my Pops married us and we made all those sweet promises. Nope, somewhere along the way we changed and for the longest time it was easy to chalk our changes up to life and the addition of that great girl of ours. Sure sleep deprivation didn’t help but no, the reality is we changed. Change is good in fact not changing is bad, real bad. After all at 40 whatever do you really want to be the same person you were at 22? Nope, though I admit I would love that body I used to have and the Spousal Unit admits he occasionally misses the hair he used to have.
This past year has been about finding ourselves and accepting these new people and making a place within the existing framework to accommodate these new beings. As someone who never used babysitters until this past year, we had to accept that we needed actual alone time. Many parents will poo poo date night and trust me I did too, but there is a reason many don’t poo poo it. As we learned this past year, having time to sit and talk without interruptions and sometimes discuss things you don’t want to have your kids overhearing is a good thing. Sometimes when parenting it’s all too easy to get caught in a rut, in our case we spend so much time together thanks to the man having his office in our house and me working at home partially that we skipped the fact that sure we talked often and regularly but we still weren’t talking.
In the end, we took some risks and the truth is this new partnership is not the marriage we agreed to so many years ago. At times I miss that marriage but the truth is I had outgrown that marriage. We both had, it no longer fit who we had become. What we do have is far nicer, and is based on grown up truths that frankly our younger selves could not have dealt with because frankly we lacked the maturity to face anything other than the media manufactured version of marriage that much of society buys into which leads to half of marriages ending in divorce.
Marriage is hard work and complacency is all too often one of the greatest killers to any relationship. When we raise kids we accept that they are growing and changing almost on a daily basis and if we strive to be mindful in our parenting we accept that change no questions asked. Yet too many times we don’t apply that same level of mindfulness and acceptance to our intimate relationships and it’s a shame.