It seems as though I am surrounded by people that are happily married. Sweet anecdotes are shared, complete with longing glances and a loving brush of the other’s hand. They offer a non-flailing pillar of support for each other’s ventures. They share ridiculous Facebook status updates about having the “greatest spouse in the world”.
It’s enough to make me sick.
My husband and I are not that couple.
I have been married for 15 years (I’m afraid to do the math, but, yes, that means many of you reading were still in high school or even, GOD HELP ME, elementary school!) So we have determined that I am oldish er go wiser (like how I put the positive spin on it there?)
I’m not going to lie. The romance is gone. We bicker. We nitpick. We criticize. We know which buttons to press and press the hell out of them at times. We are essentially an episode of Roseanne or Everybody Loves Raymond without the laugh track. (If those shows were on HBO or Showtime- due to graphic language.)
It’s not glamorous. It’s not perfect. It may not even be normal, but it’s us. Sometimes I wonder, have I settled? Am I just comfortable? Should I want more?
And sometimes, I do want more.
Sure, I had dreams of blissful happiness. I would have liked moonlit walks on a beach, hand in hand, being adored and told how beautiful I was and put on a pedestal every day. But that’s not my reality. Five kids, too many sleepless nights to count, and two mortgages is my reality. Getting by is my reality. And we do.
Just when I think I’ve reached the end of my rope and can’t take it anymore, I’m hit with the brightness of a new day, the smell of coffee, the sound of the baby cooing in the monitor, or my five year old sounding out words on the back of the cereal box and I’m back in it again- renewed- for the next few hours, at least.
Blissful happiness? Probably not.
He’s watched my stretch marks form and multiply. I’ve seen his hairline creep and watch what’s left turn gray. We buy much larger clothes than we used to and have lines in our face that used to not be there. I’ve rolled my eyes through many a man cold and he’s laughed at me with facial hair remover cream on. It may not always be pretty but we have a history, memories, and a life that we built- together.
He may not be my Prince Charming and I’m probably not his Princess, but this guy, he’s a decent guy. He doesn’t beat me or cheat on me. He’s a good dad. We both have twisted senses of humor and like to laugh at people and embarrass our kids. We both enjoy a good medium rare steak and cold beer and sometimes, that’s good enough.
Here is my wisdom.
Life doesn’t always turn out the way you expect. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.