Questions about Marriage


A few days ago someone wrote about the one thing women don't discuss with each other being the bad parts of a good marriage. Now first, I wish I could remember who said it so I could link to them but my memory, it is bad. And second, sadly, the first thing that came to mind was not, why yes, you are correct! (that was the 2nd thing that came to mind) The first was, how do you know if you have a good marriage. How do you know whether it's just a rough spot or if it's really in the toilet?

Now to tell you the truth, I'm a bit worried the answer is along the lines of, "If you have to ask you don't have a good marriage." Which may very well be the case. Or maybe not. HOW DOES ONE KNOW?

Growing up I did not have a good model. I don't think I've witnessed first hand what a good marriage looks like. I know people who have good marriages or what I'm guessing are good marriages, but I don't really see it happening. I've asked what they think makes theirs a good marriage and sadly, most of them say it's better than not being married. Hmmm.

The other thing I've realized is I think it's me. It's not that I don't have a good marriage, it's that I expect too much. It seems people in good marriages realize the things about their spouse that are less than fabulous and they are accepting of them. While I, I take it personally and let things make me unhappy. So maybe I'm just not cut out for marriage.

**As an aside, I repeatedly spell marriage wrong. I must remember the I comes before the A. And does that mean anything? /end aside**

I also hear from friends that they put up with the crap that drives them crazy because they know it will be the same with every man. And I agree. It's not that I think I'll find someone better. I know intellectually that this is as good as it gets. The lack of attention for the past several years is better than no attention if I'm alone. I have to just accept what is and what isn't and reach a zen place with it all. I'm not so good at the zen thing.

I asked someone recently, how do you know when it's time to end it? I get if there is a serious problem like abuse or something that could destroy your family that it's time. But what if it's just unhappiness? What if it's just that when you're together you no longer talk and when you ask about something in his life he brushes you off. What if he only pays attention when he's upset with you or is horny? Is that enough? Should it be? Would it be better to be alone?

I'm guessing I just expect too much. We both have a lot on our plates right now. The kids keep us busy. He's making a job change and I just went full time. Yada, yada, blah, blah, blah. So what are your views on a good marriage? What makes it all worth it?


Jen said...

Oh honey. "Just unhappiness"? Maybe I am selfish, but isn't your happiness worth a lot more than that? And also, sometimes it is lonelier to be in the same room with someone than to be in the house alone.

I have had two marriages. The first one was bad, and the second one is good.

During my first marriage, I would hear people talk about how much they LOVED to be at home, how it was their respite from the world. I did not get that. At all. I hid in my own house. I retreated into myself.

Now, I love to be home. My husband makes me feel comfortable to be in my own skin. He not only "loves" me, but he *likes* me and he thinks I am smart and he talks proudly about me when I am not there (he tells me this, and others do too), and he is *interested* in me. He truly knows me, and he loves me anyway AND because of that.

Granted, we don't spend every second together, because we have our own interests, but when we get together, we talk non-stop about what we were doing apart.

My favorite part of EVERY day is climbing into bed with him, even if we are just going to sleep.

We are not critical of each other, and if we have misunderstandings, we approach them with respect and courtesy. I am *actively* happy to be married to him every day.

I think this is a sign of a *good* marriage.

I also think that ignoring someone can be a form of emotional abuse or neglect.

Believe me, I know how lucky I am because I spent ten years in hell before I found him. I did not even know that men like him exist.

I don't think you are expecting too much. And I don't think it's the same with every guy. I used to tell myself these things too. I used to buy into the myth that relationships take work, but I don't anymore. I think there are men out there who value and cherish women and I think happiness in a marriage is not only possible, but worth demanding for yourself.


TX Poppet said...

A good marriage inspires you to be better than you are. A bad marriage beats you down and sucks the life out of you. I'm a cynical crab but I have a great marriage. There is romance, shared dreams, gentle companionship and laughter every day (yes even on my pissy days). Don't ever think that there is "no such thing" as a perfect marriage. Really, they DO exist.