What Marriage is Really Like.

The Bean and I just celebrated our twenty-first wedding anniversary. All week, I kept dreaming about the blog I would write to tell people the honest truth about marriage. Last night, as I was hit with insomnia due to teenage man-cub drama, I wrote it out in my head. 

First year of marriage. Still in wedded bliss…

For the last little while, we have been in teenage parenting hell. The kind of hell where we, the parents, can’t do anything right because we are complete idiots. Often times, I feel alone in the parenting woes because I am on the effing front lines due to homeschooling the man-cubs. Bean is always available to step in but lately, I have felt alone in the battle. I also feel like a terrible failure as a mother. This all takes a huge toll on our marriage. 

I was baring my soul to Bean about a situation with said man-cubs, asking his perspective. He is wise and usually has another view to the same story. His perspective, as usual, was extremely useful and helped change my perspective. But then he proceeded to tell me the truth about the way I handle things and that particular truth, I did not want to hear at that particular moment. It sank me further into the pit of despair/failure/hurt because I thought Bean was thinking I had failed too. 

Folks, this is marriage. Sometimes, it ain’t pretty. 

I just want to kill all those fairy-tale dreams some are having. It’s no fairy-tale. What is marriage really like? It’s telling the truth when he knows SHE CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH! It’s sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice day in and day out. It’s serving each other when we are bone-tired. It’s letting go of selfishness ‘TIL DEATH DO US PART. It’s choosing the “us” when it seems better to choose “me”. It’s challenging the spouse when they are being a jerk. It’s forgiving when it’s ridiculous to forgive. It’s putting up with the hormonal storms that scream through the house. It’s dealing with sexual frustration because the wife is a hormonal mess. It’s letting go of expectations. It’s accepting that most things that bug and irritate are probably not ever going to change and DOES IT REALLY MATTER THAT HE CANNOT CLOSE THE DAMN SHOWER CURTAIN WHEN HE IS DONE SHOWERING??? 

Aside from parenting, marriage is the hardest dang thing I have ever been asked to do. 

I often hear of marriages breaking up around the twentieth year and always, always judged…until I walked in their shoes! I now completely understand why marriages break up around this time. Couples are probably parenting sassy teenagers while they are dealing with menopause and the never-discussed manopause! (Yes, it’s real, men. Deal with it.) It’s a freakin’ miracle if a couple can make it through these tumultuous times. 

“Frah-gee-lay! It must be Italian!”

Is there a bright side? Yes. But that is for another day and another blog post. Sometimes we must sit with the difficulties and be okay sitting with them. This week, in our home, it was NO fairy-tale. There was a lot of sadness and hurt and disappointment and pain. We are fragile, truth be told. And there is no “but” at the end of the previous sentence. 

And the beauty is that it’s going to be this way for quite awhile. 

9 thoughts on “What Marriage is Really Like.

  1. Yes. Yes. This.

    I'm on the early end but I'm here with you. Holding my hand out to you and drinking stiff drinks together across the miles and letting it rip. Bravo to you, my truth breathing friend. But also, I'm sorry. It so sucks sometimes. I love you.


  2. So very true. Debbie and I are coming up on our twentieth year of marriage (our twentry-fifth together,) and our oldest is twelve. I feel every point you make. Especially the parenting doubt.

    The reason he doesn't close the shower curtain after showering is because he wants the show walls to air-dry more quickly so they don't get moldy. Or perhaps he is more creative with his nonsense excuses for laziness than I am.


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