Being married is just like being in any other type of cooperative relationship. There are times one or both people involved are not too happy with the current situation. But because there are goals to be met (not just financial ones), each individual agrees to work past these incidents and continue the team effort.
Okay, enough adulty, hoity-toity, therapy session talk. Lets, get down to the nitty gritty: Married life can be difficult. It can also be wonderful. Oddly enough, it can be both of these things at once. I’ve recently run into people that I haven’t seen in years. They ask how I am, how my family is doing, and if I’m enjoying married life.
That last question always confuses me. I want to say, “Well, not always,” but I’m afraid they’ll take it the wrong way. My husband and I are what many would call “Happily Married”, but “happy” is such a relative term. We both work hard at making it work. We both appreciate what the other does. We both go out of our way to lift the other up.
On the flip side – we’re both lazy, selfish, and can be overly demanding. You know why? We’re humans. Neither one of us is a super powered spouse whose every move is perfect and doting. We all have various forms of needs, wants, and outright tantrums. It happens.
That being said, I wouldn’t give this up for anything. My husband is my best friend, my confidant, my support. He’s always there to make me laugh (especially when I don’t want to), listen to me even when what I’m talking about has no relevance nor substance, and I know that he will always be there if something should happen.
And yet, being married usually requires sharing things. We share living space and sleeping space. We share utensils, technological gadgets, vehicles, and sometimes even clothes. We share the affections of our pets, our families, and our friends. Sharing can be very good.
And sharing can be very frustrating.
“That’s not where that goes.” “That’s not how we organize that.” “That’s not how I do it.”
I have found that even in the most mundane of daily events, we have to stop and find the best way to do something for the team. Where do the kitchen utensils go and why? What is the best way to organize the filing cabinet? What kind of furniture should we get for the living room? We often spend more time than we should discussing (or compromising) the ways we do various, daily tasks.
In the past, I made decisions on my own. I might hem and haw over them, or I might make them on impulse. Either way, I was the one who made the decision and it left me feeling empowered (or regretful). Now, we both make decisions. It empowers the relationship when we work together to find the best solution. And when we make the wrong choice, we both deal with the regret together. (Or both chime in to convince one another that we did the best we could).
So if someone stops me to ask how I’m enjoying married life, I’m just going to smile and say, “Pretty good.” I know they may not understand, but that’s alright. The only other person who needs to understand, already does.