It’s Our 10 Year Wedding Anniversary So Here’s The Unpolished Truth:
I wear glasses. You probably already know this. Mine are dark. They are black rimmed and they help me to see clearly. They are not rose colored. If you wear rose colored glasses and choose to see life through those type of lenses, more power to you! However, if that’s the case you may want to abort this blog post immediately! My specs (that allow me to see with 20/20 vision) and I are keepin’ it real; Therefore if you wish to read on, (and I hope you do) please proceed at your own risk!
Plain and Simple, Marriage is WACKKKKKED!
There, I said it. I won’t take it back but allow me to explain.
As newlyweds, life is grand. What could be bad? The toughest decision we had to make was deciding how many naps we should take on the weekends and how many consecutive episodes of 24 we should watch before taking a bathroom break.
Okay, one more. We’ll watch ONE MORE and then we’ll stop for today.
I gotta pee. Pause it. I’ll be right back!
Keep going. Press play. I’m freakkking out. JACK BAUER CAN’T DIE!
Fuckkkk. The phone’s ringing. Who the hell is calling now???
Screw it! Let it go to voicemail.
THE BOMB IS ABOUT TO DETONATE!
When we were first married, my husband and I camped out on the couch and watched an entire season of 24 in one day. An. Entire. Season. Life was grand!
Cue the music:
On the first year of marriage, my true love sent to me:
Lots of weekend trips; Sparkly stuff in fancy boxes and a deed to a new investment property!
On the second year of marriage my true love sent to me:
A ton of pre-planned sex because he wanted to be a new Daddy!
On the third year of marriage my true love sent to me:
Not as many trips; Not as much sleep; A subscription to Parenting Magazine because I had given birth to our first baby!
On the fourth year of marriage my true love sent to me:
Oh Fuck! Where’s my calendar? What’s the date today? I feel nauseous. Could I be pregnant again? Did we forget about our anniversary?
On the fifth year of marriage my true love sent to me:
Well, I’ll tell you what he didn’t send me were those diamond earrings I’ve been wanting because we spent our money on a staff of full-time help so we could maintain some semblance of sanity!
On the sixth year of marriage my true love sent to me:
I have no freakin’ idea! I don’t even remember, but it’s alright. Doesn’t matter. I love you but I’m so damn tired because you snore so loudly. Oh, and another thing, I’m done with the baby monitor. I’m throwing it out. Let the kid cry. I just want to be left alone so I can catch up on three years of lost ZZZZZZZZZ’s.
On the seventh year of marriage my true love sent to me:
A bunch of Hallmark cards. Dinner at an actual restaurant with one of those fancy desserts that the pastry chef scribbles Happy Anniversary in chocolate sauce on the plate. Highlight: Both of us thrilled to be home in time to watch Saturday Night Live on TV!
On the eighth year of marriage my true love sent to me:
Hmmm. Not really sure. I spent the entire day driving the lunatics around. Let’s order in Thai food and rent a movie. I’m just grateful that when he sees how filthy my car is he’ll still be in love with me!
On the ninth year of marriage my true love sent to me:
Okay, so maybe it’s time for a nice gift this year. I’ve earned it. But I’ll just pick it out myself! Babe, you don’t mind if I get it myself, do you? It’ll be easier that way. Honey, thank you! It’s perfect! I love you! Wanna see what you just bought for me?
On our tenth year of marriage… MY TRUE LOVE HAS GIVEN ME:
Ten official years together! Holy motherfucker… Stop the music! It’s been ten years!?!
Some days it seems like it’s been ten minutes and other days it seems like it’s been ONE HUNDRED AND TEN LONGGG FRIGGIN’ YEARS!
After ten years, my husband and I have a shared feeling of shock and awe and pride and gratitude for the crazy life we’ve created. We share the same dedication and love without condition for our healthy and happy children who amaze us every single day even though sometimes they annoy the living shit out of us. We share those same feelings of love without condition for each other even though we don’t always like one another very much! We agree that some days are exhilarating but we’re also willing to admit that some days are exhausting and energy-sucking.
We share the memories we’ve made as a family over the past decade and the hope for so many more in the future. We share the joint excitement for what’s to come, yet we also share the joint panic attack for what’s to come. We have a mutual understanding that some days we have nothing to give and we make stupid, empty threats that we don’t really mean. However, we are fortunate that then we have better days, and thankfully the better days far outweigh the bad ones. The days we laugh at things that are funny are amazing. The days that we can still laugh even when things aren’t funny are even more amazing.
Together, we look at our kids and can’t believe that we MADE them. Sometimes I have trouble catching my breath because I can’t believe that WE made THEM. It’s the greatest accomplishment of my entire life.
There’s Marital Bliss and Then There’s Marital Pissed
After ten years, we say it like it is and aren’t afraid to lay it all out. Even the dirty laundry.
“Why do you insist on leaving your socks on the floor? I ask you every day to put them in the hamper. Jesus Christ. It’s sooooooooooooo annoying.”
Marriage is work. It’s not always hard work, but it’s work nonetheless.
To think otherwise is ignorant.
Marriage is a wild and intense whirlwind of a ride filled with ebbs and flows, ups and downs, highs and lows, births and deaths, beginnings and endings, achievements and also disappointments. Marriage, like life in general can throw you curveballs and change-ups and sometimes wild pitches. To be able to adapt to whatever is thrown our way is what’s most rewarding for me.
Some days are boring and monotonous and it feels like Groundhog’s Day all over again. It can be claustrophobic and suffocating and sometimes I wake up sighing and say, “This Is It?” Other days are beautiful and oddly enough, the claustrophobia grounds me and makes me feel safe. Those are the days I wake up smiling and say, “THIS IS IT!”
Commitment. Compromise. Communication
In preparation to write this blog, I came across an old interview from the 60 Minutes archives with writer-director Bruce Paltrow and his actress wife, Blythe Danner. Lesley Stahl asked them to explain the secret to their long, successful marriage.
Danner said: “Sticking it out. Communicating. Talking. Listening. And loving. The love that you have grows by the things that happen in your marriage.”
Paltrow said: “I always say jokingly, the secret of marriage? We both didn’t want to get divorced at the same time.”
That theory resonated with me. Maybe it’s true what Bruce Paltrow said. Couples do fall in and out of love, but we cross our fingers it doesn’t happen at the same time! If you’re lucky, you have a partner who understands how unrealistic it is to think that every day is filled with rainbows and unicorns. My husband and I know we would be setting ourselves up for failure if that was our expectation. For example, we’re never signing up as contestants on The Amazing Race because unfortunately our incompatibility in that arena would get the better of us! However, if there was ever an opportunity for a couple to compete by sitting on a beach, taking a nap, having a few cocktails, watching hours on end of TV or eating easily recognizable food like gluttonous monsters to the point of no return, SIGN US UP!
Cuddling. Closeness. Physical Contact
I could write an entire blog on the importance of intimacy in a marriage. For today, let’s just say that regardless of how long you’ve been married, physical contact is crucial. At least I think so. Intimacy may come in a variety of ways for different couples depending on each other’s needs and wants. My husband will kick my ass if I spew out the details of our sex life so I will respectfully refrain. However, my suggestion to married people everywhere is that I encourage you to express yourself however you see fit. The same old routine of the daily grind (pun completely intended) is totally normal but being creative and using your imagination helps. Have sex. Make love. Let loose. Be sensual. Talk dirty. Get naughty. Act out. Go crazy. Push limits. Embrace adventure. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc……….. I could keep going, but I’ll assume that you get the point.
Back To Reality: There Are No Guarantees BUT…
Hopefully, you have a partner who’s willing to catch you when you fall and is there to help pick up the pieces. In return, you’re willing to do the same if and/or when the roles become reversed. Marriage is about meeting in the middle. Finding a balance. It takes two to tango. Sometimes you miss a few beats and step on each other’s toes but ultimately if you are both committed to blocking out the noise and listening carefully to the music that’s playing you get the opportunity to dance together through life harmoniously.
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW… Ten years ago TODAY I married my best friend and love. Ten years later I am blessed to still be married to that man. (Even if we drive each other insane and nitpick and bicker.) In the grand scheme of life, I know ten years only makes us marital rookies compared to those veteran duos who have thirty, forty and fifty years under their belts.
Ten years is just the beginning but it is still a big milestone. In hindsight, we were clueless when we first walked down the aisle and stood under the chuppah. We knew nothing about marriage!
Now we can say we’ve gained ten years of experience. I trust that in the decades to come we will continue to learn and grow and strengthen our bond as we stay buckled up and hold each other tightly on this insane roller coaster of a ride that is the journey we call marriage.
Tonight we’ll reminisce as we play the game I like to call, Remember-When-We-Ustah-Do-That-Before-We-Had-Kids? We’ll exchange cards and I’ll probably get choked up because underneath the sarcasm and the bossiness and the tough exterior I’m really just a sensitive, sappy ball of mush. My husband will most likely make fun of me for crying but then I’ll snap back with a snarky comment and we’ll move on to the gift-giving portion of the evening. We decided on practical, simple gifts this year. I’ll give him a box of Breathe Right Strips to help with his snoring and he’ll give me a box of Allegra D to help with my allergies. Life will be grand. How do I know he’ll give me allergy meds, you ask? Because I already picked it out myself!