Marriage is psychological warfare.
The fact that they don't have a big sign that says that at the Clerk of Court office when you get your marriage license is Grade-A bologna. No one lets you in on this little secret of supposed wedded bliss. Married people fuck with each other just because that's what people who love each other do.
ENGAGED PEOPLE: THIS IS YOUR PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT.
Your relationship is not better than the mind games that we play on each other. You may do it differently, but there is no way around it. If you are realistic about what marriage is like, it is easier to navigate the bullshit that you put each other through once you're in it.
But it still isn't easy.
I love my husband with all of my heart and soul. He is the most important person in the world to me. I couldn't survive a day without him in my life.
That doesn't mean we don't go at each other in a way I didn't think either of us were capable of when we're hurting. We desperately try to be better and more mature than that. Often, it doesn't work. We are both incredibly stubborn.
Sidebar: I hate what I just said. I don't know a single, goddamn person who isn't stubborn. I hate that I have to qualify that because, for some reason, saying you're "stubborn" makes it okay to be a dick. EVERYONE IS STUBBORN.
Back to the matter at hand.
I am selfish. I want things the way that I want them, and I want them that way always. I don't want to be told what to do, and I lash out when I feel like I am under someone else's direction. I have been making my own decisions since I was 15. My parents never even told me what to do. I have always been in charge of me. I want to be left that way without any adjustment.
That mentality does not work in marriage. The powers that be aren't joking when they say that marriage is about compromise. You HAVE TO give in sometimes or you will walk around with more hurt in your heart than you know how to bear. It's exhausting and overwhelming.
I am learning. I am adapting. I am adjusting.
I am fucking it up.
My husband and I are both used to directing traffic and being the only one who knows what's going on. We naturally assume that no one else can do what we can. There is no way this is true. We are capable adults who can both figure things out.
BUT MY WAY IS BETTER THAN HIS WAY.
That's what my brain is screaming at me, anyway. I'm also certain that that is what is going on inside of his cranium, as well. The truth of the matter is that both ways will probably get us to our goal. We just have to get more used to sometimes being a passenger. We can't always drive.
Except when we're in a car. He can always drive. Driving is stupid.
My husband and I are recovering from another fight that left us feeling empty and broken. I am tired of keeping these arguments a secret. I don't want to pretend that they don't happen anymore when I'm facing the outside world. They happen and they hurt like hell. If they're happening to us, they happen to other newlyweds who are, like us, struggling to just navigate balancing two egos in a space that is barely big enough to hold one. We hurt each other. We do it more than I ever thought we would. And we do it because we love each other with a fierceness that just makes us terrified sometimes.
And that is just straight-up bull jive.
As I'm figuring out how to let go and be open to compromise, I want to shout from the roof tops that I never meant for any of this to happen, and that I do love him. I want him to know that I wouldn't have walked down the aisle if there wasn't something in his eyes and his heart that put me at ease from the moment I met him.
I keep going back to the song, "If I Didn't Believe in You" from my favorite show, The Last Five Years. It's sung while the main characters are fighting. He says to her,
"It never took much convincing to make me believe in you."
And that's how I know that things will improve. They have to. Some parts of our egos will have to be given away and sold off to make room for each other. It will take time. We'll still hurt each other, but it will, hopefully, get less and less by the day. It just has to. There isn't a way out other than fixing this.
We're blissfully stuck with each other.
And, as always, it's hip to be square (and hard-headed!), kids.