Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday Marriage For Two: Marriage is Hard

Welcome to our new series about being married.

One of my friends asked recently, how married life was, and I said, "better."  She was said something like, "huh?"  To which I began to explain.

"For awhile there, we fought a lot.  I think mostly because I'm unemployed, and I really can't leave, and I felt trapped, my reaction to feeling trapped was to fight and test the limits of our marriage.  So I picked a lot of stupid fights, just to fight."*

Ever since I realized what I was doing, I've calmed down.  I started doing what I needed to do to nurture myself in our marriage, including leaving the house to volunteer, which finally turned into a job, because I couldn't be a housewife.  I'm really, really bad at it.  If you are in a situation that is having an adverse affect on your marriage, fix the situation to the best of your abilities.  If you hate your job, and you can't quit it, find something that you LIKE to do, and do that some of the time.  It's okay if it doesn't involve spending a lot of time with your spouse, as long as it makes you a better partner.  If you are feeling out of shape or overweight (hello, newlywed 10), it's okay to prioritize going to the gym or eating healthy.  Again, if you are happy, you will be a better partner.

It's also easy to get resentful if you are in a homemaker/domestic partner type of situation.  I would spend a day trying to get things done around the house, and then my husband would come home and focus on everything I didn't get done instead of what I did.  It was like getting some kind of awful daily performance review, by the person I loved the most.  From my husband's POV though, I was at home all day, making messes and not cleaning them up.  Which is, uh, true.

Since I've started leaving the house daily, and am trying to make my career happen, instead of waiting for something to happen, things have been better.  We don't fight so much.  So yeah, if you're fighting just to fight, figure out why, and then figure out how to fix it.  Without blaming your spouse, because if you're doing what I was doing, the problem is you.

*The other sad truth is that fighting makes you feel something, and the job search made me feel numb and sad, so I fought just to feel something.  Unemployment is the pits, my friends.  


  1. This is crazy honest and intelligent. Great advice, and it's very appreciated.

  2. Oh man, you are so right. Mr. Windows and I fought constantly for a year and a half. The times we weren't fighting, we were ignoring the fighting. Mind you, we're coming up on our 2 year anniversary, so you do the math. It's been a roller coaster for sure. We even talked the D word for a while. But it took us that long to communicate our issues. Now that we're out in the open about the things we had problems with, we're much, much better. How funny is it that he does the dishes everyday now and that's pretty much the only thing that is different!?!

    Marriage isn't easy. But it's not supposed to be either.

    I wouldn't want to be married to anyone else.

  3. Fantastic post. Working (long hours) at a job you hate is similarly tough on a marriage. I've only just stopped picking stupid fights daily... around the same time I started prioritizing working out regularly (even at the expense of couple time).

  4. Thank you for this post. xo.

  5. I love this post! Very honest, very true. I'll be tuned in for the rest of the series :-)

  6. Hello, my life! Glad to see you've decided to visit someone else for a change.

    I feel you. I am also unemployed, and while Daniel does not get upset with me for not getting things done (as he knows I've got that covered myself), I have been doing A LOT of stuff for us or him during the day because I can, and it's getting really frustrating because I need to look for jobs too. And the goddamn wedding needs to get done too. Ugh, but yes, good advice. I have been trying not to pick fights...this time, but sometimes, it happens anyway.

    I'm glad your career is starting to get off the ground though! I know it's super tough for lawyers right now, but hopefully, things will get better soon!

  7. Ok how about a lighter note....
    When we got married MOB was a medical Student and I was an unemployed law graduate studying for the bar. One evening I had cooked a nice dinner and even tried to make the apartment look presentable. She had been on a 36 hour rotation at the hospital.
    I saw her car turn into the parking lot so I met her at the door with a big kiss and a hug. She took one look at me with fire in her eyes, yelled "you men are all alike" and stormed off to the bedroom slamming the door. She was asleep in less than 2 minutes.

  8. Unemployment IS the pits!! And numb is exactly how I feel... because there is no person or job or boss to put my frustration onto, if that makes sense (I usually end up directing it toward myself, so not healthy).

    I know this is an older post, but if you see this comment... would you mind telling me more about this volunteer position that turned into a job?? I'm tempted to try this, but I'm not quite sure the best way to go about it (and I understand this doesn't work out that way, but it still seems better than doing nothing).