The Truth About Marriage

By nature, when my illness isn’t in control, I’m a bubbly, fairly hyper, often loud, mushy, goofball. I LOVE to laugh. I knit and craft and dance without music. I paint and create collages, read wonderful books and write little stories for Leo. We spend as much time outdoors as possible, we garden and cook and giggle, and I find the time to blog. I don’t have the energy to blog when I’m sick. And I realized that there was a possibility, since I so seldom write when I’m less than well (at least before yesterday’s post anyway) that people could think that I live in a rose-tinted bubble – or, if they’ve heard me mention that I struggle with depression,  think that I’m trying to paint this “perfect” picture my life here – OR think that I exaggerate my illness. So I’m going to try some more of my new honesty here. I love my son. I love my husband. I have a good life, and except for my battle with whatever it is that’s screwy in my brain, I have been very, very blessed. But guess what? Sometimes it’s all I can do to make it though the day with Leo. Sometimes I just want OUT. My marriage isn’t perfect. Sometimes its pure bliss. Much of the time it’s comfortable, safe and contented. Other times… it’s hell. Our marriage has had it’s fair share of bumps and bruises. It’s a work in progress. And there a days when it feels like there’s only one person in the marriage trying or even willing to try to work on it. I know FireDaddy has felt that way, and I have too. Often. Seriously – who, in a committed relationship HASN’T?!  If you’re raising your hand and smugly patting yourself on the back – go you. You have the secrets to life figured out. Now please go away. I need to feel normal here, thank you very much. See, the main problem I’ve finally concluded, is simply that FireDaddy and I have radically different emotional styles.  We both think that the other isn’t “trying” because they’re not doing what we’re doing to make the marriage work. Let me explain – I’m all about trying to understand people.  I like to get into people’s heads and connect with them.  Yeah, I’m THAT girlfriend. I need, through lots of intense conversations, deep revelations and “sharing”, to figure out what makes you tick. And I need you to put in the work to “get” me too. It’s how I feel understood, and ultimately, loved. Those crazy intense conversations are how I’ve bonded with my closest friends. They were the “make it or break it” test for any and all boyfriends. FireDaddy on the other hand, hears the word “discuss” and he runs, screaming. I’m a bit of a research junkie too, and in an effort to figure out what’s happening up in my brain, I’ve become a bit of a psychological dilettante. Which, of course, is the second thing on the list of things that drive FireDaddy screaming off of a cliff. (Oh – wait. The screaming off of a cliff thing is me, after he’s strong and sliently shut me down with his deep dark he-man cave of silence… my bad) See – FireDaddy is a tough, firefighting “man’s man”. He’s all about privacy, working really, really hard, putting on a brave face, toughing it out and beating the odds. And keeping the conversation on emotionally neutral topics. Like his truck, or cheesy jokes. Or the garden. He’s a doer, not a talker. And at 11:00 pm at night, he’s going to go to SLEEP, thank you very much, his wacky, emotional wife’s intentions to continue rambling on be damned. And when I’m doing good, this is all okay. It’s part and parcel of HIM, who I love so dearly. Some of these things are even qualities I find extremely impressive and sexy, even. I have to chuckle, as  he snores through my psychological dissection of some random event or person, and then I realize how lucky I am to have him, seeing as how I’d talk all night if he didn’t fall asleep on me. But when I’m NOT well? Ye gads. FireDaddy falling asleep on me – or not wanting to “go there” with me is tantamount to lobbing a grenade in my general direction. It probably won’t kill me, but when the dust settles, I’m going to be one PISSED OFF Mama. I don’t honestly know where I’m going with all this, I just realized that haven’t got a point to make – well, except for this:  I don’t  think there are”good” marriages and “bad” marriages. Just ones where the people are willing to hang in there and ones where they can’t, for a million different reasons . Perfect marriages? Pure myth. Happy marriages? TOTALLY possible. But not easy, and not immediate. And when you hit those horrible bumps, as hurtful and awful as they can be, if your partner sticks by you, puts up with the yelling (or stony silence) and still holds your hand –  that’s the moment when,  despite all of their flaws and all of your flaws,  you have to know it’s love. Pure and simple.

By the way – Happy Anniversary honey! Better late than never, right?

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