How ironic that today, on my thirtieth wedding anniversary, I just finished reading, Heather Havrilesky’s New York Times article, Marriage Requires Amnesia: Do I hate my husband? Oh for sure, yes, definitely.
I’m happy to say that after three decades, I don’t hate my husband. I fell in love with a handsome, hard-working, good man who was also a great father. But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention there have been many days when my mother’s premarital advice came in handy. You see, thirty years ago today, before heading to the church, my mother sat me down for our big heart-felt, pre-wedding, mother-daughter moment. It went something like this.
“One day you’re going to wake up, roll over, look at Gary and say to yourself, What the fuck was I thinking marrying this asshole?” she informed me.
“He’s going to make you siiiiiiiiiiick”, she continued. “It could last a day, a week, a month…maybe even longer”.
I thought maybe Allen Funt was going to jump out and yell, “Smile, you’re on Candid Camera.”
He didn’t, which allowed her to continue to horrify me by adding, “When that happens, and it WILL happen, just relax. It’s normal. It happens to everyone. The key is to not go outside your marriage to figure out what’s wrong. Instead, stay inside your marriage and solve the problem”.
“And always remember. Someday, without you knowing it, he’s going to wake up, look at you and think the same damn thing“.
“So whaddya say? Let’s go get married,” she said with a smile as she took me by the hand and led me out the door.
I believe Mom’s advice still stands. However, knowing quite a few couples who’ve successfully divorced, today I would simply add that if working the problem together doesn’t result in a resolution, you at least know you tried if you decide to divorce. I’d also add a third caveat that if your partner is violent, narcissistic, or abusive, get the fuck out as fast as you can.
So Happy Anniversary, Gary! I’m glad we picked each other to struggle through life with. I like that we stay in the reality of our marriage, even when it’s not so pretty. Likewise, I’m glad we both work on our own stuff and can still make changes as needed. But most importantly, I’m happy to report, I rarely woke up wondering what the fuck I had done all those years ago 🙂
Just every once in a while.
Hopefully, you feel the same way too.