In defense of Getting Through

{Written for Weddingbee.com, though I’m too lazy to go find the login to my old engagement blog.}

I’ve been married twenty months now. Let’s all take a moment to recognize the fantastic-ness of having to stop to count the number of months.  Once upon a time, I could have told you in days.  Hours.  “It’s been five months, three weeks, six days and fifteen hours since I chose this misery. Oh! One more minute down.”  I regularly practiced the art of Getting Through.

Do you know the Getting Through strategy?  You know, as in, “Today, I just have to get through.”

But no more.  Today, I had to count.

I used to write, pre-wedding, about the messiness of my relationships.  (G’head, check my archives. Even the ones with the pretty pictures allude to the challenges we survived in getting there.)  I then spent the next year writing about the messiness of learning to live up to someone’s expectations and with their quirks and through their relationship-hampering coping mechanisms: my own.

Today I realized we’re pretty much past the growing pains.  We still fight (though we try to stay away from “fighting” and stick more to “arguing”), he still doesn’t do exactly what I wish he would (the nerve!), and I still struggle to accept who I am while allowing myself to celebrate who I was… all while keeping my temper in check.

I still find myself counting the minutes while Getting Through.  It’s okay.

I know many of you haven’t gotten to your wedding day, much less through your first year, but I wanted to send a note out into the universe to say: if you’re struggling with messiness or wondering how you’ll make it work, I’ve been there.  If you’re not sure how you’ll manage to be everything you’ve always expected while taking into account another human’s eccentricities, don’t worry. You won’t.

Learning to be married takes time, and dedication, and a lot of time to simmer think.  You’ll fight and cry and wonder why you chose this. What were you thinking?  Remember the days when all you had to worry about was yourself?

And some days, you’ll just have to Get Through.

But on the other side of what is likely to be a messy, if not downright turbulent, adjustment is a surprisingly awesome kind of familiarity.  When you’re pregnant and puking and he wants to sleep, you’ll find a way with gritted teeth to sweetly ask him to sit with you.  And a month later, you’ll pick your head up off the bathroom floor and realize every member of your household is fed, medicated (where applicable), and reasonably clean – because he took care of them all.

And you’ll have forgotten to count the days since that moment when you invoked this awesomeness upon yourself.

I know this is in your future, but someday you’ll find yourself counting the minutes since that day and perhaps you’ll remember this and know you’re not alone.  Sometimes it takes a rain storm to get to rainbows and butterflies.

{Oh, the cheesiness!}

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6 thoughts on “In defense of Getting Through

  1. Yay, I love this post!

    I haven’t been dealing with pukiness, but we have had our share of learning how and when to take care of each other and how and when to ASK to be taken care of. After a few weeks of dealing with some pretty awful anxiety, I’m finally coming out on the other side – and the beasts have been taken care of and the bills have been paid, and my wife is still happy to see me.

    Yes, the cheesiness, but also the gratitude. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Such a fantastic post! It is true, there are rough times in marriage. Most of the time I do EVERYTHING around the house. But, when I was sick for several weeks a few months ago, the hubs was quick to “jump on it” and make dinner, clean, etc. It made me even more thankful (than I already was) that he was there with me, doing what others would not. He even worked longer days to make up for me being out of work. He just constantly gives. I always wonder how I got so lucky.

  3. I LOVE this! It’s so true, that everyday familiarity that, granted, isn’t as exciting as the deep and crazy intensity of the beginning of a relationship, but is so incredibly great!

  4. “If you’re not sure how you’ll manage to be everything you’ve always expected while taking into account another human’s eccentricities, don’t worry. You won’t.” I love this! You hit right on the fact that the power to resolve expectations and deal with the present are totally within our selves. I like that you’ve focused on how progress undergirds messiness when you really try, too. Great message.

  5. I have read all your old WB posts about marriage and issues but I could use some 1-on-1… I know you’re not Dear Abby, but do you have an email address? If you have the time of course.

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