Marriage is Hard

About 6 years ago – exactly right around 6 years ago, actually – I was sitting outside of the warehouse in which I lived, drinking my coffee and smoking my morning cigarette (s). I watched as my neighbour struggled to open the huge sliding gate. He was struggling as he was carrying one of those coffee trays in one hand, two coffees nestled within it. The coffees were for himself and his wife. As I saw those coffees that he was carrying, I was struck by a fierce pang of longing: I wanted to be in a relationship with someone who would bring me coffee like he was bringing his wife.

I wanted to be thought about with a consideration that meant something to me, wanted to have someone to care about too.

It wasn’t as if I wasn’t in relationships: I was. Probably too many. I was a chronic, serial dater. I loved dating! I dated all over the place. I had also been engaged quite a few times, ultimately always ending it as something just wasn’t right. They were too…something. One guy had pointy shoes that bothered me. Bad tattoo from Portlandia? Yeah, that was me.

By the time Mikey – the first guy I have ever met in my entire life who did not annoy me in some way – came around, I had resigned myself to a life lived alone ( – dating! ) and had signed up for some foster-to-adopt programs because I really, really wanted kids. I let the idea of “the one” go, and voila, he showed up. Or rather, I showed up, in his bicycle shop when my car broke down. I met him and dissolved into a pile of goo at his feet and he rather thoughtfully collected me, put me in a jar and married me. Or something like that.

5 years later now, I know a few things about marriage:

  1. Marriage is hard.
  2. Even if you are married to the perfect person for you, it’s hard.
  3. There is no such thing as perfect.
  4. But even if there were, it would still be hard. They’d be too perfect or…whatever.

These are the things that I know for sure.

Mikey and I are both sensitive, baggage-hauling analytical types and that’s not really a great thing.

Furthermore, Mikey should have been born Amish for all the love he has for all things homemade, hand-wrought. It took me almost 7 months to convince him to buy a car, for crying out loud! He’s about making his own yoghurt, kombucha and wearing one pair of Birkenstocks forever. Me, well, I identified with the article talking about real love for one’s iPhone. I play with apps as a form of stress relief and I thank God pretty much every day for technology, without which after all, I’d be stuck in some corner shucking corn or something because I can’t see or hear. I completely rely on my glasses/contact lenses and hearing aids to function in this world. Praise be to technology!

You get it. We are really different.

And I’m not going to try and spin this into a tale about how we’ve overcome all those differences, or those differences adding to the juice of our delicious organic stew because frankly, those differences do cause tension sometimes. It’s not easy.

But we made this decision to be with one another and raise three children together. We committed to that, said we’d be loyal and try our best, and those are promises that we live by and honour.

Somehow things can get lost in the day to day of diaper changing and the constant thrum that comes with these small people, constantly demanding our attention, with the endless giving and the myriad of tiny sacrifices we make for our kids. Somehow we can lose that sense of each other as people; I lose the sense of him as anyone other than this person who wears Birkenstocks that I co-parent with.

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Then in the midst of all that noise, he will do something like he did today, he’ll bring me coffee. A latte, with splenda in it and everything comes rushing back for me, the memory of life without him, a life that was nowhere close to being as beautiful as the one with him. And it hits me with a strength that can bring tears to my eyes that I am so, so very glad that I am with this person, this loving, caring, kind, strong, smart, handsome (Birkenstock wearing) man. Even if it’s hard sometimes.

It’s so worth it.

Now let me finish this coffee before it gets cold.

 

Meriah

is a deaf blogger, global nomad, tech-junkie, cat-lover, Trekkie, Celto-Teutonic-peasant-handed mom of 3 (one with Down syndrome and one gifted 2E).

She likes her coffee black and hot.


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17 Comments

  • You are fortunate to have married such a wonderful best friend. I so miss my best friend – my college sweetheart – the one I was with for 20 years. He went through a mid-life crisis and decided he no longer wanted to be married. It was beyond devastating. However, I am picking up the pieces and moving on…

    I agree that marriage can be challenging but oh-so-rewarding. Those little things you do for each other – such as bringing coffee – will serve as tokens why you chose each other. Thank you for a beautiful post and a reminder why marriage is worth it, in the long run.

  • Hooray for the challenges and the love! What a beautiful day that was five years ago in the park! And yay for not serial dating any more (sometimes I think back to all of that and marvel) and to having a co-parent in your dream of parenting!

  • 🙂  I have such a wise daugher. I heard it said men need to be admired…women need to be cherished.  A latte with splenda, sharing the artichoke heart…a foot rub…flowers…those random little things …unexpected… you so deserve it all, precious wife and mother of three  Glad it's still happening for you.  And hope and pray it continues forever. 

  • Yep, marriage sure *is* hard!  I had to laugh about the guys annoying you.  I was the same way.  Dated a *ton* and always got hung up on some small, insignificant detail that irritated the *hell* out of me and made me dump them, or made me act in a way that would make them dump me.  One guy came over for Thanksgiving dinner, and besides the fact that he was about a foot and a half shorter than me, he ate like a barbarian, and I just *couldn't* have that…  Another one was *too* nice.  Yuck.  I called him (not to his face) "the melty ice-cream guy" because that was what his personality was like.  I figured if I ever made it in a relationship for more than 6 months, it must be the guy I was destined to marry.  So I did.

    Make sure Mikey knows how you feel about that coffee delivery thing…LOL

  • Yes, marriage is hard.  It is work.  It is laughter.  It is patience.  It is fun.  It is a pain in the ass.  Sometimes.  Nice post.

    I found you on blogher.  I am Deaf, mom to 3 also.  I thought I would follow you.  My blog is:  http://deafiesinthekitchen.blogspot.com and new.

    Come visit me.  We Deaf need to support each other!  🙂

  • That was so sweet and nice! Congratulations on your aniversary!! I agree marriage is hard VERY HARD… therefoure I'm separated. It's sad but is the reality… for me at least… not everyone finds their "one true darling man"

  • Another great post. As a married mom of 25 years, which is no strange cuz I am pretty sure that I am still 25, but I can say that it would have been easier many times over to throw in the towel and split the china and silver. Which would be hard because we don’t actually have china and silver but you get what I mean. And sweet Z and her arrival not only with an extra chromosome but a plethora of other things and tested that ” in good times and bad” thing.

    Anyway, just found your blog and i really am enjoying it. You are truly,truly a gifted writer.

  • NOBODY puts Meriah in the corner shucking corn!

    I can relate to every line of this piece! I too would be blind without contacts, I can hear, but only what I want to : )
    And my husband drives me BAT SHIT crazy sometimes, and I was THIS close to leaving his crazy ass last year.

    But for different (and yet exactly the same reasons as you listed) I fell out of the infatuation love when we hit rock bottom, and grew into the true love we have today.

    Loving following your musing on parenting, marriage and life.

    i have a feeling we will stay up way too late drinking wine and smoking cigarettes when we finally get the chance to meet!

    xo

  • Think this is my fav post, Meriah. Simply beautiful. You always have such a way with words. Happy 6th Anny to you and Mike. Keep enjoying the perfect coffees he delivers and make sure he knows how much you appreciate it.

    • thank you so much, Karen! this was actually an old post – next week, we’ll have been married for 7 years. But it still applies, it’s just one of those that got it right.

      xoxo

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