Do you want to know a secret about married people? Or at least this married person? I am terrified when couples split up. Terrified. Crazy, panicked, Terrified. Separations have been on my mind a lot this week because of this and this. It is scary enough when people split who aren’t doing well, but when it’s folks who seem to have figured it out, even if you don’t know those folks in real life, it is actually devastating. Why? Because, at least in my experience, marriage is the hardest thing in the entire world. It is harder than pushing two babies out of your vagina, it is harder than struggling with mental illness, it is harder than the hardest job you have ever had. And it is constant work. So when people bow out of the marriage game you start to wonder if anything is really forever. If anyone actually makes it. If even though things are going really well right now, it all might just explode in your face next year. Except it isn’t about just the two of you anymore, there are two kids who will have to deal with the repercussions. There is strength in numbers, when couples split my selfish, asshole, knee-jerk reaction is “could this happen to me?”
Do. Not. Get. Me. Wrong. I adore marriage. I love my marriage in particular. I am better when part of a team, I have no intrest in not being married. And I only want to be married to Z. He is my rock, he is my roll, he cracks me up and I find him wildly attractive. He also drives me bat shit crazy every single day. Back when our marriage almost fell apart we made a commitment to do the fucking work to save it. That doesn’t mean we worked for a while till we were back on track and then all was peachy-keen. We decided to do really hard, really tiresome, really bang-your-head-against-the-wall work forever. We stopped chasing perfect, there is no such thing. Just like in any endeavor we nutty humans undertake we know there will be shitty times. We will hurt each other (though we try not to), but what matters is we will try to be better to each other next time. We accept we are flawed and the marriage is flawed. The key is we are on the same page with our decisions. One member of the team can’t make the whole thing work, and the choice to stay in it needs to be made again every single day. We are in a better place in our marriage than we have ever been, yet we still go to couples therapy every other week. So yes, we do the work, but there is no guarantee that both of us will keep our end of the bargin. We might do the work for years and years and still blow it. It is crazy blind faith that we both try every day. I guess it is like religion. Because I’m not sure I believe in God I guess it is the only religion I believe in. But even believers have doubts.
Z feels like we had our crisis, we both decided we are all the way in, and we don’t have much to worry about. If you haven’t noticed I live in constant fear of everything. I think if I’m not worried about my marriage every minute, if I take my eyes off of it for a second, I’ll lose everything. And there. Exactly there it is. The terror comes from the fear of losing everything. Marriage is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it is also the best. To be able to let every single wall you built to protect yourself down, to lay yourself so bear that you’ve even shed your skin, and to have someone say, “Yup. It is pretty freaky in there, you are twelve kinds of looney tunes, but whatever. I love you anyway. I accept you. I will spend my life with you. I AM ON YOUR SIDE.” The idea of losing that is the most frightening thing in the world. Seriously. It is honestly as scary as the thought of losing one of the boys. Z knows me better than anyone in this huge crazy world, he knows things no one else knows, my absolute deepest and darkest shames, and I’ll be damned, he still loves me. How fucking crazy and wonderful is that? It is the most precious gift I will ever receive. I can’t bear the thought of losing it.
And dude is not perfect, but I’ll tell you what. I love every imperfect inch of him. Ok, if he stopped crunching chips so loudly I’d be super cool with it. But I see him. I see who he really is and I accept him. I want him to keep growing, keep becoming a better man, and I believe he will. I make the choice to take him, noisy chewing and all. Until death do us part. I hope, I pray, I believe.