After being in a relationship with the father of my children for 14 long unhappy years I left. I was single for a few years before I met an amazing man, and I got married. Now at almost 3 years married and it is HARD. I always wondered why married people said that marriage is hard work and well now I know. Being married is nothing like being in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.
The blending of 2 lives. The blending of 2 different families. For myself I had to blend 2 different cultures. You bring all your past hurts, and joys. Everything that makes you who you are, you bring into a marriage. Your spouse is going to see all of you, because unless you are a sociopath, you are going to show your spouse you at your highs and lows. They will learn how you act when you are sick, when you are tired.
You have to remember that you have another person to think about and you are responsible for. You do have someone that you are be accountable to. Not because you are each other’s property, but because it’s being considerate of your partner.
When I was in a relationship as a girlfriend, I knew that the option to leave was always open and even now as a wife there is the option to leave. It’s just not as easy. It has been an adjustment to get use to. Getting married sometimes feel like you have given up a piece of yourself. Especially as a millennial, we are now trying to redefine the word spouse.
It doesn’t always mean husband and wife. It can be wife and wife, husband and husband, committed partners that haven’t signed a marriage certificate. But they have a house that they have bought together and kids. I defined marriage as 2 people who are completely committed to each other and their growth together as a couple. Maybe it’s me being a millennial but this is my definition.
Even when I was just dating my husband, I knew that things were different with us. There was an accountability that was silently demanded. We both knew that we have to think of the overall big picture and not just our own selfish needs. We needed to find a balance that work for the both of us. It is a balancing act every damn day. I have to balance getting what I need for myself to feel like I am healthy enough to be there for my family and to just feel like I am still me. I have to balance making sure that my husband feels loved and appreciated, that he’s needs in this marriage are being met. Then I must make sure that our children are happy, healthy and thriving.
Sometimes I feel suffocated, I feel like it would be great to just runaway for a few days and get a hotel room. Buy a bottle of wine, turn off my phone and just decompress. Being a wife and mother is hard. Balancing all these different relationships and trying to maintain a relationship with yourself can leave you feeling drained.
I love my family. I love my husband and I love my kids, but sometimes I get tired of being a wife and being called mom. I think that women get a hard time when we say that I need time for myself. That I need to have a certain amount of time carved out to reconnect with myself and my passions. What I’ve learned by being married that the secret to marriage is to keep who you are. Remember that yes, you are part of a couple, but you are still you. Don’t feel bad for saying that you need to spend time with yourself.
I think that one of the hardest things about being married is communication. I am an introvert and my husband is an extrovert. We are at 2 different ends of the spectrum. I overthink and analyze everything. I sit on my thoughts and emotions until I am sure with what I am feeling. My husband not so much. He gets it out then and there, then he moves on. Me not so much. I know that this is one of my weakness. And marriage will make you confront your weaknesses head on if you are doing it right. It forces you to learn, grow and adapt. Marriage is a living breathing thing. You must nurture it for it to survive and thrive. Marriage isn’t something that should be taken lightly. You don’t get points for just being present. You have to work at it. Each and every day.
You have to make your spouse a priority, and your own mental health one too. There is no one secret for a lasting marriage, but if I had one it would be to always remain true to yourself, because that is the person that your spouse fell in love with and the one that they envision spending the rest of their life with. You don’t have to change who you are at your core. Also, be gentle with your spouse and yourself. Someone else’s journey isn’t yours so no comparisons. If you each put your all into the relationship, then you should be fine.
If you are thinking of getting married and someone tells you that it is easy. They are lying, don’t listen to them. But it is rewarding and beautiful when you both are committed to making it work.