I am very fond of writing about the realities of marriage simply because other people seem so fond of perpetuating the delusions of it. the fairytale story we are all supposed to be living, right?
one day when I was at the park with the kids, I ran into an old high school friend. she still lived in town. me too. she had some kids. me too. but, and she brought this down to a whisper, she and her husband were having “marital problems”. and here, I thought I was going to get some good dirt. right, said I, waiting for the other shoe to drop. it never did. she looked forlorn, distracted. then she turned to me and asked me if my husband and I had marital problems, as though she was asking if we had active cases of the plague. “umm…” I responded, caught off guard by the seriousness in her tone.
what I wanted to say was, “I’m married. doesn’t that indicate that I have ‘marital problems’?” I mean, if I wasn’t married, I would still have problems. only they would be called “boyfriend troubles” or something. marital problems are pretty much the same problems you have been having with the person you’re with since long before you were married ( I can attest to this as my husband and I have been fighting about the same shit for over a decade). only, marital problems have that little extra something…that tinge of forever (though I think we all know that nothing is forever these days and being divorced just means that you’ve grown up and are now prepared for a truly mature and meaningful relationship, am I right? I don’t know, I’m talking out of my ass right now. but I think the divorce rate speaks for itself. there is no longer a taboo on divorce. a lot of time, people are applauded for being independent and self-directed. people who stay married are codependent and live their lives in a state of fear and status quo grasping).
the fact that, as long as we stay married anyways, our fights that we’ve been having for the last decade, will probably last us our entire existence together and, who knows, may even be what we utter at each other with our last dying breath is what it’s all about. now, that’s just the romantic in me coming out, thinking that greg and I will die together in the middle of a fight. lord knows, my blood pressure gets up there enough to unclog some serious fatty deposits and send them flying into my brain. now that’s now the real Cinderella story ends. with an aneurism. wow, I spelled that right.
I don’t know why people build up marriage so much. really, all it says about you is that you stubbornly refuse to call it quits no matter how bad things get. some people call that honor and responsibility. others cowardice and lack of gumption. it’s probably both. if there’s one thing that all the realists can agree upon, though, it’s that the real picture of marriage is no monet sunset. in fact it’s more like a van gogh. all twisted and weird and kind of ugly, if you want to know the truth. in a beautiful and unique way.
it’s just like everything else, though, we would all do a lot better of telling the truth of the reality rather than perpetuating the lie just ’cause it’s fun and we can make certain people feel envious of us. this goes out to all those who keeps it real out there. no one is jealous of us. but at least we keepin’ it real.