If you say it enough, you’ll believe it. If you say it enough, you’ll believe it. A person can decide on a whim to believe anything, everything, or nothing they hear, or see, and it can infect and impact others.
Society has told us marriage is perfect. Find the right mate, and get married. Work a little (or not) and put away a little nest egg, unless you have student loans that don’t allow you. Then, you my friend just work pay check to pay check. Next, have babies. Babies make everybody happy. Your parents are happy they have grandkids. You stay frisky and keep it sexy. Your friends encourage you that it’s “time” for you and your lucky mate to load up the house with beautiful children.
You and your mate raise kids, take vacations, join a place of worship, celebrate holidays, travel to see the parents and in-laws regularly…………..and la…..la……la. The Cleavers you are, or so you think.
You and the love of your life will live happily ever after.
Life will be easy. Life will be good. Love will be everlasting. Right? Right.
Then you get into it.
Reality hits. You start to see cracks in your relationship you never saw in your parents’ relationship, nor their friends. You’re feeling, overwhelmed……but you gotta suck it up like a trooper. You must emulate all that is visually good and pleasing about marriage….. It’s what we do. Be strong, be a soldier…..and most importantly, be freakin QUIET!
Where did THAT shit come from?
Growing up, I rarely saw a happy marriage. I saw lots of couples that looked like they were together because they had accumulated bullshit (houses, cars, liquid assets, businesses, heck even kids), and they didn’t want to lose or change their lifestyle. I saw and heard men sexually deprived, bored with the sex at home and wanted out but too afraid of what would happen if they were to walk away to fulfill those desires of wanting to be wanted, needed, and enjoyed sexually. I saw wives stuck at home days on end with young kids, burned out with no lifeline in sight.
She’s just yet holdin on, tarrying until a savior comes to rescue her from her sadness and sorry. She’s cooking and cleaning, buying and cooking groceries. She’s chauffeuring kids too and from the sitter, day care, school. She’s teaching and preaching, training and guiding. She’s proud of all she does to maintain her home, make her husband shine, and grow children that become decent, productive citizens. Her life is not her own. It belongs to everyone in her household.
Her entire life now is a thankless 24-hour, 7-days a week job, with some benefit, no pay, plenty of job security (nobody is signing up to take her place), and no questionable rewards. Having so-called good kids (good being relevant) is a crap shoot she will eventually learn. No one told her that some times no matter how much she:
Hovers over her kids …Police……Pry.…Spy….Talk....
Listen…Monitor…..Pray….Cry ... Confess and even…. Give her last,
She may still end up with a “problem” child.
No one told her about the illnesses, and all the doctor visits with her 2.5 kids for shots, breaks, athletic physicals, pregnancy scares, STD treatment, and at times, counseling to deal with young adult behavioral health issues…..alone. Maybe she was still exploring her sexuality and made a decision that she eventually decided after being married she liked women more than men (it’s highly possible).
Maybe she didn’t really know how much work it would take to create those little productive citizens. Those same little productive citizens everyone seemed to be raging about while they were in her belly, but few seem to care about during puberty. Had she known, she thinks to herself (as she does laundry), she would have decreased the number of little angels from 2.5 to 1.5. Raising kids is hard, and it’s a lot of work. Period!
No one told the once young wife that her dreams may partially or fully be deferred to provide the traditional role of wife, homemaker, mother, cook, social worker, drill Sargent, teacher, landscaper, maid, accountant, bank, mechanic, schedule keeper, and any other title you can assign to a hard working mom.
Oh how she wished someone would have explained how much she would long for the days of hanging with her girlfriends. Once she got married, her friends rarely came to see her. Traveling, dining wherever she chose was amazing now that she thinks back on it. No feeding a husband and 2.5 picky kids.
She misses going to the movies…………. and dates. Lots of good old-fashioned dates where guys took the time to get to know you even if it was just to try to get you into the sack. The thrill of the chase was simply exhilarating. And let’s not forget the lovemaking. That good old “make your legs weak” sex.
This wife/spouse so longs for the days when a guy would hold her all night, and court her intently. She misses the days of him proving his love to her in superficial and commercial ways……..ways besides coming home everyday and paying the bills.
It’s a hard row for her to hoe, and she feels so overwhelmed. She wasn’t given an instruction manual to deal with feelings of: deprivation, guilt, anger, regret, fear, loneliness, and at times pure sadness about the things she feels she lost to give her love, to sacrifice her life, and for her pursuit of happiness (which at times seems……….. fleeting).
Hubby leaves his wife at home all day because he’s the soul-bread winner, which gives him the right to stand on the corner or go to the corner bar to drink with friends, drowning their woes and sorrows tied to the glorious married life! Watching the games, watching booties and watching boobies. He yearns for the days of the single life where he lived as a bachelor with his parent(s), shined his car, spent all of his money on beer, car wax, dating multiple young ladies at once (and/or men if he likes to taste the rainbow and never shared that with you), living La Vida Loca.
He longs for the days when his stuff was really his stuff. No sharing his money. He had privacy and his own personal space. He could keep his place however he wanted, and any decision he made was for him alone. He could come and go whenever he pleased. His life was his own. No one ever told him that he would grow into his marriage and feel such a way about it sometimes. A lot of the time after that 7-year mark actually.
He knows it’s bad to think such thoughts. He would never tell anyone such a thing. It’s not honorable. It’s immoral. It’s selfish. It’s sinful. He’d rather die of a sudden massive heart attack, or blow his brains out rather than disclose his displeasure with the overrated married life. He made a decision based on a lot of things. Things like fantasies, social norms, family and peer pressure, and historical statistics.
Hubby’s regret comes from a lack of information and a lack of truth which prevented him from making a well-informed, important life decision based upon real-life information, truth, and the realities of married life and child rearing.
Underrated & Under-reported Truths and Realities
Why don’t people tell us the truth about marriage. Truths that are not glamorous or nice necessarily. After being married for a while, and going against everything that I knew in my heart and in my world to be true for the sake of matrimony and child rearing, I learned a lot. Being a realist, I appreciate real life truths. Experiences by individuals that have gone through the fire and survived (or failed) are invaluable.
I wish I would have been told in details certain things about child rearing and marriage. Things like:
It’s a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice. A lot!!! Sometimes those people that come out of your vagina disrespect you, hurt you, betray you, love you, require so much of you, and love you. Raising kids take so much of your time it is very difficult to maintain a healthy vibrant marriage. When you have multiple kids close in age during the teenage years, you are prevented from having good sex because they are always walking, lurking, and being needy. Time with your spouse is limited to morning and bedtime. You are lucky if you have in-laws and/or parents to help with childcare and quick getaways. Rarely if ever are there any weekend breaks! Child rearing happens until they are off to and out of college, which could be 0–24 (if your child decides to make pit stop along the journey of life).
Child rearing and marriage combined can give you heart palpitations, make your hair come out and gray prematurely, give you high blood pressure, and cause other stress related health conditions. It’s true for many, yet we wear it like a freakin badge of honor, saying stupid shit like: “They couldn’t kill me,” or “What didn’t kill me, made me stronger.” Dammit….it almost killed ya……..and nobody gave you a warning when they knew full well it was a reality.
You’re tired, because you get no sleep. You’re up all the time either physically caring for the house, hubby, and kids, or thinking about what you have to do the next day. It’s stressful, it’s tiring, and works slowly on breaking down a marriage if not addressed properly. Taking time for your partner and being united front is huge when deciding to bring other people (which in this case are children) into the marriage.
Sometimes in a relationship, people stop talking. People in the relationship sometimes also stop listening. No one ever talks about this happening. You simply ignore problems, be quiet about issues that bother for fear of a disagreement. Disagreement and conflicts are normal and actually healthy in a relationship. It’s real life. No one is happy all of the time, and if they are……I would be giving them the side eye. A dead cat is on the line. There are lots of ways to work problems out. Not talking about it is not an option. But no one ever tells you about it. People will say communication is important, but what in the fuck does that mean? How does it happen? When do you know one or both of you aren’t communicating properly? What if one or both of you are immature and don’t know how to communicate?
Don’t even start talking about blended families, step kids, multiple sets of in-laws……open communication, having a united front, and having respect for your mate are the only ways a marriage can survive. If the two spouses are living two separate lives, raising kids two separate ways with kids happily dividing you down the middle……cancel Christmas. It will be just a matter of time before your marriage is toast.
There is no manual for this madness. Unfortunately, it’s a huge part of having a healthy relationship that people rarely discuss candidly.
Sex is so good and so plentiful for most of us when we are newly in love, just wed, just casually dating, if your spouse is sexually liberated……you get the drift. Get married, work, and have kids and see how good the sex is. You have to find time to have sex. You have to work long hours to provide for your household, wife/partner and the kid(s) now. That correlates to less time for sex and spontaneity. You’re tired during the first year of raising the child. The baby doesn’t sleep, so you don’t get any sleep. If the baby has colic…..it requires your attention. The baby is sick with stuffy/runny noses, diarrhea, poopy diapers, belly aches/gas. More attention diverted from your mate and less time for sex. Playing with baby, reading to baby, teaching baby to walk/talk, this too requires the attention of one or both parents (depending on relationship roles). Time diverted.
The wife may possibly be feeling fat and unattractive due to the birth of a child. Her body is no longer it’s pre-baby shape………could lead to less sex. Maybe mom is experiencing postpartum depression. Less sex. Hubby could possibly get turned off by his beautiful wife because the new mom is so consumed with the new little person in the house, she is unaware of the amount of time she does not give to the man she married. He is no longer physically attracted to his wife……the husband simply retreats to his personal space to suffer in silence. No sex.
Boring sex! No explanation is necessary. Missionary sex every time gets old. Dogs get tired of the same dog food. Kids get tired of the same breakfast cereal and meals everyday. Spouses get tired of the same sexual positions and same places, yet men and women fail to candidly discuss these issues. The same applies to spouses with different sexual preferences. These issues are never discussed, let alone how to handle it. Conservative Sally and Freaky Mike could be devastatingly sexually incompatible, quickly. If only I would have known then what I know now.
Age differences are another issue people never discuss in realities. It’s cool for cougars to hookup with younger guys. It’s romantic for older men to sweep a young chick off of her feet, until reality hits.
When I got remarried, I was 35 my husband was 45. We dated 3 years prior to getting married.
His penis worked fine. I checked it.
Fast forward ten years later, he has no sex drive. His penis doesn’t work, and I am in my sexual prime dry as a desert. He was angry and bitter because he couldn’t perform which led to verbal and emotional abuse and neglect. I chose my own methods to deal with my needs. When we finally decided to divorce, we both acknowledged that it probably wasn’t wise to marry with the age differences because we were at two different phases of life after a few years. When the kids grow up and go off, it’s just you two at home. Is this person going to grow with you? Will they still be sexually attracted to you? If not, will they sacrifice to please the spouse and maintain the marital connection.
It may be cute to have a May-December romance when you’re young. Just another one of those things people don’t discuss. Ask your future spouse. Get it in writing so one day (when needed) you can reflect and hold your partner accountable.
Illness (mental/physical), different sex drives, teen/grown kids in the house, inexperience (with sex/positions), work, varying sexual preferences, young/infant kids, and poor communication around these issues may cause a break down in the sex life which leads many partners to divorce, and even more to stray.
Sex is the glue that holds the relationship together, more than communication in my opinion. No matter what anyone says. Sex matters. If satisfactory sex is not offered at home, it will be served up in the street (or online). A lack of sex at home could also lead to using porn to satisfy physical desires which could lead to unrealistic expectations in the bedroom, a lack of interest, or even lead to addiction. Don’t slack in the sex department.
I can say personally without a shadow of a doubt, If I knew sex for me was better (frequency, variety, types) as a single adult in a committed relationship than it was in marriage…I would have skipped the church house. Just my own personal preference.
At the end of the day, marriage is what you make of it. The take away is that if you know that it’s just not about planning the wedding, the pictures, what will be served at the wedding reception, and not even the honeymoon.
Getting married is about spending the rest of your fuckin life with the same person. A person that may change and grow, but it’s possible they may not.
Getting married is about sharing, giving up a lot, sacrifice forever, and stealing private time when appropriate for your own personal mental health. Finding a balance to do so is the challenge.
Getting married is a life long lesson in compromising. Compromising on sex. Compromising on money and work. Compromising about sex. When you have it, or if you have it. Compromising on personal time and space. Kids no kids. Buy or rent. Live away from or close to family……you get the picture. Your life is no longer yours. If you’re married it belongs to your spouse. If you’re married with children, your life belongs to everyone. If you’re married with children, and you work……just forget about it.
Getting married is about losing and winning. Adding, and taking away. Moving like a flowing river, and sometimes being stagnant like a nasty pond turning over due to the lack of fresh flowing water.
Marriage is what you make of it. It ain’t easy, and you need to know it. It can be great. Just realize it’s not just a word. Love can lead to marriage, which is a life long commitment. Just be sure you know what love is, what love can lead to, and that you’re ready to make the necessary sacrifices to make your marriage work. Go in with your eyes wide open. It’s not all sexy and glamorous, and the older it gets, the harder it gets to stay in.
I am simply a realist. This piece is not to discourage anyone from getting married, it simply dives into some areas that many people and popular platforms don’t adequately discuss as it relates to relationships and marriage in the 21st century in my opinion. You’re more likely today than ever to marry someone that has been married, or have kids out of wedlock. Learning about criminal history and credit history are cool, but learning about someone’s behavior, getting a handle on their personality traits, sexual preferences, and whether or not they have the capacity to change is important!
I love being in love. I love dating. I love seeing what appears to be on the outside happy marriages. Keep in mind you never know what goes on in anyone’s home. Also people can live in the same household and have different interpretations on the health of their marriage. Be cautious and do more looking than listening. Actions speak volumes.
Do your homework before going all in. It’s easy to get into. Hard as hell to get out of, without getting scarred.
Of Note: This piece was written from the hetero perspective, but can apply to any married couple.