Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Passing Ships

A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it. 
 - John Steinbeck

Marriage is not for the faint at heart peeps.

Apparently this ugly, grey nail polish is.
This colour is called Faint of Heart.

I know, I know. You are very welcome for the frickin' newsflash!

But here's the thing.

I write this nice, little bloggy blog about my nice, little family and my nice, little home and how I try to live my nice, little authentic life.

But this blog is not the whole picture.

This is me using funky photo apps to illustrate my blog not being the whole picture.
Hey dudes...I try!

And it never will be the whole picture.

Some things are not for sharing here in the blogosphere.

Anything is appropriate...but it depends on the blog and the person writing the blog...and the people involved in the personal stories that are shared on the blog.

For example, I tend not to write too much about my marriage. Not in too much personal detail because I believe much of that is sacred and my husband is a fairly private person - much more so than I am.

So I need to respect that. I want to respect that. And I am pretty sure I have succeeded thus far.

What I wanted to touch upon today is something that I think many of you who are married...especially married with children...will be able to relate to.

I had to. Sorry.

When you have been with your partner (even if you are not officially married) for a long time and you have young kids...often your relationship takes a back seat.

Yup. A back seat with the kids.

It seems to go in waves, in my personal experience.

I'm still waiting for this particular wave. ;)

Just to give you a brief overview - for those of you who don't already know - I met my husband 16 years ago and we have been married since April, 2000.

This is my husband and I on our wedding day.
OK...I lie.
That was yesterday afternoon.
(We are trying to spice things up.)
But seriously now...

We proceeded fairly swiftly to have our first son in September, 2001.

Our second son was born in March, 2004.

Then (surprise!), our youngest son came along quite a bit later in October, 2010.

Of course I am gonna show you another photo of my boys!
And yes...this is really them.

Since we met, we have owned 3 homes in two different cities.

I have held 5 different jobs - each one with increased responsibility - at 5 different companies.

My husband has been with the same company for over 20 years.

After my first son was born I went back to work after my one-year maternity leave. After my second son was born I stayed home for about 3 years. After I went back to work, I ended up getting laid off after a year and then stayed home for close to another year. Then I went back again. Then I got pregnant with my youngest...broke my feet and started an early maternity leave by lying in bed for 3 months.

Thing is...he is just as busy as I am.

My youngest will be two in October and I am still at home. Yes I have been earning a bit of money writing...but I am now ready to go back to work full-time.

OMG! Can I do all of this?
(I use "OMG", because I am trying to be young and hip...despite my recent 40th birthday.
Speaking of hips, mine hurts. I must be getting old.
Never mind. I didn't say that!)

So all of this being said...we have been rather busy.

A cheesy stock image of parents being busy.

And I realize we are not special.

All parents are busy.

And this is the main excuse we all have for letting our marriages slide to the proverbial back burner.

Back seat...back burner...whatever.
And hey...who knew there was a beer called "back burner"?
Ahhhh, the school of life never ceases to amaze me.
I'll take a 2-4 eh?

The one person that should be the most important person in your life, slowly but surely becomes a passing ship in the night...a co-parenting roomie...the person who sleeps next to you when a scared child or a cranky baby isn't instead.

Pretty much.

And I'm here to tell you that it happens to the best of us.

It is no wonder why divorce rates are so frickin' high.

When you and your partner are so busy with children and demanding jobs, there is little time or energy for much else.

But at some point, you either have to get your priorities straight or your marriage will implode.

I say this because my marriage has been through many ups and downs. Most marriages experience this.

Those who don't probably are very static and dull.

Now if you claim to feel bliss all the time in your marriage...enjoy!

I am not here to argue with that! You are either in denial...or you are incredibly lucky...and I am sure you know in your heart which one you are. If you are grateful for that indeed!

In my case, I found that with each new baby came some low points. Post partum depression did not help. Being at home for long stretches of time did not help either.

I have accepted that I am a happier person and a better, more balanced mother and wife when I work.

So I am on the job hunt once again.

But in the meantime, my husband and I have come to the realization that we need to pay more attention to our relationship.

We need to give it more priority.

We need to nurture it in small ways on a daily basis...not just when we have time or are not busy...because really, we rarely have time and we are always busy.

What we have learned through experience is that we need to make time and put some of our busy-work on the back burner. we need to take care of our marriage like we take care of our children.

Because if we are not happy...any toxicities that develop as a result seep in to our kids. And if our marriage were to implode...well...obviously that would affect our children greatly.

So we must do this not despite our children...but for them. And for ourselves. Because we are the backbone of this family.

Every marriage...every different.

I am not saying all marriages can or should be saved. I am not saying working is for all moms (or dads).

All I am doing is sharing my experience.

Communicate your wants and needs to your partner. Even if it is difficult and there are arguments.

Most meaty arguments mean that you need to get to the bottom or the core of something important. The other alternative is to remain silent and non communication is the silent killer of the majority of marriages that don't make it.

Not fun.

Marriage is work.

I used to think it shouldn't have to be work...but it is. Most things worth having in life involve difficult times and effort.

On the other hand, marriage should also be fun. It should involve laughter and joy and happiness.

"We are married and 22 years old and have no kids and are on vacation in Hawaii.
No wonder we are having fun!!!"
But seriously...

There need to be a balance.

So here we are...on that teeter totter, up and down, back and forth. Trying to help each other find a balance both as a couple and as individuals.

Bobble head couple on a teeter totter.
Who would buy this shit?

It ain't easy. But we are giving it our best shot.

And that's all we can do.




  1. I can so relate to this post. Marriage is work. Sometimes I even think about divorce and I have 4 children...all under 12. I am so overwhelmed. I never have sex. I am tired of being touched. I feel like all my husband and I have in common these days is out kids. I feel lonely a lot of the time even though I am surrounded by my family. I post this comment without my name or handle because I am afraid to make myself known. At least you have the courage to bring some of it to light. Thank you for making me feel as though I am not the only one who feels like a "passing ship". Maybe it is just a phase. Or maybe I need to make a big change. I guess I have a lot of thinking to do. I appreciate the push to do so.

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