and clearly she married well

Marriage is not my strong suit. Friendship, motherhood, dancing around, working hard, reading voraciously, finding joy in small things? These are some of the things at which I excel. Marriage? Not so much.

I read entries like this, or this, or even this, and there is a part of me that truly feels like I’m standing outside a restaurant window watching a couple sharing a candlelit dinner. I’m outside in the incomprehensible alien universe. They are on the inside. And they just understand.

I can see us, B and I, faltering under the weight of all of our responsibilities. I can watch us trying to catch up with the lost dove of romance. I can see him waiting for me to adore and cherish. And yet I fail. I watch myself fail.

And I wonder why I can’t love him the way he deserves? I cannot even begin to understand how others make these things work.  Or, put another way, I’m a student in the slow class of love.



20 Responses to “and clearly she married well”

  1. July 19, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    Tough questions, lady. I remember feeling this way before my divorce from my first husband. He didn’t deserve my apathy, but that’s what he got. I don’t have any answers for you but I’m a compassionate listener.

  2. July 19, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    I don’t know your history with your husband or the story of your marriage – but you’re so far ahead of the curve just knowing that marriage takes work. The decisions lie in figuring out if it’s work you can do, and work you want to do – all with the knowledge that no one can rebuild or strengthen a marriage alone. My defining moment in divorce was the realization that you can’t save a marriage alone.

    Please remember that relationship ebb and flow. And that different things work for different people. And that you really don’t know what goes on behind closed doors or the pulled curtains. You’re not alone, you’re only alone in being brave enough to admit things aren’t perfect.

  3. 3 karrie
    July 19, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    I’m stand outside with you. Do you have a light? I don’t smoke, but I think that is what people do in this kind of situation.

    Marriage is the most difficult thing I have ever done. I’m selfish, and independent and mouthy. My poor husband! 🙂

  4. July 19, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    Clearly he married well, too.

  5. July 20, 2007 at 12:41 am

    Tsk, tsk darling. We’re all outside with you watching other people’s marriages and wondering why some look so easy, while others are like salmon swimming upstream: hard fucking work.

    Boo and I have almost cratered a few times, more than I care to think about. But for some reason, we manage to find our way back together…with a few more scars in the process.

    This marriage bit ain’t easy. It’s the worst job, the best job, and by far the toughest job I have ever had.

    Lucky for me, Boo has a cute ass, a nine inch tongue and can breathe through his ears. It makes it all worth it.

  6. July 20, 2007 at 1:31 am

    You know of course…we all look like this on our wedding day.

    Weddings? They’re easy, even with the boatloads of crazy relatives and picture snapping and other b.s.

    It’s what happens after the honeymoon that tests your mettle and all that “for richer for poorer, for better for worse, for dumber for smarter, for childless for childful, blah blah blah” talk.

    We’re all students here just like you. We’re all working at it, even those happy couples you see. So you’re not alone. You’re just not.

  7. July 20, 2007 at 1:43 am

    I feel like a marriage loser most of the time, so ashamed in my shortcomings I don’t want to say it out loud for fear it will all become really really true and do me in.

  8. July 20, 2007 at 2:05 am

    Oh. Just so many “oh” comments followed by long sighs. I’m with ya sister.

    Also, love the new digs. That red-haired beauty is awesome.

  9. July 20, 2007 at 2:58 am

    You couldn’t have written this at better time for me. How did you know? And damn! What a terrific description. I feel like I made the wrong choice sometimes…and my husband is an amazing guy but…

    Thanks for saying it out loud. I never should have told people I know about my blog. I’d love to write more about this there.

    Anyway, thanks. Thanks!

  10. July 20, 2007 at 4:05 am

    I’m a reluctant student of marriage. One of these times I’ll get it right.

  11. July 20, 2007 at 5:39 am

    What a fantastically honest post. Thanks for sharing. A big part of me has always believed that marriage is a stupid concept, an almost imposible undertaking. Basically, who the hell wants to spend evey day with the same person, year after year…decade after decade. It’s not natural. But we’ve put ourselves in this postion, and despite the many inherent challenges, it’s most often worth trudging through–as sad as that’s sounds.

    Just remember one things…many marriage looks a lot better on the surface than they really are. And often they better they look the worse they really are. This marriage thing is no picnic.

    OK…I’ve barfed enough on the subject. Good luck!!!

  12. July 20, 2007 at 11:58 am

    I felt like this a lot with my first husband.

    Things are much better with K, but I should also make sure you know that I have a pact with myself not to write about the hard stuff of marriage on my blog. I hope it is a relief to you to know that we do argue, etc., but that because he is a private person, I leave that out.

    See you soon, my beautiful friend…


  13. July 20, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    My first marriage, not so good … but for reasons not of my making. MR. PunditMom, my #2, is a wonderful man, but I could relate to your comment about standing outside the restaurant window. I, too, have been wondering lately where all the love and cherishing has gone. Yes, too many responsibilities, but why did we both allow them to sap the wonder out of our relationship?

  14. 14 featherenmama
    July 20, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    To be honest…I’m not sure there IS a “dove of romance.” This is one of those ridiculous suburban myths perpetuated by diamond and perfume companies (similiar to the clean-faced toddler myth). I think it’s more like a homing pigeon. Sometimes it’s cooing delightfully in you backyard (when you happen to re-notice the cute butt bending over in front of your fridge and realize it’s your for the squeezing) and sometimes…(actually, the majority of the time), it’s flying off to another couple to bring them some dash of titillation and passion. But, like a homing pigeon, it always comes home.

    I think marriage is SUPPOSED to be hard. And (if your lucky, ONLY if your lucky) you find ways to create and enjoy moments that are just as good as the bad ones are bad. I have a dear friend who took 3 times to make it work, but she FINALLY (at 50) found the love of her life. My oen parents, who some might think have a highly dysfunctional way of ommunicating, but they’ll be celebrating 50 years of marriage this November. It’s almost impossible to fathom.

    On that note…I don’t know your personal background, but it can be hard to create a good marriage if you didn’t grow up with one modelled for you. If that’s the case, you’re kind of starting from scratch and that (I imagine) is VERY difficult.

  15. 15 R
    July 20, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    I’m totally heart-warmed (and frankly a little surprised) at everyone’s supportive comments. I’ll tell you, I was always a bit of a PollyAnna, but the more I spend time in Blogland, the more my faith in humanity is restored.

    Love to you all.

  16. July 20, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    Hey Karrie & Rachael, I’ve got that light. We can drink and laugh at those couples inside who seem to have it all figured out. Because really, who hasn’t felt this way (over and over again)?

    I’ve had times where I’m around another couple who seems more affectionate, more in tune, more WHATEVER than my hub and I, and it depresses me. I want more. I deserve more. But the thing is that I want it with my husband, and don’t know how to get back to where we were. Maybe the trick isn’t trying to get back there, but to make the most of where you are now.

  17. July 20, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    I arrive here via the Wonderful Moobs just in time for such a delicate topic. In my 18 year relationship there are times when I feel we can’t be together enough, times when a quick hug as I leave for work is plenty and times when I will scream if I can’t be left totally alone for at least a few hours. The ebbs and flows differ in how long they last, but so far none of them has lasted “forever.”
    I hope you are looking at an ebb rather than anything more permanent, here.
    Love your writing and must thank Moobs for linking to your site!

  18. July 20, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    I second Flutter. three times actually.

  19. July 23, 2007 at 3:15 am

    Been there, at that same window. But I try not to look too long.

    Because I know that even with all the work my marriage requires — and given his baggage and my weirdness, we’re talking about a LOT of work — what we have is worth the struggle. I hope. Yes, it is. I know it is. I hope.

  20. July 25, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    I remind myself that all of those lovely moments that people post about are only moments. No marriage is all of those lovely moments rolled into one. It’s about the crappy moments too, but nobody likes to blog about those moments. Maybe it’s because when they do they end up on some train wreck site with people making fun of them. I don’t know.

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