Marriage is fun when you’re with the right person.
With the wrong person, it becomes a special kind of hell that can make you want to gnaw your own leg off to escape, but that’s a topic for another day.
We enter relationships with people, hopeful and dazzled by the idea of them and who we imagine them to be, but there is no way to sustain this level of infatuation over time.
It’s my opinion that you can’t really know someone fully until you’ve lived together under the same roof, and I’m a proponent of a good long test drive before exchanging vows and promising forever. This wasn’t a popular idea in my Christian family, but my life my rules, for better or worse, and I have a 50/50 marriage success rate. Pretty standard in America today, which is not to say I’m particularly proud of that track record, but it is what it is.
Once the cohabitation begins, you gain full access to all of the personality quirks that you might have been hiding during that dating/honeymoon phase. In a good relationship, you will discover things that make you love each other more, and in all relationships, you discover everything that annoys the shit out of you about this person. If the two balance out, and you can avoid eating soup together in an otherwise silent room until the end of time, you’ve probably got a chance at sustaining a real life together.
I’m lucky to be married to a funny guy–and I mean really funny.
There are some quirks to our marriage though, and I know I’m about to get in trouble when my otherwise light-hearted husband mutes the television, looks over at me and says in a serious tone, “Sweetie…” Whatever he is about to say is going to piss me off or hurt my feelings because it is usually some constructive criticism, or a reminder of something I have forgotten to do.
Here are a few of those quirks:
- The Fart Quirk: I’m not going to go into great detail here because fart jokes aren’t for everyone. I hate to break this news to any men who like to pretend otherwise, but women fart too. And I was raised in a house full of men, so I think they are hysterical, and I don’t typically go to great lengths to hide mine after the honeymoon period is over. The problem is, I’m married to one of the only guys in the world who doesn’t think farts are hilarious. Something about one of his three older brothers gassing his morning corn flakes on a daily basis during his youth, but he will get up and go to the bathroom when he has to float an air biscuit. Of course, I appreciate this, but I don’t feel the same obligation to him, and I’m constantly grossing him out. I know this isn’t the most attractive quality in a woman, but it’s me. Ripping ass when I need to is an important key to my overall relationship happiness.
- The Annoying Song Quirk: I guess my husband hears music in his dreams because he wakes up every morning with a song stuck in his head. Before he leaves for work each morning, he comes over to say goodbye, skillfully avoiding my terrible morning breath and kissing me on the forehead. Then he’ll usually give me the song of the day. And I will sing that song all day. I beg him not to do it, but he’s 50/50 on listening to my requests. Some of the worst ones are: The Cure, Friday, I’m in Love, John Michael Montgomery, Sold (Grundy County Auction), The Clorox song (Mama’s got the magic of Clorox), Toby Keith, Red Solo Cup, and that stupid Hippopotamus Christmas song. This morning it was a little Darius/Hootie, Wagon Wheel. I’m still singing it. Mix this in with the music on every single toy my daughter owns, the hot dog song on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and the Super Why alphabet song, and I’m completely lost in a life soundtrack that makes me long for deafness.
- The Last Dish in The Sink Quirk: Prior to my experience of milking myself every three hours for six months to feed my baby, I never cared that much about dirty dishes in the sink. I did them when the sink got completely full. When I worked, I didn’t often cook, so this was not as gross as it might sound. We didn’t have a lot a dishes. But after hand washing pump parts and bottles 9 times a day, dishes in the sink make me twitchy now. I can’t stand it. I clean as I go, and even if the rest of the house is a complete disaster, I can feel accomplished if the kitchen is clean. My husband had a habit of leaving his cup in the sink at the end of the day, and it made me unreasonably furious until I finally told him, and he stopped. Now he’ll only leave it there if the dishes in the dishwasher are clean. We are both much happier, but it took me a while to even notice he stopped doing it, and that was embarrassing because I was still making jokes and taking little digs at him long after he had already stopped doing it. I’m pretty observant sometimes.
- The Last Load of Laundry in the Dryer Quirk: To be fair, I have my own annoying habits, and maybe the worst one is leaving the last load of laundry in the dryer, pretty much every single time. It’s usually the whites so neither of us ever have clean socks in our drawers, and we have to dig through dryer a lot. What can I say, I hate matching socks. My husband almost started World War III over here the other day when he went to do a load of his own laundry and I let him because he can work the machine as well as I can. But when he was ready to transfer that load into the dryer, last week’s whites were still sitting in there. He asked me, “What should I do with these, baby?” Of course, I said, “Why don’t you try folding them?” But this stuff is my responsibility right now–that’s the deal we have. I don’t have to work or wear heels every day, so the laundry is my thing. Just like picking up dog poop, taking down the trash, and digging my wedding ring out of spider holes under the cabinets are his things. When I return to work, housework will once again become the fight producing wasteland it tends to be in so many other marriages, but for now the roles are clearly defined, and there is comfort in that. He threw them on the guest bed, and I folded them the next day when I felt like it. No big deal.
- The Toilet Seat Quirk: I know, this complaint is tired, but a new twist on the toilet seat issue between men and women occurred for us while I was pregnant. I was peeing no less than 12 times a night; I needed the seat to be down, and it wasn’t. I fell in a couple of times which was remarkable considering the size of my ass during that period. I finally snapped on him, which takes me awhile to do. And with his logical, reasonable engineer mind, he made me play a game I hate when I’m being unreasonable that we now call, “Which is More Likely.” I was convinced that he had just started leaving the seat up to piss me off. The truth was, that he always leaves it up and I had never noticed because when you grow up in a house full of men, you become skilled at putting it down or avoiding their bathrooms all together. So he won this argument hands down, and proceeded to educate me that it was much more likely that he had always left the seat up, not that he had just started doing it after years of sharing a bathroom purely to torture me while I was hormonal and pregnant. I really hate it when he’s right sometimes.
Anyone have any fun marriage battles they would like to share? Did you win the battle or lose it?