Friday, February 14, 2014

Why I Hate Being Married.

Allow me to first write this, how sick are we all of those blog posts that you click on thinking you're going to find someone shilling out the real poop only to have it flip the script and be all treacle?  For instance, I clicked on, "Marriage is not for Me," thinking, "Oh yeah, here it is, a soul in a similar boat with whom I can identify," only to find out that the post is this whole thing about how the guy figured out that marriage isn't supposed to be about HIM its supposed to be about serving his wife.  I felt snookered. This is not that post.  I have hated being married.

Let me also be clear that this does not mean I do not love my husband.  I'm saying it again, I LOVE MY HUSBAND IN ALL CAPS BOLD.  But I sometimes would imagine how different and possibly better our lives would be if we just lived together in sin or dated for an exceptionally long period of time time or if we were just make-out buddies who lived in separate but nearby apartments. But at no time (re: no really substantially long period of time) did I ever want the man out of my life.  Maybe just for like an hour or two.  But I always wanted him to come back.

That being said, I have hated marriage. I hated both marriages (and the relationships in between) but for very different reasons.  The first marriage was just a mistake.  I really and truly thought that I was broken and incapable of being in love again and that my only option in the whole wide world was to marry a good, good friend.  After a few years when that deep, heartfelt, necessary for sustainability romantic love wasn't there, I knew it was not fair to be in a loveless marriage and that I was a mess and I had to get out and figure out my "sitch".

The current marriage I am in now I am loathe to be in through no fault of my husband. It is in no way his fault that I have marital issues. Issues with marriage. Whatever. And that I couldn't wrap my head around them until, well, about thirty minutes ago.  I'm just gonna come right out and say that I love Will Gluck. I really like his films, he's a master of dialogue and you can really tell he loves John Hughes as much, if not more than, the rest of us. Especially in Easy A which has John Hughes' DNA all over it.  Anyway, I love him and his films and about thirty minutes ago, somewhere between feeding my dogs and act three of Friends With Benefits, he remotely solved nearly two decades worth of self perpetuated incorrect self-talk. And I'm sharing this with you because if one line in a movie can alter my reality then maybe reading that line in some random chick's blog can do the same for you.

In FWB Mila Kunis plays a daughter to Patricia Clarkson which is hilarious because, if you don't know, they look nothing alike but the film deftly pokes fun at this by referencing Mila's estranged father and her "vaguely middle eastern beauty" in about a hundred creative ways.  Well anyway, in act three, Mila has lost JT to his own foolish pride and she's hanging out with her super inappropriate but cool Mom who I totally aspire to be. But I'm watching this awesome conversation between these two characters and Patricia Clarkson's character tells her daughter that maybe, just maybe, she needed to re-define her image of "The Man on the White Horse."  And then she said, "My Prince Charming? You." And then my head exploded.

Through life, through experiences in my past, through imagination and via a very wrong sense of FAIRNESS to me, I had an expectation of what my life, (see: fairy tale) would be like.  I had a shit childhood, I'm sorry but it was, and I had a mostly shit teen-hood or whatever and a shit young adulthood.  I just did.  For some reason, I seriously thought, that at some point life would say to me, "Dearest Amelia, enough is enough and now go...and be happy," and anoint my head with fairy dust or whathaveyou and things would be apple pies and sunshine.  And the time that I expected that to happen for me was when I married, especially after the insane and inspired way that we were brought together, which I took as a sign that my expectations were in line with reality.  I thought that Brett and I would run in the park together and laugh all the time and hold hands everywhere we went and have sex every week and we'd cook together and fix up our crazy house together and do chores on the weekends and sip lemonade in backyard hammocks and I'd rub his tired feet and that is so stupid that I can hardly contain myself.  I did not at any time imagine that I would marry someone who would be so overwhelmed by marriage that it would trigger a deep depressive episode.  I didn't imagine all of the things that came with that.  And I didn't take it well.  Any of it.  I knew I should be supportive, and the fact that I haven't been is shameful and embarrassing to me and I'm really, really sorry about it.  I took it all veeeeery personally, like personally personally.  I mean I FINALLY found a man who wanted to marry me but as it turned out, that man who married me hated being married to me so much that it made him fall into a deep dark depression.  Blink..blink.  What does that say?  It said to me that I was not enough.  Because if I had been, if I had just been X.Y. or Z., then he would not have been miserable and he wouldn't have become depressed.

I used to tell people that I hated marriage because I didn't like to see things suffer and it's a joke but it's true.  I hated watching him be unhappy and I hated BEING unhappy and I hated being alone and I hated being sick and feeling weak but also alone and sick and weak and I hated all of these things so much that I just lived in this hall of mirrors and no matter where I looked there seemed to be a wall with this image of failure and sadness and gloom looking back at me and no amount of prayer or scripture reading or talking to friends seemed to help.  Nor did lowering my expectations.  I lowered them and then lowered them again and then lowered them again.  And then once more.  You just end up being a person with no needs being met and telling yourself you're supposed to be OK with that, and that feels false at it's worst, and hollow at it's best.

Last night, because I'm not working right now,  I bought my husband and kids treats and balloons for Valentines Day and I woke up early and I wrote them very personalized letters and sprinkled rose petals around the floor and   And I could kind of see how being a mom should look and could have looked for the last few years outside of the hall of mirrors.  My husband seemed to really appreciate the kind note and then things just felt...lighter.  I acted "Happy"and I did what a happy person would do, and it worked.  I felt happy. And then God parted the clouds and some chick on a movie said what I needed to hear.  And, Light Bulb, I realized that I had these two kids that were not what I expected, they were 1,000 times better, cooler, funnier, smarter and more awesome than I thought I'd be capable of producing and THEY were my "white knights".  And I realized that with my husband maybe I didn't have a "knight on a white horse" as much as a hot looking nerd on a Clydesdale, but he's still rad.  He goes to work every day even though he'd rather collapse in bed but he gets up anyway, and not only that but he has a great job and he friggin excels at it.  And not only is he a great provider but he's a great, hands-on dad and he supports me when I go to work and he doesn't resent me that I know of.  And not only is he all of these things but he's also a good priesthood holder and youth leader and he actively supports equality for women and our homosexual friends which is all a really big deal to me. So maybe I have hung every single light fixture we've ever purchased and painted the houses and changed my own oil and registered my car and installed the dishwasher and gas range and mowed the lawn, but hey, look at all that crap I can do.  And look at the situation that we are setting up for our daughter through our example, she won't need a man to change her tires, she'll need a man to make her laugh and tell her she's pretty and watch shows with her and never, ever leave her.  I guess what I'm saying is that I've been looking for a man on a white horse to come back my way and BE some THING I had in my head that I thought I wanted and I thought I needed but to hell with it.  I'm redefining my Prince Charming and it kind of looks like what I already have.


Becca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becca said...

"I lowered them and then lowered them again and then lowered them again. And then once more. You just end up being a person with no needs being met and telling yourself you're supposed to be OK with that, and that feels false at it's worst, and hollow at it's best." YES!!! But now I am single and mom to a great kid and happy!!! ALONE!!! (Also, this was brave and I salute you for it)

ellen said...

Honest is the way to go. Enjoy Valentine's Day!

Amelia Merritt said...

Mad props to you, single mom! It's the hardest job in the world. I salute you.

Amelia Merritt said...

Thanks, kindred spirit. (Bring back Domino and Blueprint!!) Have a great Valentines, also!

Emily said...

Easy A? One of my favorite movies. You? One of my favorite people. I subscribe to your blog so I don't miss a single post because they are so raw and deeply honest (screw the word "authentic") and I love you for it. Over the past year or so I've been redefining my Prince Charming as well and he finally looks like the geeky, intelligent, slowly-losing-his-hair guy currently by my side.

Amelia Merritt said...

I'm so glad you subscribe because I never post on a schedule (work stuff) and I rarely announce my posts and I'm beyond grateful when someone besides my mom reads my stuff. And plus, I respect you.

I'm sure I will need to continue to redefine that ideal about one hundred more times. C'est la vie.
"La Vie"
"Nice. Solid Joke." (It's a true story that I unfollowed someone on Twitter who hated Easy A. Immature, yes certainly, but I did.)

Brett Merritt said...

I love you, Amelia Merritt.