You hear it time and time again – “Marriage is hard”, but what does that exactly mean? I was married young and I knew of the “hard parts” of marriage: communication, finances, expectations, privacy, etc. I’m no marriage expert, I have no relationship advice, I’m just writing today to tell you that marriage is, in fact, hard!
(photo courtesy of MD Photography)
When you have kids, it’s hard watching your spouse be so free at no fault of their own. They are free to nap, shower, and cook uninterrupted. They can watch TV or sit on the couch with out a tiny human needing something. Your husband can be on the phone or on the computer without having to stop every few seconds to tend to a kid.
It’s hard not to take your anger out on your partner when, again, it’s not their fault. It’s no surprise that you take your anger out on the ones closest to you because they’re “safe”. You know that they’ll forgive you no matter what. But sometimes I get mad for no apparent reason. For example, Jay is the bread winner of the family. I took a hiatus from teaching to take care of the newborn. It only made sense for me to wake up with the baby at night so Jay could get sleep and go to work, right? But when I wake up to the hungry, crying, kid and look over and see my peacefully sleeping husband, I can’t help but get mad. I would sigh super loud or make a big deal about changing a diaper in hopes that I wake him up so he’ll sit and suffer with me too.
It’s hard being both mom and dad. In my situation, that’s the role I have to assume. Being mom? Yes! All day. Wouldn’t change it for the world! Finding a routine, talking to the kids about good choices, reviewing school work? For sure. Mowing the lawn and and teaching the proper baseball technique even though I have never played baseball ever? Yeah, let’s go. I’m ready. Potty training the kids when you don’t have the same anatomical parts? Uhhhhhhhh… - Although it took a lot of googling, we were successful.
As a stay at home mom, it's hard to stay at home. I hate that I can’t help the family financially. I’m cool with cooking and cleaning all day. But caring, molding, and influencing the kids is tough part. As parents, you want them to be kind, able, problem solving adults. My fear is: if I’m at home with the kids all day, and they turn out to be entitled, rude little bullies… that’s all me! I don’t have day care or dad around to cushion the blame of their terrible attitudes.
It’s hard to watch your partner leave. The Army sends Jay off on deployments, schools, TDY (Temporary Duty) Assignments – so while he’s not necessarily always in a dangerous place all the time, every time, he’s still separated from us. Dropping him off, picking up the pieces, explaining to the kids over and over, involving him with the kids through digital means (FaceTime, PhotoStream, phone calls), and finding a new normal is never easy. Even if your partner gets dinner with friends one night, a small tinge of jealousy sparks.
It’s hard leaving with your spouse. We FINALLY had an established life, friends, friends who have become your family, and a job, and then we got orders to move - I kind of didn’t want to move and start all over. Finding a job is tough. Finding friends is like dating – you need to work the room and groups of people to see if you’re a good fit. Adding kids while you friend-date is another factor – are the kids close in age? Will they get along? Are they polite? Do they make good choices?
While social media brings people together and I love seeing what my friends are up to, it can get lonely because you think of the ‘what ifs’. What if I stayed in Vegas? Where would I be teaching? Would I go to that baby shower? That wedding? Would I be having lunch with my friends, too? What if I stayed in Fayetteville? What would my room theme be? Would I be on the 3rd Grade team? You can’t help but feel forgotten when you live so far away.
I’m sure my husband thinks it’s hard being married to me, too. I can’t imagine waving goodbye to your family for long periods of time and missing out on life. When we are all together, knowing that the kids will come to mom before any one else, and physically resituating yourself within the family that found routine without you. While it’s hard being married. You and your partner have built and grown with each other to be unwavering and hard (adj.) solid, firm; not easily broken.
“Nothing worth having ever comes easy”
If you are married or in a serious relationship, what is one thing that you learned from your relationship?