What makes a marriage work?

Husband and I have only technically been married for seven months, but we’ve been together on and off for the past five years. In addition to watching the changing dynamics of our relationship for half of a decade, in my life I have witnessed my mother struggling through two failed marriages and several other relationships, as well as seeing various other relatives and friends go through their own relationship ups and downs, and today I found out that my husband’s brother’s wife left him.

They’ve been married for five years, and have a four year old daughter, and apparently according to the wife they’ve had too many problems and she just couldn’t take it any more. That was a decision they felt they had to make to preserve their sanity, and they had every right to do that, but it bothers me, cause knowing what those boys went through growing up (husband and his brother) I can understand why they’re not the perfect husbands, and loving husband to me means being willing to stand by him through it all.

We promised to have and to hold, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live, although I extend that to be for all eternity, and I intend to keep that promise to husband, because for me, for my life and my marriage, I feel that it is very important to keep on fighting the good fight. I don’t condone some of the things husband did wrong in the past, but he has never beaten me, and he hasn’t cheated on me since he made me his bride.

For the sake of Luna, if things really got shitty, I would leave, but it’s not to that point, and if I have anything to say about it, it never will be. I think too many people give up too soon in marriages. Divorces are too easy to come by. It’s getting to the point where people go, “He never put the toilet seat down, I want a divorce!”

I totally understand when women say “he beat me” or “he molested my children” or “he fucked around on me” as their reasons for giving up on marriage, but citing irreconcilable differences on their divorce documents because their husband didn’t hang the toilet paper properly on the dispenser is fucking ridiculous. That’s not why my sister-in-law left, I can understand why she felt she needed to, but what I’m saying is that lots of people give up too easily and for the wrong reasons.

As for husband and I, if he’d ever beaten me or something, I would have left, but he never has. What I mean by that is, I’m an old fashioned, “stand by your man” kind of gal, so if I didn’t have Luna to think about I would take more emotional blows before I’d leave, but when a kid is involved you have to do what’s best for the child.

I gave husband an ultimatum back in August, I told him that he could marry me and we’d settle down and raise our family together, or he could go be a bachelor and fuck every woman he wanted to, but I didn’t want to share anymore, and for Luna’s sake we needed to do what would make us both happy. I told him that and for the next couple of months quietly agonized that he was just waiting for the right time to leave. Then on October 31, 2007, he threw me a surprise wedding.

He chose me, chose to marry me, to love me, and I cannot let him down. Each person has to follow whatever paths in their lives make them happy and seem right at the time.

I left husband several times when we had no children, but I left for the wrong reasons…the problems we’ve had were 25% my fault, 25% his fault, 5% circumstances beyond our control, and 45% other bitches and jackasses getting involved in our lives and starting shit…so I’ve learned to not listen to other people, cause as this guy in my mom’s AA/NA groups once said, “I’ve too many vices already, I don’t need any ADDvice.”

And I’ve also learned to take responsibility for my own actions, and that apologizing for those actions does not mean I’m giving up on my right to have an opposing viewpoint. I know that I am still young and still, in many ways, naïve, but in other ways I am wise beyond my twenty three years on this planet’s surface. I say twenty three because my birthday is in nine days! *YAY* But I digress…Okay, about this whole marriage thing.

We have all heard the rules before, how marriage takes love and trust and compromise and all that jazz, and those are true, but that’s not it, not by a longshot. There’s so much more to it, things your mommy and daddy don’t tell you about, but that if you’d have paid attention and observed you would have noticed. Sometimes marriage is about letting your partner win the fights, even when you know they’re wrong; sometimes preserving your partner’s dignity and ego is more important than having the last word.

Sometimes a marriage is about looking the other way; now I’m not saying you let your partner walk all over you and treat you and your children badly, but is it really that horrible if he or she wants to look at adult websites occasionally, or if their eyes seem to follow some woman that walks by wearing too few yards of cloth? Looking is not nearly as bad as touching, after all. Which leads me to another issue of marriage: nagging.

Do not nag your spouse constantly about every little thing that goes wrong in your lives; it’s so not worth it! And you end up alienating yourselves from one another, and that is so not the goal! Another thing I have learned is that the past needs to stay there! When you fight with your spouse—and you will, everyone disagrees sometimes—but when you fight it is very important that you do not bring up the past. Also, life is too short to spend so much time holding grudges.

Oh, and remember why you fell in love in the first place, keep that in your heart at all times. Now, when I say leave the past in the past, I don’t mean the good parts of the past, those you need to play over and over in your head, the DVD of your lives together, and let it be the focal point of your meditations when you are trying to remember why you love them. Meditation, yes, that is also very important. And fighting, though it will happen, can happen less if you do a few simple things.

As I mentioned earlier, let them be right sometimes, and don’t always have the last word, but also don’t be afraid to just walk away from a fight, not away from the love, but from the fight. I’ve also learned that sex is very important. Marriages can last without sex, but many marriages fall apart because of the lack of it. Sex relieves stress, so if you and your partner are fighting all the time, and you never make love, then you are more likely to have problems.

However, if you take the time to bring each other to orgasmic bliss every couple of days, the stress will be relieved, and if you can remember to pay attention to one another’s needs in bed, you’ll remember that it’s a loving marriage. Other things to remember are to keep your promises or never make any, stay true to your marital vows, pick your battles…okay; this list could go on forever.

I guess what I’m really trying to say, is that you have to try, and not give up, because Love is HARD WORK, but when it’s right, you’ll know, and you’ll be willing to fight for it. So for me and husband, it is right, and we’re willing to fight for it. We’re willing to give it all we’ve got. So tonight before I go to bed, I’m going to finish the laundry, and wash the dishes, and make sure the house is clean, because that is something I promised to do every day.

And I know that I will sleep well tonight, because my loving husband is busting his ass at a low-wage, high-stress job to keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies because he loves Luna and me. And I will try to smile as often as possible, and keep a healthy heft since of humor, and be glad that my husband can read my mind when we’re making love…and that, my friends, is what makes a marriage work.

Neal McCoy–Kiss me each morning for a million years. Hold me each evening by your side. Tell me you love me for a million years, then if it don’t work out, f it don’t work out, then you can tell me goodbye.

View the full blog at heartchasms.blogspot.com and like the blog on Facebook.

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