Wednesday, March 2, 2011
For the last 18 months H and I have been getting used to being married...which, truth be told, we didn't expect. As far as I was concerned, we had it pretty figured out. We had lived together for 2 years before even getting engaged. We had our routines. We had our DVR. We had the "Real Housewives" franchise and Andy Cohen (Andy Cohen's got the 4-1-1) to keep us entertained. I think, at points, we got by and by doing so - we became a sort of updated "Odd Couple" - with me playing Felix to H's Oscar (seriously, this girl never uses the same glass twice). I mean this, weirdly, is a compliment to our relationship. The love was always there - but, so too, was a comfort - a comfort around each other and a comfort for the routine of our day-to-day lives.
Since we were married, it just feels...heavier.
Somewhere between the 'I do's' and after the honeymoon, something changed. I will definitely blame some of it on the cards we have been dealt since the marriage. Some of it may be blamed on my job situation. Losing a job is hard. As unfortunate as it is, after just two weeks of marriage (on my first day back to work after Curacao), I became unemployed. The first big news we received as husband and wife (or partners)(for you neo-feminists) was bad news. It has been hard to reconcile that - amidst the excitement of being newlyweds - that we were in (are in) a struggle. Not only was I force-fed the revelation that I was not where I wanted to be as a grown-up, but I also had to reconcile that this is what H knows of marriage. That, virtually our entire married life, we have been scrambling to make ends meet while still maintaining some modicum of our previous life.
Some of the pressure I feel may be chalked up to my "traditional" (read: archaic) views on marriage - one that is largely predicated on a baby-boomeresque ideology - echoing my parents' marriage. That - as the husband, I am more responsible for the well-being of both of us. I admit that, in 2011, this is pretty antiquated. But - my parents were married for 40 years. So, its pretty much the only set-up I know.
Thankfully, I married a girl that minored in women's studies at Miami and would not take my hand to cross the street unless she just had lasik surgery. It has taken a little bit of getting used to. Its hard for me to put my ego aside and work in tandem to insure that the collective is at the forefront of our marriage. I am a work in progress. Lord knows that I need my hand held from time to time just as H needs me to take care of her and let her know that it will be alright.
I think, though, the struggles we endured early on have forced us to learn how to work as partners faster than maybe it normally would. To allow us to be a collective. To have the hard conversations. To deal with problems and to solve problems. To learn when to take a back seat and let the other drive (metaphorically) H is a terrible driver)(I am worse). And maybe, for me, that's the most gratifying part of this marriage - that we are figuring it out together. That we share each other's tiny victories and sweeping successes and bear one other's setbacks together. That neither of us are ever alone.
Maybe then, it has not been in vain (gratuitous "The Odd Couple" paraphrase from last episode")(I could not resist).