To the women that have been married longer than me…
I got married recently. Since then I’ve had the same question asked a hundred times.
‘How’s married life?’
Now I get this conversation starter seems genuinely polite for the people that care how my life is going.
But what concerns me is the hint of sarcasm from other people that follows.
For me personally it hasn’t changed, and whilst I’ve tried to respond positively, I still get these ‘oh god give it a few more years’ comments.
To be honest, is that supposed to make me feel better? And with all due respect, would me agreeing with you make you feel better?
That the hot naked sex will look more like contraceptive flannelette pyjamas with a pillow in between us? That the sizzling dates will turn into eating in and falling asleep on the couch? That showing PDA will turn into standing on opposite sides of the room? That once we have kids it will all be over?
Maybe I shouldn’t have gotten married then? Oh shit too late.
Would this make you feel better so that soon enough I’ll come running to you with a bottle of wine and say that you’re right?
I totally get that as women we need to vent our feelings and that’s perfectly healthy. However would it hurt to nag less about what makes marriage difficult, and talk more about what makes it worth it? This goes for you too fellas.
I went into this well and truly aware that it’s for life, and there might possibly be days where it feels extremely hard. I’ve seen my own parents go through it. I’ve also seen that despite the shouting and slamming the door on each other, my Dad still grabs my Mum’s arse in front of me and despite feeling grossly awkward, it makes me so goddamn freaking happy.
Which is why I instead have a question for you:
‘Why married life?’
I’m not talking about sharing bank accounts, having someone to blame, debating over jobs that need to get done, paying bills, living together and questioning how we should raise our children.
Besides the fights and the frustrations which are inevitable - why did you choose to commit, devote and show up for this person?
For me it’s this…
It’s the willingness to grow and be challenged, knowing at the end of the day no matter what, the love you have for each other will always win. It’s the pact to have each other’s back when things get tough and face uncertainty together. It’s embracing that you’re two people with respective dreams, but you share them as one and you make an effort to support each other through it. It’s about giving each other the space to learn and become the best version of yourselves. It’s knowing that even though at times you frustrate and annoy each other, you make each other laugh more. It’s knowing that we do our very best not to hurt each other intentionally, but accepting that we’re not perfect either and we make mistakes.
On the funny side, it’s this...
He might leave a wet towel on the floor and his clothes in the bathroom daily, but sometimes he surprises me with a clean house when I get home from work.
He might be selfish sometimes and go out with his mates at the last minute, but promises and does make it up to me with one hell of a Bachie date. Channel 10 eat your heart out.
He might not always understand my craziness, but he makes an effort to listen.
Even though when I look to him for an answer and he might not always have it, at least he cares. He might not be able to give me advice on my writing, but he read this post.
Because at the end of the day, we can’t argue or bully our husbands into changing. We can’t keep going with the blame and shame method in the hope that it will make us feel better. We can’t keep sitting there and repeat the same story in the hope that things will work themselves out.
I am no marriage counsellor, but as a young woman who just got married, could you kindly please consider this before giving me advice or perking that sarcastic smile again that my future married life is looking bleak. I’m not asking you to sugar coat it, if anything, I’m asking you to rewrite the story you’re telling yourself in the hope that it could still be a happily ever after for all.
Karla Layton is a writer based in Bondi, Sydney. When she's not drinking coffee, she's delivering her personal commentary with a dose of wit and spoonful of helpfulness. Whether it's life, self-growth, love or relationships, you can find it all over at daly i do.