My husband and I recently celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary. We are not big celebration kind of people, but 14 years seems like a decent amount of time to be with someone and not kill them. I love him. He loves me. Marriage is NOT easy. When I think back to being a teenager and thinking about marriage and all of the romantic feelings that 80’s and 90’s movies gave us, I giggle.
Think back to the iconic Dirty dancing scene where Baby intimately tells Johnny this:
“Me? I’m scared of everything. I’m scared of what I saw, I’m scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you.”—Baby
Can you hear the music? Can you see the tears, and the ensuing lust??? How on earth are relationships supposed to live up to this? Honestly, we are conditioned to think that romance is a daily part of life and we will forever be filled with passion and fire for each other.
THIS IS NOT REALITY AND I PERSONALLY THINK IT IS AWFUL THAT MOVIES PORTRAY IT THAT WAY!
Let’s be honest about what marriage is really like.
The Honeymoon: If you were lucky and took honeymoon, I am guess it was awesome. I can picture umbrella and fruit decorated drinks on a white sands beach. Candle lit massage sessions that lead to hot and heavy sex sessions in a heart shaped Jacuzzi; that you probably should have bleached before you got into. This period will eventually end. I mean it has to, right? Life is going to happen after you leave the resort and you head back to your daily life, I guess unless you have a heart shaped Jacuzzi. (Massage Oil Link)
The First year: You are still learning about each other and what its like to live with someone. You try to be considerate and accommodating. You might even say that you bend over backwards for your partner to show them that you love them. (Couples Game Link)
Years 2-5: Careers ensue. Life begins to take over. You realize that other people besides your spouse exist. You begin to think about or actually have kids. Life happens and it happens fast. In our case we had our first child in year three of our marriage at 25 yrs old. Next child at year five of our marriage and child three in year six. We were deep in the trenches fast. Like down deep. Really deep and really quickly. Like holy crap! Life quickly went from being about each other to about these tiny humans who dictated our each and every move. We quickly lost touch with each other and communicated less.
Years 6-10: I often felt alone. I felt as though there were days we didn’t talk. At times I wondered if I was just living with a roommate. We didn’t have sex nearly as much as we did in the beginning. Our bed was usually filled with children and the noises coming out of our room were less sexy and more 2 am crying sessions. Frustrations were a daily occurrence and resentment began to rear it’s ugly head. He wanted me to show him I loved him with my body and I wanted him to show me he loved me but doing the damn dishes. We fought more than we laughed. It was hard. I don’t remember seeing any 80’s or 90’s classics that showed this portion of my romance. I guess dirty diapers and icy conversations don’t sell movie tickets.
Years 11-14: Being in my mid 30’s at this point I began to work on figuring out who I was/am. I started realizing that I was still in there despite birthing three children and being on duty 24/7. I started asking my husband to pitch in more. When I say ask, I mean I screamed at him. Yes. We had had argument back in 2015 that we have so lovingly dubbed “The Real Fireworks of 2015”
I had been working hard on the blog. I was writing, taking care of the kids, the house, the dogs, the lawn, cooking, cleaning, and oh yes, my full time job. He was on edge due to the home renovations. We were hemorrhaging money, and living with three kids while renovating can cause your blood pressure to shoot off like a NASA rocket launch. We were constantly at each other’s throats. I didn’t want to talk about paint colors, tile grout, or floor sealant. I was ready to put a for sale sign up in the yard and abandon the property.
I was at the point where I would look at my husband and daydream about inflicting pain on him. I would pinch my fingers together and imagine I was squeezing his head between a vice. If this is disturbing to you, I assure you, I did not cause him any bodily harm. I pictured it. I enjoyed thinking about it, but I never did it.
I was rushing around the house getting the kids ready for a 4th of July party when the poop hit the fan. We began to fight about something trivial. I don’t remember what it was. I looked at him and I exploded. I began to scream. I wasn’t shouting, I wasn’t yelling, I was SCREAMING. I was screaming so loud and so hard, that I was shaking. I was screaming about being tired. I was screaming about the dishes, the laundry, the kids, the constant projects, and the lack of sleep. I started to cry.
My husband was sitting in our red arm chair, with a frozen look of fear on his face. He sat very still. I got very quiet and I went into the bathroom to get some toilet paper. We are not tissue people. I feel like they are a waste of money, so I just use toilet paper. I came back into the bedroom and I sat on the bed. He was still frozen. Encased in ice like Elsa, frozen.
“I can’t do this anymore. I can’t act like I am OK. I can’t live like this.” I put my face into my hands and continued to ugly cry for a few more minutes. “What did I do?” he asked. “Are you serious? You have no idea what you have done? Do you live in this house?” I began to shout at him again. It apparently wasn’t a fight, he had no clue as to why I was upset. I tried to calm myself down the best I could.
“I am tired of being the one who does all of the housework. I do all of the yard work. I clean the pool. I take the kids to school. I cook. I clean. I work. I write the blog. I can’t stand to look at another piece of crown molding. I am tired of living in a constant mess. I can’t do this any longer.” I don’t think I took a single breath while saying all of these things. He replied, “I help.” I laughed out loud, which did not help the mood in the room. He began to get visibly agitate.
“What do you want from me?” He growled. “I WANT YOU TO HELP ME! I NEED HELP!!!!!” I was screaming again. I was crying again. I needed him to know that I couldn’t do it alone. I needed him to know that I was struggling. I was anything but OK. “I help. Sometimes I do the dishes.” I laughed again. It wasn’t on purpose. I didn’t laugh to make him mad. He still didn’t get it.
I started to talk to him about what my day actually looks like. From the morning, through school drop off. Coming home and starting dinner. Working, writing, shooting video, switching laundry, running outside to mow the grass, heading to the grocery store, back into the office for phone calls, and then back out the door to get the kids. I explained that once home the fighting starts, the homework starts, the stress sets in.
“I know you do a lot. I work hard too. You aren’t the only one who works.” He replied. “It’s not a competition. I don’t want to be the winner. I want you to know that I need your help. I need your support. I need you to know what I do all day and I need you to value that.” I had yet to stop crying. I had snot running down my face. I could hear the kids in the living room watching TV. They knew this was bad. They knew not to come to the door. I immediately felt guilty for letting them hear the words I had shouted at their Father.
“I have to get the kids ready. We are going to be late to the party.” I said. He looked at me puzzled, “You are going to the party?” I said, “Yes, I am done right now.” I told him I loved him, but we couldn’t finish this right now. I left the room and got the kids ready for the party. I did my best to put on my happy face and we took the kids to listen to the second set of fireworks that day.
That day was a break through for us. It started a line of communication. It was what I think saved us. Why am I telling you all of this? Marriage is a journey. Marriage is a marathon. It takes time. It takes you to places you never thought you would go. It bring you emotions that you never want to feel, and some that you can’t even describe because they are so beautiful. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I am so grateful that we have gone through so many trials. I am so happy to know that we are strong as a unit. We have each others backs. We are solid.
And after 14 years of marriage it is also necessary to get creative in the bedroom. Let’s be honest you are both looking at the same things you have seen over the past 14 years…so being creative is a great way to keep it fresh. We are big fans of Adam and Eve and have purchased many a item. Head over and check them out and get 50% off almost any one regular priced item and free shipping (US) with promo code Passion. Keep it spicy. Keep it real. Keep communicating.