Added: Dorine Granger - Date: 16.11.2021 21:11 - Views: 45682 - Clicks: 917
I cough-spit wine onto the counter. Now even this person had to know. Nate and I love each other very much. Most nights we fall asleep laughing, snarled in a pile of laptop cords and my egregiously ratty stuffed animals, Trit, and Frank. If I develop a weird, throbbing rash, Nate takes me to urgent care. But I have so much to figure out. Do I really want to participate in the institution of marriage, a holdover of the patriarchy? If I did, would Nate and I be able to adequately reconcile our ideological differences—some political, some societal—such that we could exist in an arrangement that requires agreement a certain percentage of the time?
And, chiefly, would one of us finally learn to love taking down the trash? I asked about life as a legally bound couple, and what they think one should consider before becoming part of one themselves. A few things quickly became clear: honesty and trust are paramount, inorganic personal growth from a partner is about as likely as Trit learning to speak Russian, and nothing can beat knowing yourself.
We both were in a deeply religious lifestyle at the time, and the community we lived in celebrated marriage, so we stepped into it quickly. Maybe I interpreted love as an automatic sharing of dreams for one another? My assumption that my dreams would be equally prioritized is something I regret. Graduate school and kids were on the radar next.
I thought I was so special for being one of the first of my peers to embark on this life event, and mature for my age because I was engaged to a much-older man. I wish I knew then that there are more important and validating things to aspire to than marriage, and the bragging rights I thought I earned as a young bride were overrated. Both of us being children of immigrants, World War II survivors, our goal was to please our parents—have successful marriages, careers, and children who would, of course, then repeat this pattern.
I was focused on the fairytale: we can be anyone, do anything, raise a baby. And then we basically met and decided. It happened pretty quickly. At the time, I felt like it was the right thing to do. I was thinking about someone who was kind and generous, and who was easy to talk to, and who was interested in me, and someone I thought would be a good parent.
Someone who had the same religion or was interested in the same cultural activities as me. But sometimes those similarities you may have—food, culture, religion—may not translate to the way people view the world or more defined roles in a marriage or communication styles, which turned out to be very important.
Less reliance on friends and more too much time with each other. Our world got smaller and our activities mostly with each other. He thought our married fate was sealed and subsequently stopped putting in work and I stopped asking him to. I thought silence was easier than fighting, but I was wrong.
How we needed to be responsible to each other, then to a business and then to our children. It was stunning. That changed the quickest and the most. Our marriage kind of fell apart close to the beginning. I grew into myself, developed feminist values, and began to feel trapped in a life I chose as a 20 year old.
That the problems before marriage only amplify after marriage, especially kids. I wish I paid attention to my ex not being proactive or interested in self-growth or growth in the relationship. I wish I knew that most relationship problems stem from wounded inner-child problems, and both partners have to be committed to acknowledging and working on them. I was married so young, partly for love and partly because of the fear of going through life alone. I wish I knew that I was enough as I was: curious, entrepreneurial, beautiful, funny, intelligent, and insightful.
I wish I knew that I could trust myself, and that I was more than my appearance, more than what others thought of me—I was my depth of experience, even just in my mid-to-late twenties. I never knew it would be so hard to work with someone and I never knew that there would be days that I would hate my partner. It is messy to be human and it is messy to do it with another and with kids. To say he had an unhealthy relationship with [his parents] would be an understatement. Or when he would play the banjo and the kids would dance while I knitted or wrote, or did something that looked like I was occupied with anything other than sheer joy, pride, and love.
I still miss those moments. So find someone who is aligned with those important needs. You could be married to Brad Pitt. Even if your therapy visits are sporadic, it can be so helpful and validating to have a new set of eyes and ears in the room with you and your spouse. Just trust that your partner and your therapist are well-intentioned. Everyone has to take their own personal responsibility. Not blaming your partner is also really important—not using that concept of blame, but figuring out ways to work together to achieve your goals.
Aligning your goals is the other thing: how to achieve them together. And doing fun things together. Laughing together, being kind to each other. Your relationship to yourself is most important—you have to make you happy; do your emotional work and take care of you.
Talk about family trauma, secrets, your own trauma—be honest with each other and slowly build a good foundation on which to place your marriage and build from there. The underlying sentiment of marriage, or any other relationship for that matter, should never be rooted in ownership. Was it on Man Repeller that I read the idea of renegotiating your relationship every year?
I love that. Interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity. Ella Quittner writes about culture, food, and obscure pockets of the internet. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter , and find more of her writing here. By Gyan Yankovich. By Edith Young. By Crystal Anderson. By Meghan Nesmith. Search Clear Search. Ella Quittner Ella Quittner writes about culture, food, and obscure pockets of the internet.
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