Marriage is hard work. Seriously. Well at least it is for me and for most married couples I know. It's an up and down, give and take, good and bad, easy and hard relationship. I have been thinking lately about my own marriage and how it has changed over the years. In many ways it is easier now. We have less BIG fights. I'd like to think we've learned a thing or two about getting along...or maybe it's just that we are too busy to fight. One thing I know for sure is the best thing I can do (and Cam too) is to zip it! Yes, close that mouth, zip/buckle/snap/staple/glue it shut! In the moment of passion...when I want to be heard...or more likely...want him to HEAR something...that is when I should zip it. Well, sometimes I manage and sometimes I don't...but I'm always working to do better.
Way back when Tuba was about 3 years old, and Cam was in nursing school and working 12 hour graveyard shifts on the weekends and I was working a bunch of part-time (5 of them) jobs we went to see a marriage counselor. Hmmmm....I wonder why we were having a hard time! Now looking back it makes me laugh to think that we were surprised we needed help. The other part of it was that we had no idea...no conscious idea anyway that all of Tuba's health issues and special needs were affecting our marriage! What a hoot. We were in denial! After seeing the counselor for a few sessions I happened to mention..."oh, by the way, I'm not sure if it makes a difference or not but our son has a very severe seizure disorder and is developmentally disabled.". The look on the counselors face (love that man by the way!!!) was priceless. "Ummm, yes that makes a difference, that is HUGE!" he replied. Ohhhhhhh, okay, we can see now that yes that must be putting an additional strain on us. Doh!!!
Many years have passed since then and many times our marriage has gone up and down and up again. I feel very comfortable in my marriage now....not comfortable like I don't need to work hard anymore or like I can take it for granted. Comfortable like I love it! Comfortable like it feels good to work hard for something that I cherish. Comfortable like I have my best friend right here at home. Comfortable like I know who has my back. Comfortable like having all those shared experiences. We always say to each other "nobody gets it like you do"....and it's true.
I know that in another decade I will look back and think how much I've learned since now. I look forward to all the years in between....and all the work it takes to make my marriage work.