Last week I had breakfast with a girlfriend who was explaining her back and forth issues with a boyfriend of six years. She wasn’t sure if they belonged together because they were so different.
When Mr. G and I had been together six years we celebrated our fourth anniversary and if I’m doing the math correctly I’d have been about 9 months pregnant with Alexander (our second). Mr. G and I are very different but I think we were often too busy to notice.
For a time, a very short time, having kids will hold a marriage together. I’ve rarely seen parents splitting up when kids are in diapers, but in second grade they dropped like flies. Maybe it’s because things get easier with the kids and they finally have time to address their broken marriages?
Mr. G and I have had some challenges. Nothing Earth shattering, certainly nothing that would make me expert on healing your troubled marriage. I guess I’d recommend keeping out of harms way. Maybe I’d even recommend not overthinking things.
My friend said that she and her beau were just too different. He likes to stay in, she likes to go out. “Oh, that sounds just like Mr. G and me!” I declared. She looked confused and I got excited. “It’s the perfect marriage. You can’t spend ALL your time together. Someone has to be on terra firma. It’s so good because he’s showed me how to enjoy different parts of my life.” And then she asked me what I did when he wanted to stay home. “I go out. I go out with my girlfriends and my gays. You have gays don’t you?” I started to worry that she didn’t have a man to date. One simply cannot be happily married to straight man without another man to “date”.
We chatted for a while about it and I thought that if they’d have been married this would be easier. Not because marriage is so grand (my brother’s been with his girlfriend for almost 20 years and they’ll never want to marry), but because when you give up everything that makes you single you work out solutions to these things without separating because you can’t. I mean you can… but do you really want to figure out who gets the sofa and who has to take the fucking cat just because you don’t want to have dinner together every night of the week?
My marriage isn’t about having the same life as my husband. It’s about having the same home base and staying on the same highway. If there was a roadmap to our marriage we’d have started out on the same interstate but we veer off, each of us, to explore different roadside attractions. He plays poker, I go out with the girls, he wants to be home every night, sometimes I fling dinner at them and run out the door. We always end up together and the joys we have on our journey are mostly shared experiences but the ones that aren’t don’t have less value. I love that he has relationships and projects that don’t involve me, I love hearing about them and it brings flavor to our lives.
If we’d have dated and maintained separate homes for four, six or ten years I’m quite certain we’d never have married. Had we waited for things to be perfect, whatever perfect may be, we’d have missed growing together and enjoying the imperfect years. We’d both have missed the security of marriage, the shared highway if you will.
So basically darlin’. Just marry him. Don’t expect your husband to be your girlfriend and enjoy the journey with a great guy.
Also, for the final word on Chick-Fil-A and gay marriage read this. It’s the best post you’ll read all week.