I read a LOT of blogs. A LOT. Some of people I know well, others of people I’ve met a few times, many of perfect strangers. I read them for different reasons- to keep up with friends, to stay connected in the adoption and infertility communities, to laugh, to be inspired by relationships, decor, recipes, crafts, organization ideas, etc.
Sometimes when I read blogs, I find myself getting sucked into a lie. I start thinking that a certain person has a perfect husband, or a house that is always clean, or eats so healthy that a french fry has never passed their lips. Of course, these things aren’t true. People, including bloggers, don’t tend to talk about things that go wrong. And if they do talk about things that go wrong, they want to talk about how they triumphed over them- not about how they just yelled at their husband, or swept the toys under the bed, or overindulged on junk food. I don’t think that’s dishonest- I’m sure we’re all facebook friends with someone who likes to air each complaint they have, and that’s just annoying. But I do think it is important to read blogs with the understanding that things aren’t always how they appear.
Which is what brings me to this post. The husband and I have a pretty solid relationship. I have no doubt we’ll be together forever. He is helpful, kind, funny, and treats me with so much respect it’s ridiculous. We were friends before we were lovers, have the same goals, agree on all the major things in life. That’s the big picture. That’s the important take away.
But the devil is in the details sometimes. I mentioned in my last post that we worked on the nursery last weekend.
In my mind, here’s how the day would go:
Get a good start in the morning. Paint the room together, smiling and joking the whole time. Break for lunch. My parents would come down to help us hang light fixtures. I’d finish up the painting while he starts working on assembling/repairing the furniture. Admire our work. Enjoy dinner while reflecting on how we just put together little Nugget’s nursery.
Here’s how it actually went:
Pushed back the start because he wanted to run a race in the morning. He slept through the race, ran four miles on his own instead. I went to yoga over lunch. Parents came down to help us hang light fixtures. While they’re here, the husband gets a call to go help Grandma with some house projects. Parents leave at 4. The husband’s not back. I start painting on my own, wondering when he’ll be home. He finally gets home but doesn’t help paint. I finish half the room and go check on him. He’s watching TV and eating. Tells me he wants to watch TV for another hour while Mizzou finishes. I tell him he’s a lazy jerk. I leave, mad, and go back to painting on my own. Paint some more by myself, swallowing resentment with each stroke. Decide that’s not how I want the nursery to come together. Go back downstairs and tell him I’m done working. We sit in silence. He goes and finishes the room. Later, we talk and things are fine. We work together touching up the paint. Stop for what I think is dinner, he thinks is the night. I want the furniture together but don’t know how to do it. I clean up the paint stuff and push the furniture pieces into place, afraid I’m going to kill myself or Nugget the whole time.
Things didn’t exactly go as planned. This happens with some regularity.
When I think about this, I’m not sure who is right and who is wrong (besides the fact that I’m ALWAYS right 🙂 ). Did I have unrealistic expectations? Did I not convey what I was thinking? I shouldn’t have called him a lazy jerk. It was nice of him to help his Grandma, maybe he just needed to unwind after that before helping me. Does it really matter if everything got done that one day? We still have four months. But it’s not very nice to make your pregnant wife do all that work herself. Then again, I AM the one that wanted to paint. I don’t know.
And you know what? I don’t really care. It’s not important.
One thing I have learned over five years of marriage is that things aren’t a fairy tale. Culture tries to sell us this idea of what a marriage should look like, and it never actually looks like that. When we were first married, I had a hard time with this. I thought every time we got in a fight or had a disagreement that we were headed straight for divorce. It took me getting to know couples that I perceived as “good” couples well enough to know that they annoyed each other sometimes too.
Healthy couples do fight. The husband and I (especially the husband) don’t often yell and things have never gotten physical, but boy do we know how to push each others buttons- and we do it, purposely or not. But there’s no one I’d rather have around to annoy me.