they don’t tell you when you get married how hard marriage gets a few years down the road. or maybe they do, but you can’t hear them for how in love you are. how in love you think you are… were you really in love?
this summer has marked some of the hardest months of my life. my husband and i are very different people than we were when we met six years ago; nearly all (if not all) our beliefs about religion, politics, and marriage itself have changed. fortunately, we have changed in the same direction, so the problem is not that we’ve become fundamentally opposed to one another.
yet our change in beliefs and world views do bring up some really complicated questions when you suddenly realize that you’re unhappy. really unhappy. you’re tired of pretending that you’re not as unhappy as you really are. and you have forgotten what it felt like before, so you start to question if you ever were really in love in the first place. then you wonder why you got married at a time you couldn’t afford to anyway… and the ugly truth dawns on you. it’s so embarrassing, you don’t want to admit it. you rack your brain for another explanation. you can’t find one, and you realize that this may not have been 100% of the reason you got married when you did, but it was a huge part of it:
i got married when i did because he and i were graduating college and would no longer be able to hide the fact that we were living together, and living together outside of marriage is wrong. like, really wrong. because it says so in the bible.
so without realizing it, we married right out of college primarily because we were afraid of losing our friends and being judged by people we looked up to.
and because that’s what we’re taught to do, right? religion aside, doesn’t society teach us that getting married is the next thing you do in life? women, you should especially know what i’m talking about. it’s why you’re barely home from the honeymoon when well-meaning-but-entirely-too-nosy people start asking left and right, “SO WHEN’RE Y’ALL GONNA HAVE KIDS?” …because that’s The Next Thing You Do In Life, am i right?
so four years after tying the knot, there’s been a lot of soul searching. a lot of self questioning. a lot of doubt. some therapy (but not as much as i’d like, because therapy $$$). a lot of why am i here? should i leave? should i stay? why am i unhappy? can this be fixed? should it be?
this is the real reason i’m reading women who run with the wolves. it’s the real reason i’m learning to listen to my fiery skull, and it’s the real reason i started this blog. it’s been a hard summer, and i still have a lot to learn.
i ran away
i could not take the burden of both me and you
it was too fast
casting love on me as if it were a spell i could not break
when it was a promise i could not make
but what if i was wrong?
-mumford & sons
Can I ask you a somewhat personal question? You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to, but does your husband feel the same way you do?
he agrees that we felt pressure to get married when we did because of the living together thing. as for being unhappy, he’s coming to terms with some of that in his own life. like so many males in our society, he learned early on to tune out his own emotions, which has ultimately hurt both of us over the years as he often has no idea how he actually feels about something. we each have our own demons to grapple with in this.
I have learned that it takes a great deal of courage to even ask these questions. Most people aren’t brave enough to do it. You are and that’s amazing. Whatever the answers turn out to be, you’re still to be commended for the searching and the growing.
thanks, christine. it’s tough, but needed and necessary.
completely. but that doesn’t make it any easier.
Wow some really big questions! I’m sorry it has been a hard summer – but I think facing unhappiness is one of the hardest and most rewarding things!
thank you, dearie. x