Keep me out of the group venting sessions, please!
When it comes to marriages, I have a pretty great one. My husband and I have been married for seven years, together for 13, and even with all the busy-ness that is life with two very young children, we still like each other.
At the end of a long day, we look forward to being in the same room together, holding hands on the couch while we binge watch our favorite Netflix shows. And after that, who knows ... there might even be a little knocking of boots — and not just out of obligation.
He's my very best friend and when something interesting or awful happens in my day — despite the fact that he refuses to jump on the emoji bandwagon — he's always the first person I text.
He makes me iced coffee every morning when I wake up and I make him a lunch every day. We're teammates in this parenting journey and we compliment each other's strengths and weaknesses like puzzle pieces that just go together.
I'm thankful for our marriage every day.
The truth is that I know we have it good and that not all marriages are quite so smooth, which means I sometimes worry that we make it look too easy. In a time when people seem to almost take pride in talking about how hard/frustrating marriage is, it can feel really counter-culture to say the opposite.
I've been in plenty of group situations with other women when the subject suddenly turns toward husband-bashing and it can get uncomfortable really quickly. Often, the bashing goes around the group as each woman throws her own anecdote upon the alter of husband-bashing and it feels really odd to not take part.
I don't want other people to feel judged for feeling frustration in their marriages because that's a completely normal part of marriage. But that doesn't mean I'm about to air all my own grievances in the name of reciprocity.
I promise not to break off into a soliloquy about the wonderful splendor that is my husband, either, because that would be equally obnoxious. The truth is, I don't have all that much to vent.
This is not to say that my marriage is perfect by any means. It's not.
We have our crap just like everyone else — those little things that we'll probably always get frustrated with each other over, and the things that will always be a challenge. But overall, our marriage is good.
Sure, there have been seasons that involved more romance and gifts and sex (Lord knows there has been a lot more sex), but I truly am the happiest I've ever been in my marriage, and it's because my husband and I choose to keep showing up and putting in effort — doing the daily work, so we don't have to struggle with huge issues that snowball over time.
We fight but we do it quickly and respectfully.
We don't let things fester because this is where bitterness and resentment can take root.
We choke out these weeds before they have time to entangle us.
We have a relationship built on mutual love, respect, and the understanding that we each have our flaws, and that we can't change each other — we can only change ourselves.
It's my job to be someone I would want to be married to, and it's his job to work on being the same. We embrace our unique skills and personalities and put them to their best uses in our relationship.
We don't waste time keeping score about who does more because at the end of the day we both have the same overall goals and we're both working towards them with equal drive in our own ways.
We also try really hard to put effort into the little things because after 13 years you start to realize that all those little things add up to be very big things in a marriage.
So, when those group venting sessions get going with other wives, please don't judge me for not partaking.
It doesn't mean marriage is easy for me or that I'm judging you for your frustration. It just means that I love my husband and I'm working out my frustrations behind closed doors where the whole world can't see them.