So we’ve already determined that we stink. We’ve forgotten how to dream. We’ve lost our individual identities and we’re simply co-existing. Sounds pretty depressing, doesn’t it? Well Ladies, I must say, since our first marriage counseling session was posted last week, my life has been an absolute whirlwind.
We may, in fact, stink. But a funny thing happened. When you start communicating, no matter how “big” or “small” the conversation, things start to change. Dynamics are different; you start to look at your partner in a new and refreshed light. Trust me, I needed that. Before this experiment, all I saw was someone I could hardly bare to think of spending the rest of my life with. Not because I don’t love him, but because I didn’t think we wanted the same things out of life. I questioned if we really wanted to grow old TOGETHER, or if we’d just grow old together. Do you understand the difference?
You see, many years ago, I fell head over heels in love. One month after we started dating, my husband asked my father for his permission to marry me. That’s right, one month. Two months after that, we were engaged. Today we are married with 2 children. Since our beginning, we’ve lived in 2 different apartments, bought and lived in 2 different houses, went from 2 incomes for 2 people, to 1 income for 4…. We like to mix it up. Are you rolling your eyes? Are you judging our impulsiveness? Do you think we acted too quickly? Hmmmm…. I can tell you with absolute conviction, that I would make all the same choices again.
I live for adventure. You won’t find me bungee jumping off any cliffs, but “emotional” adventure, passion, and romance is crucial to my wellbeing. I’m guessing we’re all a little “romantically starved” at some point. If you’re not, you just haven’t been married long enough.
As you age, you change. When you leave your 20’s, something happens. I love being in my 30’s, I look forward to my birthdays. Why wouldn’t I? But wouldn’t you agree, as you leave one decade and enter another, self examination takes a whole new form. We are constantly growing and evolving. At least we should be. I want to take a conscious role in figuring out my place and purpose in this world. As far as my marriage is concerned, I was beginning to think my husband was content to stay stagnant forever. To me, that thought was absolutely suffocating. I need to know I’m working towards “something”.
On the flip side, I do realize that nothing’s perfect. I’m not trying to change my husband. Only he can do that. The purpose of this experiment, was for both of us to examine ourselves. I truly believe that if you take a good hard look at yourself, if you begin to analyze your strengths, weaknesses, needs, and desires, and then take an active role in “perfecting” YOU, great things can happen for everyone involved.
For my “real life” friends who still don’t understand the purpose of this “experiment”, and certainly don’t understand my reasons for writing about it and making it “public”…. This is what I say: I’m sorry if you don’t think it’s appropriate. I’m sorry if you find it distasteful. I’m sorry if you’re incapable of opening up your minds and seeing the bigger, MUCH BIGGER, picture here. While I say “I’m sorry”, I’m only feeling “sorry” for YOU. I’m not apologizing for my choices. If you don’t want to support my decisions, okay, that’s your choice, we can still be friends. Two words of advice: STOP READING.
For my “online friends and followers”, WOW. Thank you for your support. Thank you for finding my life, my marriage, and my situation, relevant and worthwhile. You seem to understand that I’m not simply airing “dirty laundry”. This is LIFE, we ALL have our challenges. If people tell you they don’t, go ahead and laugh in their face. Of course they do! Denying something will NOT make it go away. I have watched too many people deny their feelings and shut down communication, putting up walls that are soon too high to climb and conquer. What’s wrong with taking a proactive stance and trying to PREVENT yourself from falling victim to the same lonely fate?
This last week has brought many things to light. Most importantly, I realized that my husband and I do share many things, we do want to evolve as a couple, and we are capable of change. Amazingly enough, my husband is already a little “lighter”. Counseling, at the dining room table, forced us to sit and look at each other, really focusing on the other person. It seems to have trickled down into everyday situations as well. Of course, the cynical side of me, can’t help but wonder when the “honeymoon phase” will end. But we’ll deal with that later.
Now, enough philosophy, let’s get back to real life. So how do we get back to “dreaming”? My solution, for counseling session #2, was to focus on positive thinking. Our task for the upcoming week is to remain positive at all times. I know what you’re thinking, that’s impossible, right? Of course I agree, but when you’re trying to break a cycle, sometimes you have to go to extremes. It’s amazing how negative we are and we don’t even know it. I’m so used to rolling my eyes when my husband says something. I mean, seriously, he says a lot of stupid stuff, and my eye rolling is programmed to autopilot. Most of the times he opens his mouth, I’m primed and ready with a sarcastic comment. But okay, let’s lift our glasses and toast to change! I can do this, for therapy’s sake, I WILL do this. Onward and upward….. and, in my case, “downward”, with a great glass (or bottle) of wine.
I’m ready for this, I’m anticipating positive bliss, and then I remember; Thanksgiving. Holidays, families, chaos, and painful reunions. How the heck am I supposed to do this for an entire week, surrounded by our ridiculously negative and neurotic families? I am now so sorry I had this idea, what was I thinking?!? I am also sorry I introduced “rubberbands” into the equation. No, not “rubbers”, although that would be much more interesting I’m sure! I’m talking about good old rubberbands. We are each wearing a rubberband on our wrist. The purpose of the rubberband is to inflict pain each time we express something negatively. A simple flick is to remind us to change our thought pattern. We need extreme, and I’m hoping this will help. Although now I realize, by the time we come back to therapy next week, we’ll probably both need stitches.
As we leave the dining room table, rubberbands on wrists, positive mantras in our heads, we both retreat to our usual sofa and recliner. You’re probably thinking we should be sitting together, cuddling, smooching, or the like, but General Hospital is ready to begin, and I need a break. As I watch my show, daydreaming about a rendezvous with a certain dangerous mobster (relax, it’s all make believe tv), I congratulate myself for having such blissful thoughts and wishes! I’m feeling pretty good, loving my life and this experiment, chuckling to myself as I glance at the rubberband wrapped around my wrist. Then I look at my husband. FANTASY OVER.
Sound asleep, hands in pants, mouth hanging open, drool dripping out, ridiculous sounds vibrating from his nose and mouth. Seriously?!? How do you go from wide awake, to THIS, in approximately 2 minutes? And why, WHY, do men feel the need to grope themselves every chance they get?
C’mon, our courtship may have been brief, but he certainly didn’t have his hands in his pants every time I turned around. While we’re at it, back then he also didn’t fart or burp around every corner, praising himself for the skill or ability it takes to create such unique sound patterns. Going #2, was done with the door closed, and TALKING ABOUT IT, just didn’t happen. Do I really need to know about this stuff? Are men really proud of it, I don’t get it. In fact, I find it utterly disgusting.
Now, let me warn you. If you don’t like poop, don’t read any further. For some, it may be raunchy, for me, this is life. If you’re a parent, you’ve got to appreciate it. If you don’t, I apologize, but I question what planet you live on.
I have 2 girls. Two little princesses who love dolls, dress up, and all things girly. In addition, they also love the “pull my finger game”, and farting in our puppy’s face just to see if he’ll follow the smell. Some may say I should laugh along. I’ve tried. I continue to try. But I don’t enjoy offensive smells, and I don’t take pride in creating them.
I also can’t understand why my 3 Musketeers (husband and 2 children) enjoy playing a game they call “trapped”. Whenever 1 Musketeer has to engage in a #2 bathroom calling, they yell the word “trapped”. The other 2 Musketeers then make their way into the ½ bathroom ( I assume because it’s the smallest, therefore better to be “trapped” in), close the door, turn off the light, and “trap” themselves, seeing how long they can survive in the other Musketeer’s smell. I’m hoping you’re as utterly repulsed by this as I am. This is my family. These are the people I’m supposed to be positive around. I think they have psychological issues. WHY would anyone think this was fun and willingly engage in it?!?
As I write this, my daughter just informed me she pooped. Our stars must be aligned. Maybe this is the Universe’s way of telling me to “lighten up”. Excuse me while I go take care of business. I enjoy identifying shapes in the clouds, but I will never enjoy identifying them in the matter that ends up in my toilet.
At times I feel like my husband tricked me. The man I fell in love with wrote me love letters, poems, and songs. Fresh flowers were in constant supply, Spongebob Squarepants didn’t exist. You probably won’t believe this, but I assure you, it’s true. My second little angel just informed me of her latest creation, a dancing carrot, spinning in the bottom of the toilet bowl. Okay, I get it. You’ve made your point. Somebody up above is laughing pretty hard right about now.
Bathroom antics aside, I need to refocus. I’ve got an assignment this week, and I have to stick to it. We’re leaving in a couple hours for our Thanksgiving trek, (in case you noticed, therapy was one day earlier this week due to our travels), and if I don’t change my thought process, I’ll never survive.
By the time you hear from me next week, you won’t recognize me. Positive thinking all the way! I don’t have a choice, my wrist is already red. I did have a good morning though.
As the alarm went off at 5:30 am, I gave my hubby his usual kick to wake him up. Rolling over, proclaiming his hatred for teacher in-service days, I slyly inched up behind him, flicking his wrist so hard you would’ve thought his underwear was on fire! Completely irritated, he looked back at me and started to say, “What the hell was that for?”
He didn’t have a chance to finish though, because as the profanity slipped from his mouth, I snuck in another flick of his wrist. Getting the point, and grabbing his clothes, he went downstairs, got dressed, and left without our usual groggy good-bye. I realize I may have dug myself a nice little grave. No, we did not grant each other permission to flick the other person’s wrist. That could get ugly. But I couldn’t help it, and yes, it was absolutely worth it. Here’s to a wonderful week, a fantastic holiday, and mutual, consensual flicking. Until next time…….