Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Expectations vs reality

I think I somehow thought that getting married would suddenly convert me into some Martha Stewart/Betty Crocker hybrid. I was going to constantly have a clean and tastefully decorated home, with great meals on the table three times a day and not a single hair out of place or spot on my dress or ache in my feet.

I, obviously, was wrong.

I haven't thought about it much in those terms up until now, but with our first anniversary approaching I've been thinking a lot about what I expected from my marriage vs what I got.

For example, I expected to have a constantly clean house that always smelled of whatever amazing dishes I was whipping up from thin air for the next meal, and to always look my absolute best. I got a busy lifestyle that drops me on the couch after a long day with whatever I've managed to not burn for dinner and then swoops me out the door with my makeup just barely finished in time (and occasionally a skirt that should have been washed last week) in the morning. Which means I've got a house that looks only slightly less like a horde of bachelors lives here and we occasionally play "find that smell."

I expected that my first year of marriage would be hearts and stars and rainbows with nothing going wrong and a constant glow of happiness and all-is-well. I got a husband recovering from major surgery - which led to me getting a husband who was mostly nonfunctional because of the drugs for the better part of the year - and debt and struggles with the IRS and foreclosure and a particularly angering job loss and the start of a company.

I expected everlasting peace as a result of the newlywed factor. I got a lot of arguments, a lot of times when I sat on the couch in tears wondering what to do next, and a lot of misunderstandings.

This is not to say that I'm unhappy with what I got. I absolutely love my husband and the places that we're going to go (figuratively and literally) together. I love the way all of those weird situations are starting to be turned around and worked out for our benefit. I love my life with him, where the only moments I seem to have for breath are while I'm working with his uncle and almost every minute of my day is spent with my husband. I love waking up and moving in a whirlwind out the door to go call on customers and run errands and be productive, and then coming home and falling into exhausted sleep together. I really do enjoy all of this. It's just not what I was expecting.

It makes me wonder if sometimes we don't look at what we were expecting, and compare it to what we got, and feel we've come up short. Looking at my list here it certainly looks like I've come up short, but that's before considering things like the fact that all of these trials have brought us closer than anything else could have. We honestly don't like to do things apart from each other for any amount of time, and whenever we do have to be separated, we end up really emotionally drained at the end of the day. We laugh together all the time, and we genuinely love being together.

Granted, there are times I'd like to throw something heavy at his head. And I'm sure there are times that he wants to strangle me. We have our misunderstandings and our "bad days" but despite all of that, we love being with each other. And at the end of the day, provided I haven't gotten into my cranky sleepy mood and started a fight, just being together is the best thing there is.

I used to think that my mom was a little cooky when she said that she had a hard time sleeping without dad. But now I understand, because I can't sleep without Jared - to the point that if I get tired before he does, he has to (by which I mean "usually elects to") sit on the couch and watch TV so I can fall asleep there with him nearby.

I didn't get a lot of what I expected from this marriage so far. Life isn't perfect, and I didn't have my dream wedding or the perfect engagement ring or even my ideal proposal...and married life for the past year has definitely been a year of unexpecteds. But I wouldn't trade any of it. What we have now, the bond and closeness that we have and the way that we so easily relate to each other, probably could only happen through what we've been through.

So though our lives together haven't been what I was expecting, the only thing I'd change about the past year is my lack of patience through the whole thing. I didn't get what I expected, but I certainly like what I got.


  1. I cannot tell you how many times I prayed for your marriage before you were even old enough to date. At first I was very specific and prayed for the kind of man I thought your personality (as it was developing) would need to be happy, temperant and cared for. By the time you were 9 those prayers ended and I had to re-evaluate what it was I really hoped for your future. By the time you were 16 I was praying that you would have find the man God had made for you and that you would have a love like mine and your Dad's . No matter what we have gone through, no one has ever been able to question how much we love one another. It's not a love that can be explained or developed, it just is and you either fight it or accept it. It sounds like you may have found what I have been praying for. I can hope (and continue to pray) that as you guys grow as individuals and in your relationship that you continue to draw closer and learn to lean on each other, be patient with each other and love each other through whatever comes. God wasn't joking when He said all of those things about what love is..most of all it is a choice, and it never fails :)

    1. I remember you telling me at one point that you knew exactly who I was going to marry because you'd had a dream about him ;)

  2. Yep...and you and he passed each other...you weren't in the right place and neither was he...but he came...and went. Such is life. God makes plans and we make choices. Fortunately (or blessedly is more accurate) He knows what will be and plans for every contingency :)