Marriage: Reality Edition…
I Married the Wrong Guy
He was sweet, sexy and financially stable, and I told myself we’d be great together. I was totally lying.
In our first months together, I had inklings that we had some serious incompatibilities. I was a writer, interested in people and literary gossip; Nick was a computer and science geek, fascinated by gadgets and facts. I liked order, cleanliness, routine; he got parking tickets, bounced checks and was always late. Plus, he was living with his mother.
When Nick proposed to me a few weeks after my ultimatum, I asked what changed his mind. “I’m a better man with you,” he said. After registering the corniness, I threw myself into his arms. It didn’t occur to me to wonder if I was a better woman with him. Now I knew: Not only was I not better with Nick, I was my worst self—judgmental, anxious, controlling.
And then, the day after our second child was born, we got into a fight at the hospital. He wanted to get home and was driving me nuts as he bounced around packing things up when all I wanted was to nurse my son. Downstairs, I watched Nick get into a shouting match with the valet who wanted to charge him $10 for parking our car. All I could think was, Why am I married to this guy? As we got into the car, desolation washed over me.
But as I gazed at my tiny sleeping son, so vulnerable and dependent, I realized that, unlike him, I wasn’t helpless. I could either keep acting like a spoiled child, demanding that Nick be perfect, or I could be a grown-up. I knew that intact and miserable was no better than separate, and maybe worse. But I needed to try. And so, I made the most important choice of my life: to fully commit to my marriage. Not to an ideal of love—but to real, complicated love, where things are rarely easy and compromises are constant.
I slowly began to behave differently, to act like the person I wanted to be. It wasn’t easy at first, and it still isn’t, but that’s part of the challenge of being married. The more I laugh, the funnier Nick is. The more I show my appreciation, the more appreciative of me he becomes. Having things my way, I’ve come to understand, is less important than having someone real to love. I’ve given up my fantasy of a perfect husband for the reality of a stable family, and, to my surprise, I’m happy — at least most of the time.
A client left the dead-tree-edition of this open in Ros’s office and I almost didn’t notice it.
Admittedly, this vacuous rag has all the depth of a mud puddle. But, this author deserves a read more than their entire stable of stringers combined. (I’m nearly certain she published as Anonymous just to avoid the scorn of it’s regular readership…)
And, no, I never once imagined I’d post anything from them… 😉
Seriously, read the full article — all three pages. It’s an excellent snapshot of the standard pattern of an idealistic manipulator who refuses to grow up marrying a person who emotionally stuffs until resentment sets in and infidelity results.
And, it’s a refreshingly honest diary of a couple doing that foundational work to grieve, stay together, get real and just grow up.