Little girls grow up surrounded by princesses and stories of being adored. At some point we decide that this is what life should be like. We search for that one. The one that lives here on earth in our real lives that will embody the very idea of a happy marriage. As you’ll come to know, my marriage began as a fantasy and somewhere along the way we’ve come to our current reality. The two are far from each other.
For as long as I’ve been able to read, I have been nearly obsessed with it. In first grade, I recall winning a reading contest. I don’t know what age I was when I began to pick up slutty romance novels, but it was pretty early on. I was particularly drawn to the ones with the Greek God types on the front cover. You know, the ones with the flowing hair wrapped around some woman. Now, I realize how sick that was. It formed a very solid picture of romance that I never quite shook.
At my heart, I’m really not an emotional person. I don’t like to talk about feelings. I certainly don’t want to cry in front of everyone, though I’ve found myself doing it in private more than I care to admit.
At the end of a 6 year relationship with my high school sweetheart, I began to look elsewhere for love. My husband and I met on the internet while I was in my senior year of college. We immediately fell in love. And, as skeptical as you might be about internet love, it was real. There was a real connection. The internet portion of our relationship was very short. We brought it quickly to real life. For 6 months, we lived the dream. A year and a half after meeting, we got married.
The fantasy faded during the engagement. After we got married, life hit hard. Now, we’re here almost 9 years later, in reality.
Reality is that not all marriages (thought I suppose some are) live out like a dream. It’s hard to live with someone. It’s hard to be yourself and be what everyone else needs at the same time. Arguments happen. Hurts happen. Walls go up. Conversation stops. Touching becomes too much to give. The years lay on us like layer upon layer of wax.
The advice is plenty. Everyone knows how to make it better, but it never seems that simple.
“Just talk it out.”
“Just give yourself up to sex.”
“Just fight about it.”
“Just remember why you fell in love in the first place.”
“Just stroke his ego.”
“Just read this book.”
I love a good book, but real life is never quite that easy. Real problems are never an equation to be solved.
Sometimes I look around at my life and I don’t recognize a thing–