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From Fantasy to Reality

ring / yüzük

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 smile.”

“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–

Sometimes I’d Swear…

…that my husband reads this.  I don’t mean the cute ones about Carter or the reflective ones about myself.  I mean, the password protected ones–about him.  Because boy the “I love you’s” have really started flowing lately.  Or, it could be that the ol’ heart strings were REALLY pulled last week when he watched Big.gest Los.er last week while I was gone out to coffee with my friends.  If you don’t watch the show, you probably don’t know about Abby.  Abby lost her entire family.  She wasn’t feeling well and they took her to the hospital one day to get checked out.  She stayed at the hospital, they went home.  On the way, they were hit by a car going over 100 mph and all 3 of them were killed–her husband, her 5 year-old daughter and her 9 month-old son.  As she had a breakthrough on the show her last week there, Jeff absolutely lost it (or so he said, I wasn’t here).  Later, at small group, he brought up that he couldn’t imagine losing me and Carter and then having to move on in life.  You just have to know him to know that those comments don’t exactly flow from him as of lately.  For me, I’m glad to know that we mean so much.

And, there was another surprising comment that same night.  He admitted to having problems with porno.graphy in the past and into our married life.  He said that our marriage was good, but that he couldn’t imagine how unbelievably great it might be if he’d never done those things to me.  Holy cow.  Talk about a breakthrough.  There’s your breakthrough.