Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I (still) do.

Today I made myself sit down and write about all the things that I’ve not let myself say in the past few months.  I knew this past weekend, on the eve of this 10th anniversary of 9/11, that something was wrong with me.  I was entirely more concerned about the state of my family than I was about what that terrible day would bring.  I’m just going to say this: marriage is hard.  Of all the things I wish I had known before I entered into my own marriage – I wish someone had said, “Kate, one day you will wake up and you will find you have lost important connections with the person laying next to you.”  This is not a post about my marriage unraveling.  It’s not – and I assure you that, God forbid that ever happens, I will not be writing about it on my blog.  It’s a post to say, I get it now. I understand that no one tells you those things because if they did, no one would get married. Sort of like if people told you the truth about childbirth, there would be way less children in this world. 
I get it.  Lately, though, I’ve been thinking about marriage.  My own, my parents’, Steve’s parents, the upcoming nuptials of a friend, that of a good friend who is living here in KC while her husband is working in another city for a few months.  And I just need to put it out there that this life that Steve and I have created is the hardest job I’ve ever had.  Recently, I started back teaching after a summer off, I also started grad school, and Steve is still working full time as well as teaching two nights a week at the KC Art Institute.  We also have a home we try to maintain, two young children, a dog…you get the picture. We hardly see each other, and lately we’ve not been very good at making all of the pieces fit in this difficult daily puzzle of our lives.  It’s like you think everything is running smoothly, or at least is at status quo, until reality tells you differently. 
One of the reasons I fell in love with Steve is that, while it might not happen all that often, he has the ability put it all out on the table and let you know how he feels.  I suck at that.  I will bottle up how I feel and get resentful and mean and ugly until I finally blow up.  It’s not a healthy way to live – and it’s not a healthy way to have a relationship.  I’m also really lazy. I’m not going to lie, I am super, super, way lazy – I would rather sit on my ass or keep to myself than do the hard work – including relationship work.  It’s hard to find time to compliment my husband – even if I DO love him and I DO appreciate him, finding times to tell him that is not my strong point.  It goes both ways, for sure, but at the end of the day when people have NEEDED stuff from me all day long, the last thing I think about doing is laying on the compliments.  I would much rather lay on the couch.

I'll also say selfishly that I pretty much hate keeping this house together while other people get to reap the benefits of being with my family - the babysitters, the teachers, the people my husband works with.  I feel like for all the driving, cooking, cleaning, laundry, general problem solving I do, I should get to enjoy the reward of being with my family, but right now, in this time - that just isn't happening.  Instead, other people get to enjoy the energy of my kids and my husband while at the end of each day, my kids are either already in bed when I get home from school, or Steve and I get to do the catch up game instead of really enjoying each other's company.  I hate that other people are getting the best of us, but I digress.
My point is that I’m trying to hold myself more accountable for doing the hard work.   I’m putting out there that I know my married friends are doing the same hard work that we are doing here and I respect you all immensely for it.  I’m not saying that there aren’t amazing things about my marriage – I love the life we have made with each other and with our children.  We started a relationship built upon laughter and we continue to do a lot of that – we are raising two amazing, hilarious little girls, and I think all things considered we do a pretty great job of it.  I also know that the rat race we are in right now is temporary and one day I'm sure I'll miss the hustle and bustle (to an extent!)  I just feel like people don’t like to talk about this and it’s been bothering me. So there. I said it for you.  You’re welcome.  Also, I should probably apologize for throwing my husband under the bus in order to prove my point.  So…I’m sorry, Steve.  See ya tomorrow!