Day 324. Marriage is Worky Work Work

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Alright, so this will be two downerish posts in a row, that’s where I’m at.

One of the reasons I wanted to do this blog is because I think people could be exposed to more honesty generally. You know what I mean? We all put a lot of effort into playing it cool in some regard, that we’ve got our stuff together. That exhausts me. I’m fairly honest generally, and a little too self deprecating, as I learned in the self promotion world of Hollywood. So, I don’t mind sharing my failures.

I asked permission from Michelle to write this post and she said it was fine.

It is difficult for a relationship to be apart for most of a year.

That probably goes without saying, but it is interesting experiencing it. What I’ve learned in this experience is how many little compromises you make in a marriage to make things work. I think this is why people have difficulty their first year of marriage often, you haven’t made those compromises, or learned to make those compromises yet. Through the course of a marriage, you both just continually make little compromises that down the road you don’t realize you’ve made.

Then, at some point, you decide to abandon your stable life and move to Hollywood to pursue your dreams. Right? Everyone does this, right? When you’re apart for ten months, those little compromises fall away, because they’re muscles, and you don’t have to exercise them anymore. In their place roll in the old habits from your single days. As I have documented here, my single days can be summarized by three things, processed food, messiness, not caring about certain things, yet obsessively caring about others. Through a series of little compromises, I got way better on those things, and others, but they moved back in when I was living on my own. It turns out the little compromises add up.

So, Michelle and I were each one part married person and one part our old single selves when I got back. It has taken some time to adjust, because the little compromises became things we expected the other person to give, but felt like heavy expectations for us to willingly give ourselves. Mostly, people in a marriage just process things differently. We may eventually end up at the same point, but we take different routes, and if you’re out of practice in working with the other’s process, it can feel tough.

Luckily, Michelle and I talk well, and over talk well, and we’re mostly out of it, but it has been trippy, and more difficult than I expected. Guys, marriage is indeed work, and sometimes experiences show you just how much work you’ve done, and then the present shows you how much work you have left. I bet that our experience is not entirely unique. We’ve been married for 5 and half years now, and I bet we’ll have to rev up the work side of things again in the future sometime.

In my experience, good things have come from work.

I actually kind of like working at it.

Addendum: I want to be sure to communicate that things are great. Also, when I talk about compromises, they are good things, not burdensome things, truly. I read this back through and thought, “Oh dear, did I make things seem bad?” They certainly aren’t, Michelle is far and away the best part about being home.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Day 324. Marriage is Worky Work Work

  1. Yep, it’s work. And like work, someone in an office somewhere is always coming up with new changes to implement that throw the whole thing off track. Just when you’re in groove, life happens and shazam! You gotta change gears. She’ll have you retrained in no time 😉

    I’m glad you write about the hard stuff. I’m too chicken to do that. I think the crazy people who read my blog expect a certain level of cheeriness and humor. I do NOT always feel that way and have written several posts that I never published. It helped to write them, but it’s not really honest. I like your warts and all approach. Maybe someday I’ll buck up too.

  2. Angela

    I just want to comment on something I noticed while I was reading someone else’s blog. You write really well. (Either that or the other person really sucked at writing. And I might note, because I am trying to be supportive of my friend Jeff here, I will just go with “you write really well.”) You engage me “the reader” and make me care about what is happening to you. I think that comes from being so honest about the good and the bad.

    So I’m with Lisa, let your warts hang out. We will love and support you through it all.

  3. You and Michelle are an inspiring couple. You two have it together no matter if you have days that you wonder how much work it will take to keep it together. That most important part of your relationship is the level of communication you are both willing to put in. And you both seem good at listening to the other 🙂

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