The silence that is ruining our marriages

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Everyone has seen the stereotypical, Hollywood romance movie, complete with foot sweeping, grand gestures, and wildly passionate, physical attraction. For the most part, every married couple will have their own breathtakingly romantic moments, but there is another side which we don’t address publicly. We don’t see it in the movies either, and we go to heroic lengths to hide it from even our closest family and friends.

I will break this damaging silence, today. It is already hard enough out there, without trying to pretend we have a perma-pinterest ready, instagrammable fable. Maybe, I will be the only one, but I’m going to be honest about my real marriage for the sake of others, because that is what is at stake. People are deciding to end their marriages because they aren’t experiencing a fairy tale.

I cannot be even partially, responsible for that. This is the truth about my marriage. I love my husband. I’m crazy about him. He’s my knight in shining armor, and I’m his fair maiden, but you know what? It’s not always like that, and that is OK.

Some days I questions my judgement in marrying my husband. I am sure he wonders what he was thinking sometimes, too. You aren’t going to like the person you are married to sunup to sundown. It’s normal. Can you imagine liking anyone 100% of the time? It’s not just unlikely. It’s impossible…unless it is Betty White, a woman universally believed to be beyond reproach.

Warm fuzzy feelings aren’t what keeps you together for 50 years. Choice is what keeps you together, the choice to love one another until death. You can’t rely on feelings to determine your commitment to your marriage.

Sometimes every single word my husband says makes my skin crawl. Sometimes, my obsessive need to overanalyze and control makes him throw his arms up and walk into another room. You know what? That’s normal! It’s OK to become irritated. It is not a sign of impending doom. It is a sign of an authentic relationship between two complex, sentient beings.

We went to counseling once to iron-out a longstanding issue in our marriage. This should be normal. People wait too long to go to counseling. They go to counseling when they already have one foot out of the door because they didn’t want to admit defeat. Don’t wait, if you need help. It isn’t admitting your marriage is failing. It’s admitting it needs an expertise that you did not receive years of education receiving.

My husband forgets big dates and events because he isn’t a character in a romance novel, and I don’t answer the door holding beer and wearing furry lingerie because I am not a fabricated woman. We are real. Our marriage is real. It’s messy. Sometimes, he comes home to what appears to be a clothed wildbeast, with dry shampoo in her coat. Bless his heart for not turning around and running for the hills.

Be honest with yourselves and others, about your marriage. We all have this side that we are struggling to conceal from others. Why are we doing this? We already know that real marriage isn’t a fairy tale. Marriage, like all things worth having, is hard work, struggle, sweat, and tears.

Fight for your marriage. Help others fight for their marriages by being honest about yours. Normalize normal marriage. #realmarriage
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