My Spicy Marriage
Dear love muffin,
Okay, BARF. That's the first and last time you'll ever see the words “love muffin” written anywhere by me. However, this is a post about marriage. The good stuff. The spiciness of love.
We are going on twelve years of dating and we’re about to hit seven years of marriage. Several years ago, someone told me about something called the “seven-year itch”. It freaked me out a little, but I think we started out kinda itchy so I think we’re good.
If you haven't heard of the seven-year itch it's a supposed term that suggests that the sweetness or happiness in a relationship starts to dwindle around the seventh year of marriage.
When I married you, I had big plans to be a sweet wife that loved to cook, clean and do the laundry. The only problem is… I’m not that sweet, I don't love to cook and we all know how the laundry thing went.
For many of the first years of our marriage, I tried to arrange my opinionated, fiery, passionate, strong-willed self into a box that looked like a woman who wears an apron and irons things and probably cooks three meals a day from scratch with a smile on her perfectly made up face.
I looked at other women who used irons and smiled about their household chores as a guide on how I should act and be as a wife. All of that acting felt stuffy, and frigid and like I was constantly having an allergic reaction to my own life.
There were many days my acting was so poor you probably wondered who had stolen the woman you proposed to. You probably wondered what alien had taken over your new wife's body. But you needed to be cared for and fed so you didn't say anything.
Until the day I made your favorite chicken salad with mayonnaise instead of miracle whip and you asked me what was wrong with it. And I proceeded to lock myself in our closet for the remainder of the day. No one has ever called me dramatic or anything.
Side note: I'm humiliated that we used to eat that way.
***Don't ever ask the woman you've just married what is wrong with her food.***
I'm sorry about that, honey. I really am.
It was really hard for me to pretend to care about those things. It was quite difficult to fit into that aproned box. Thankfully, I've woken up since those prime years of marriage. I woke up because that sweet woman I was pretending to be couldn't handle one more day of apron wearing.
I think it was right around the day you told me that I had the thighs of a thoroughbred horse, and swore it was a compliment. That.
That was the day I had had enough.
No more sweetness existed inside my body and I just woke up to who I am. I resurrected that day or some day soon after and we've been alive and cruisin’ ever since. Ever since I told you never to compare my body to an animal the size of a refrigerator ever again. Ya hear?
From the beginning, this is just who we've been. We do not baby talk each other. Lord help us when we hear adults baby talking each other.
We know with one raise of an eyebrow that we've pissed each other off.
You know not to speak a word to me when I stub my toe because it’s the end of my foot forever and I do not need to be consoled, I need a moment of silence to remember the rest of my nine attached toes while I cry in a puddle on the floor.
I know that if I just shut my mouth you will fill my ears with all the details of your day.
I know that food is your love language.
You know that I'll take care of business. When something needs to be handled you just hand me the phone or the bill or the papers and point me to the person in charge.
I know that you’re a sweet talker. That you will never ever let me drive. And that you give the best hugs.
You know I'll never let you drop me off at the door. Even if it's raining.
I know to forgive you for the things you say when it's so hot that you’re sweating or when you’re looking for parking on Newbury Street.
I’m so thankful that liking everyone and laughing at people's dumb jokes comes naturally to you. It sure makes up for when my face forgets to pretend that I'm interested in small talk or crude humor.
I’m an introvert that processes externally. You’re an extrovert that processes internally. It was a huge turning point in our marriage when we realized this about each other.
We have always preferred learning things the long and hard way. Stubborn, I think they call it.
I think it's our big love and big personalities merging together that make us a miracle.
Husband. I am still in like and in love with all that you have become.
The only woman sleeping next to you. Or else.
One time on a couples trip, my hippie organic self got so mad at Robbie for purchasing and drinking a Redbull right in front of my face that I didn't speak to him for the first five hours of our trip. Luckily, our friends know this side of us so it was only a little awkward. They aren't shocked by us. Plus, we've seen them nude so they're stuck with us.
In all fairness, our biggest fight led to our engagement. It started because I would not attend a frat party with Robbie where he felt the need to get the “real” college experience before he went off to play baseball. And he broke up with me in the driveway of my house. We didn't speak for a week until I sent him a screenshot (did we even own iPhones back then?) of messages from his friend asking me on a date.
We are lunatics.
Those of you who've messaged me on Instagram praising my marriage, let this be proof that Instagram does not tell the whole truth. Ask all our friends who've had to bear witness to our madness.
Those years I was trying to be the wife I thought he needed, he was so patient with me. He never once asked me where his spicy, passionate former partner was. He just gently and quietly let me resurface.
And to those of you young married people who are in the middle of figuring it out, take it from me: Don't compare yourself to those Pinterest perfect, apron wearing wives.
No offense to you apron wearers. Us spicy, crazy ones definitely need you in our lives. We appreciate your talent. We respect the fact that you wake up with no hair out of place and that by noon you've cooked two meals, cleaned the house, done something crafty with a child you pushed out on a sneeze, washed your hair (with real shampoo) and your body, and run a marathon.
We respect it.
We just don't want to be that.
There’s a whole slew of other things that make us spicy women good wives. There are a million combinations of being a good wife.
Take it from me young married kids, or old married kids--you won’t fit into any box that isn’t your box.
So don't even bother trying.
Or do. You'll have some great memories.
Some women love to cook. Some women love to clean. Some love to craft. Some love all those things.
Some of us love zero of those things, but we suffer through them, or we just don't do any of them.
Or maybe some of you hire people to do those things for you.
Who really cares.
If you’re young and married and sort of wondering who in the world you get into bed with at night, I promise it gets better. I was barely 20 years old when I got married. I had been 20 for exactly two weeks before Robbie and I got married the first time.
Yeah, we got married twice. Another story.
TWENTY years old. Which means I was only not a teenager for two weeks. Which also means I couldn't legally drink the alcohol I purchased for our wedding.
The point is, you start to figure each other out. You start picking your battles. I didn’t understand that phrase until marriage slapped me in the face. Prior to marriage, everything seemed like an invitation to battle. Now, when I see that he has missed the toilet—again—and tinkled on the floor, I clean it up.
Okay, I ask him to clean it up.
I only mildly yell at him, okay. Whatever.
All I know is that if you marry your best friend, you'll be just fine. A woman I love and look up to told me she knew Robbie and I would last because we laughed at each other. That meant a lot to me because there were quite a few people rooting against us and our marriage. When she told me that, I believed her. She told me she married a man that made her laugh and over twenty years later she was still laughing and still in love.
If you are young and newly married, I'll tell you what I needed to hear seven years ago: Marriage feels hard and stuffy because it is. You aren't doing it wrong.
When in doubt do the following: have fun + have sex + eat well = stay married.
Y'all. That's it.