Suburban Snapshots

The Work, Part Two

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

You guys all rock my mothereffing world with your thoughtful and supportive comments. Friends emailed their thoughts and left some really, really wonderful messages, I didn't get any panicked phone calls from relatives (which I hope means they're confident in our resilience and not worried I'll answer sobbing or dropping the D bomb) and all of the love heading our way has helped more than I can begin to write, even with copious swearing.

Now that I'm done with the dirty hippie freelove portion of this entry, I have some more thoughts on Marriage; the care and maintenance of.

People close to us emailed me to say that Steve and I were either one of their favorite couples, or most easy-going couples, or couples whose relationship they admired. I still think we are worthy of all of those sentiments, because I know the reason we're still here is the foundation we started with (not the part where I resented being forced to share an apartment with what I thought was a hermit, recluse, weirdo, but after that). We were realistic in our expectations of each other and our relationship. We had our own lives and histories. We didn't expect the other to fill any existential voids. We weren't naïve enough to believe that on the whole earth, there could be no one else we'd ever love. And I knew that eventually I could convince him to see a real barber.

Still, as Allison at Motherhood, WTF? noted in her comment, "… his stuff, his ideas, his own upbringing and beliefs, and his own personal growth and struggles are just ALWAYS THERE." That was right on the goddamn money. Add some life stress to the equation and you end up with serious division. (Can I please get some props from my nerds for the math metaphor?)

Each of us admits fault for ending up where we did. We were both forced to make heady decisions and to really look at our circumstances. We took stock of our mutual past and present, and of ourselves as individuals. We held hands and held our breath.

Things are already better, but it's an evolving and ongoing process. We'll plan to see the counselor as-needed from here on out because for starters, I think we have a good handle on the situation and secondly, because who doesn't laugh when you wonder aloud during your session if open marriage might be the best option? Someone with no appreciation for crisis humor, that's who. Want to know who did laugh? Steve.

Photo once again by Channing Johnson, who you should hire immediately.

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