Marriage is hard, you all.
We all know this and when we are in our darkest thoughts about it, you don’t need some self-righteous person approaching you with their generalized opinion on what you need to do about yours. Let’s be 100% candid for a few minutes today and all just admit that no matter what point you’re at with your spouse, it’s hard.
You are either playfully fighting about trivial situations (ex: where to put all of your life treasures you’ve hoarded) or you are in the depths of feeling entrapped. Either way, it boils down to that fine line of us struggling to maintain a little piece of “you” through a mess of “we.” This grayness, the in-between that clear black and white social opinion, is where you make your large decisions. Endure or walk? Those are the only real options, right? Not in the slightest, my friend.
A marriage isn’t built on just one person making a decision to come or go; it’s an open communication. It’s built on the notion of trust that no matter what, that other person is going to have your back. They are going to be there for you, the truest/ugliest you. You haven’t chosen her in a while, have you? You’ve suppressed desires, hidden outrage, bit your tongue, and just accepted that the situation is what it is. It’s not healthy to cast her out, yet we tend to. We are either too tired to fight about it or have just given up hope in any change.
I’ve come to realize, at least with my marriage, it’s about the word “growth.”
Like my jeans from seven years ago, my marriage was starting to feel a bit snug. By snug, I mean so tight I can’t fit it over my thick thighs to even button up. The entire mess is just hanging out there for all to see and it was extremely uncomfortable. I could try to suck it up and in, but it’s bound to rip or dig into me as time goes on. I could lose the weight, but curves of motherhood have grown me into someone I am proud of. We are back to this implementation that I have to endure or walk. Yet, there is a much easier option here that our pride, the social influence, and (oftentimes) the lack of support leads us to overlook. Get bigger pants!
You don’t need to sacrifice or change yourself for your marriage. You don’t need to put up with a partner that isn’t the right fit. The trick is growing together. Much like my body growing and having other needs, my heart has as well. I can’t baby my husband like I once did when we first were married. These two little people we brought into this world have widened my hips and my to-do list. I have been pulled in all directions and don’t find the support I need at the end of the day from my husband. I’m not the only one.
I’ve talked to many stay-at-home mothers and even wives of five years (and longer) to realize that this is a very common problem, feeling unappreciated. Some of the wives I’ve talked to have referred to is as the “five-year itch.” I like to call it, the moment I knew I needed more.
It had been far too long since I had felt a mutual connection (shared a smile and laugh over a funny situation, decompress at the end of the day in one another’s arms, a deep conversation, or even just that look in your eyes… you know the one… where you feel all your worry melt). I had become an afterthought in the world that I was supposed to be his second. He was my first priority (along with the kids) and by the time I’d start to even think of myself… I had nothing to give.
After realizing my priorities, I reorganized.
I started to choose the real me first (curves, discomforts and all). It had been so long since I was attuned to myself and picked what I wanted that at first, it felt foreign to me. Things as simple as picking out my own candy and movie to take myself to felt so weird. I hadn’t realized that by providing and giving to his every whim… I had lost all inclinations for myself. It’s kind of like the muffin top indented in your skin when you spend too long in the wrong pair of jeans. Imagine what a mental muffin top does to your persona over time; stunting us from accepting yourself or from any growth.
So ladies, all I’m saying is be aware of how your pants fit (both physically and metaphorically). You need a pair that accentuates your unique traits and allows you to feel comfortable in your own skin. One that has a good give and take to make up for our thick days versus our thin ones. We can’t always remain constant, no matter how hard we try. And when they don’t fit…. don’t blame yourself. You’re one of the strongest people out there, a mom. And sometimes momma just really needs her leggings with all of the give in the world!