Marriage is a wonderful institution. However, it is not an institution that should ever be entered into without serious reflection. Like, SUPER serious. Thinking someone is ‘hot” is simply not enough. “Till death do us part” is kind of a big deal. Like the stuff nightmares are made of, in some cases. You have to be prepared to see another person’s face. Day after day after day. And then a whole bunch of more days.
When considering a spouse, there are a lot of things that you have to consider. Everyone knows the big ones. Do we agree on the important stuff? religion, finances, number of children. Disagreeing on these topics can be deal breakers for most people.
Will this person stand by me through the hard times? Will he or she be supportive of what matters to me? Can we work together as a team for the greater good of a family? These are all examples of things that will test a marriage, eventually.
Does this person truly love me? Is this a love that will grow and deepen as we walk this path of life together? Will our souls become intertwined, like the roots of a tree, as we grow old?
Bahahahahahahahaha! I almost couldn’t type that last part for laughing. I mean sure, it is a beautiful thought. But marriage is more about the day-to-day. The nitty-gritty. Marriage is work.
I have been married for thirteen years. To some of you that may seem like a lifetime. To others, only a drop in the bucket. But let me take this opportunity to get real with you about marriage. Forget all of that other stuff. Let me give you an example of what it means to be married.
Like most married people, my husband and I share a shower. Settle down. I didn’t say we were in there at the same time. This is not THAT kind of post. I meant that we have a master shower and it serves both of our showering needs.
We share the same bar of soap in our master shower. Different shampoos, razors, products, sure. But just one bar of soap. My husband is a fan of a nice, new, large bar of soap. He takes joy in breaking open a wrapper and pulling out a fresh bar. I picture him smelling the bar, with a look of satisfaction on his face.
He uses the bar and leaves it in the shower for me to enjoy in my next shower. What a beautiful thing. The joys of marriage. Blissful.
Cut to, a week later. I climb into the shower. I wash and condition my hair. Just as always. Then it is time to reach for the communal bar of soap. Except wait a minute. I am confused. There is a new, large bar of soap. But also there is a mid-sized bar of soap, sitting side by side on the shower shelf.
Huh. Clearly my hubs didn’t realize that we still had a good bit of soap left when he reached for a new bar. I mean, it is not like it was one of those tiny bars yet. It was still a good-sized.
Being raised as I was, with not very much, it is against everything that I stand for to be wasteful. So I instinctually reached for the smaller bar of soap. Not a problem. There were two bars. Together we could use them both up before getting another bar. No harm, no foul.
Day after day, we showered. Everything was going as planned. Both bars were shrinking. I was very satisfied how small the original bar of soap had gotten. No waste in this family. Eventually it would be entirely too small for adult human use and I would relieve it of its duties. Thank you for your service, tiny bar of soap.
A few days later. Same scenario: Climb into shower, shampoo, condition. Probably singing a tune. Reach for soap. What the hell?
I had discarded the original bar of soap only the day before. Now the plan was to share the remaining bar until it was small enough to be discarded. Then and then ONLY would be get a new bar of soap. What did I see before my eyes? A still good-sized bar of soap AND a freshly opened bar of soap. Side by side lying on the shower shelf. Again!
Who was this animal that I was married to? How was he so full of himself that he felt like he was entitled to a large bar of soap EVERY SINGLE TIME HE SHOWERS? Does he not understand how the world works? Sometimes in life you get the large bar and sometime you get a sliver. He was totally bucking the system.
Actually though it was my problem. I was the one who felt the need to use a bar of soap until it was practically melted, maybe. I couldn’t very well DEMAND that he see things my way. You have to compromise in relationships. You have to pick your battles. I had married a soap-abusing narcissist. I had to accept that fact.
Never once in all of my premarital existence could I have seen this coming. Condemned to a life of using mini-sized bars of soap. Never to feel the curve of a new bar in my hand again. My cross. My burden to bear.
And THAT is marriage in a nutshell. The day-to-day. It is how you choose to live with a man who ever so nonchalantly disrespects soap. Because he is a good person and a great father. Because he works hard. Because he loves you. And because he probably doesn’t even realize that he is leaving you to clean up his soap messes. He has no idea how it is destroying you inside.
That is the good thing about being a blogger though. Maybe upon reading this post, he will reconsider his stance on bars of soap. Because marriage is all about communication and compromise.
Or maybe we will just switch to liquid.