I still remember my first wedding anniversary. It was very dreamy. I slept in on my sun-kissed queen size bed. I woke up to a diamond ring. We planned a big barbecue at “Bronte beach”. We invited everyone we knew. I bought a beachy dress. I got one million wishes before noon. NEED I SAY MORE?
Things have definitely CHANGED a tad bit. I slept in the middle of my 2 kids last night with one of each of my two arms under their 2 little heads. I had to remind a few people to send me their wishes. I rushed the kids in my usual scary mommy avatar to school. Had a "snickers bar" for breakfast yet again. Well! Finally got myself a breather and a coffee and started writing.
The fact that my husband woke me up with a “happy anniversary” wish before he left for work and that warmth in his voice, that just clearly makes you aware of the emotion behind it, made my day. I am as joyous as I was 9 years ago today. I can’t stop smiling writing this.
Trust me, this post is not about me being complacent and blabbing about how perfect my relationship is. It’s about the really important things, that matter to me in the long run, along with some that don’t count if you look at the big picture.
After all, it’s all about how perfect your imperfections are to fit into each other in the jigsaw puzzle of marriage.
1. “‘COZ GIRL YOU’RE AMAZING, JUST THE WAY YOU ARE”
“No honey! It’s not you. It’s the dress.”,
“Sweetheart, you are always right. You are working with a bunch of morons.”,
“I’m not such a shallow person who bothers about some small talk(Tsk Tsk, hiding in the bathroom 5 minutes later and crying).”
It doesn’t work if you choose not to pick on your partner ever. On the contrary, you need to tell your partner what they are doing wrong to make their lives better.
Wikipedia explains that "Practical criticism is an objection or appraisal of the type, that something "does or does not work" in practical reality, due to some reason or cause. The focus is on useful effect."
It further adds that "People might hold on to their beliefs or defend them, even if they are not very practical at all, because they feel those beliefs are essential to who they are."
You know this is my reason for settling on "Alex Vause" as my favourite character in "Orange is the new black".
She comes across as strong and brutal, but always shows Piper the mirror and stops her from making a complete fool out of herself at many occasions. Alex saved Piper before she ended up in a storm at many stages.
Nevertheless, sometimes you need to keep mum and just nod to make your partner happy.
But for mastering that skill of knowing what to say, you really need to put your phones down and, husbands, you really need to listen with your ears to what you are being asked. And, if you train your ears to REALLY LISTEN, you will see that thin line of difference and always know the answer to that jackpot question.
2. “MEN WILL BE MEN, BUT SOMETIMES THEY CAN BE THE WOMEN”
From what I have seen, couples where every task is designated to be completed by one of the two, and if that particular one fails to stick to it, the other one says “I never signed up for this”, are the ones whom I call “dysfunctional”.
We have been brought up with gender designated roles since the beginning of life on earth. “Pink and blue”, “Barbie dolls for her and tool kit toy-set for him” has manipulated our minds into a catastrophically biased mentality.
Even babies are aware of the fact that they cannot approach their fathers for certain things. And when it comes to doing the "HANDYMAN" stuff, men are the boss.
He could change that nappy and she could assemble the bookshelf. What’s the big deal about it anyway?
3. “ARE KIDS REALLY THE MIRACLE YOU WISHED FOR?”
Babies can take your breath away with their charm. Let’s just face the fact that babies can also take away your sleep, your sanity, the quality time you had with each other holding hands, watching a movie, clubbing, dinners, breakfasts, coffee dates, games, working out, spas, salsa, cooking; phew!
Basically, you start wondering that you are definitely parents of a human being now, but don’t you belong to the same species and have a right to live like one yourself?
“The Good Health” magazine, October 2018 Australian issue, talks about avoiding mental health issues in new moms in the section “NEW MUM HEALTH GUIDE”. It advises new mums to “make time to spend with your partner. It might seem difficult right now but it is easy to lose sight of your relationship in those first few weeks and months of parenthood. Think of it as an investment in your family’s future happiness.”
4. “I AM DONE WITH THIS”
No matter how distressed you are with your spouse, I think some words are absolutely off limits.
We can learn a lot from what we teach our kids like “no bad words”, “what’s the magic word for that?”, “no name calling please” and of course, “it is not nice to hurt someone’s feelings”.
Hurtful sarcasm, naming each other as uptight or crazy or obnoxious or selfish and worse, yelling and comparison are all evil monsters that feed not only on a couple’s peace, energy and sanity, but are also vampires that suck up all the blood leaving the cardiac cycle dry and that heart incapable of love.
I know what you’re thinking, “she can’t be serious. Not everyone is a MAHATMA.”
I completely agree but you’ve got to take up a strategy to tell yourself to shut up.
5. “BUT THAT’S REALLY DUMB”
You have to respect each other’s choices. You cannot expect her to watch the footy every Saturday. You need to watch a romcom every other weekend and pledge yourself to not doze off during the flick.
On a serious note, in my opinion, calling your partner stupid will not make you superior. And in the rare households where it does, they are not living their lives , they are just dragging.
6. “HAPPILY EVER AFTER” IS A MYTH
Marriage isn’t a certification to expect your other half to take charge of your happiness. If you could be always happy, then why do we have a variety of emojis? Jokes apart, being unhappy about not being happy is what we all secretly do. Guilty as charged!
Oliver Burkeman’s book “THE ANTIDOTE” points out something very basic and important. It explains how the pressure of “think positive” in turn leads to self-sabotage. “ A person who has resolved to ‘think positive’ must constantly scan his or her mind for negative thoughts – there’s no other way that the mind could ever gauge its success at the operation – yet that scanning will draw attention to the presence of negative thoughts.”
The vow says “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part”
I am not a relationship expert but I have learnt a thing or two in my life. The most important ingredient in any relationship, for all intents and purposes, is "COMPATIBILITY". There are all kinds of relationships in the world. Your’s could be the poster child of 'weird', and regardless, you wouldn’t trade it for the world. “And I mean it from the bottom of my heart.”