In memory of my (not dead) husband:
Mawwage is awesome. Some of the time. Most of the time. Am I right?
It’s been a year and a half. I still consider us a pair of newlyweds. I’m still madly in love and surprised at how in love you could be with someone you want to kill a few times a week.
I reckon since this blog is about being recently married and how to deal with so many changes all at once, it was due time to talk about man versus women.
If you’ve kept up with my mini-saga or read the bio, I’ve mentioned how immediately after marriage I – we- began to deal with serious health problems. This causes a lot of conflict and confusion for a couple who is supposed to be locked in the bedroom, high on endorphins and in honeymoon stage. Even during the honeymoon, we had to make modifications due to my escalating symptoms. Coming home to a surreal reality of problems is not for the weak. While a women feels, “Thank God I have a good strong man to help me through this rough time”, a man is most likely feeling, “This is not fair! We’re supposed to be having the time of our lives.” Though a wife still acknowledges the unfairness of it all, a man’s need to fix something he cannot can really test him, especially early in a marriage before either one has settled themselves into a role of new responsibilities.
This is not limited to couples with illness though. Even before I got married, I was fascinated by the psychological relationship between husband and wife. Being a naive and arrogant little girl, when I read books like Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus (for fun, yes, I’m a nerd), I thought, “Why don’t people just say what they’re feeling? Then they would both understand each other!!! It’s so simple.” Haha. Hahahahaha. Hahahahaaa.
There are delicate balances in a loving relationship, or a non-loving one. There are so many fine lines that it feels more like a tight rope when having to express needs, wants, and emotions. God forbid you overuse that word: f-e-e-l-i-n-g-s.
However, I’m proud to say that through hard work and application I’ve found the strength to be patient and found a man who in his limited-emotional male vocabulary, and has been patient with me as well. Better said, we have been patient with the life we’ve been handed and managed to breakthrough to all the little surprises that life shoots at the fan and that all the poo that will continually be flying down on us just to keep us on our game. Disease, unemployment, cars breaking down, Verizon rape bills…… I gotta give a round of applause for a man who deserves more than a break; and I appreciate him not breaking down on me like that damn Ford Focus he spent six months to pimp out for my anniversary gift.
He has proven to be made of that good tough material. He still hasn’t learned to make me a gluten-free vegan meal to save his life, but he tucks me in when my body is swollen and takes out the cat poop for me. More so, he trusts that there’s still a little firecracker in me, even when I’m stuck on the couch. My hero!
For all the other new brides out there, and by new I mean at least up to two years (so says one of my favorite books listed below), the “struggle” is normal no matter what difficulties arise. Men are a different species and us wifeys have a hard time not swatting our men over their heads when times get tough or when inappropriate fart jokes are made. But we must be patient for them. We’re the ones who have to figure it out before they do because they’re not designed to read up or ask their girl friends for relationship advice. Weepy and naggy women, no matter what how much we deserve to whine, can distance a man or make him recoil into passive aggressiveness, closing the door to certain intimacies. We have to put our big girl thongs on and learn how to control the situation while making them think they’re the ones in control. It takes developing a strong measure of common sense and sass, if we haven’t learned it already by the time we’re ball and chain’d. We’re more scientifically gifted and versed in communication, so it’s our burden and privilege to set the tone, the mood, to let them feel relaxed enough to take the reins.
Men can reach their husband potential relatively quickly if we support their individual needs; all throughout keeping ourselves together during our times of needs when they’re too stressed to cater to us. They were not created to wait on our hand and foot to our every want, and even need. As a matter of fact, we are their complement. Some men will be very helpful while learning to love after the lust period, but it will not always come natural to them and we have to buck up during this process. I will admit that some husbands can just turn out a dud altogether sometimes, but that’s a whole other story. But personally, I think, the ones who are honestly committed, deserve a wife who can make them feel just as safe and secure during rough times, as they can to us.
So, here’s what has helped me through times when we’re both stumped, tired, annoyed, stressed, you name it….
- Prayers. I mean, heartfelt, all out, near-accusation-kneeling-supplications, to the Big Guy upstairs.
- Good and Selective Advice. Limited to family, and one or two blood-tight friends (don’t want to air business out to everyone), and wise/older/successful couples. To them, I am forever grateful for their honesty.
- It’s a Guy Thing – It’s next to my bed. Looove this book. A look into the feminine and masculine balance and why men have to scratch and burp while we wonder where our flowers are.
- What No One Tells the Bride – This book, with collective realizations from different types of new brides, allows women to ease into the violent shock of living in a committed relationship with a penis carrier, especially the independent women. It takes two years for the average woman to feel like a settled wife. And we all fear becoming our mothers. This alone will settle a girl.
- Why Mars and Venus Collide – I read this one before getting married. The knowledge carried through to the big plummeting vows was priceless. Out of all the Mars and Venus books, this one seemed most relevant in its insight into times of high stress. An reasonable look into why men and women can’t help the way they are and communicate, why it clashes even though its biologically designed to complement each other, and why modern stresses affect the natural balance.
- Feeling Good – This book is not about marraige. It’s actually about depression. I never wanted to read it because at the time I did, I was not depressed. But for anyone who is highly emotional and reactive, (which marriage can highlight this part of our psyche) this doctor can lead you into enlightenment about why we have certain emotional thoughts and behaviors and how to find the root of controlling ourselves. Knowing thyself. The downside is that you can catch when everyone else is behaving irrationally too and you have to resist the urge of calling them out. If we can command ourselves, we can deal with others better.
- Holy Scriptures – Oh yes, I’m serious. And I don’t mean the Ephesians where we’re all told who we are to submit to and that’s that. Proverbs 31:10-31. It talks about the capable wife. Every time I feel lazy, whimpish, resentful, or needy…I read this over and over and imagine a Middle-Eastern prowess of ancient times, taking care of business, and being honored by her hard working husband. This woman is energetic, spiritual, a real go-getter, a community socialite, runs her house like a tight ship, earns the trust and respect of her husband by being proactive, and earns the praise of her God. Highly inspirational and more motivating than any of the other books I have in my library.