Lola rants about marriage.

Let me start off by telling you that I once told someone out loud that I could not imagine ever fighting with my husband.

24 year old Lola and 28 year old Oatmeal on their second date.  Disregard the bottom right corner - it was Halloween '08.

24 year old Lola and 28 year old Oatmeal on their second date. Disregard the bottom right corner – it was Halloween ’08.  I was a desperate housewife, and he was Indiana Jones.  Irony?

At the time he was my boyfriend.  Or maybe we were engaged.  It doesn’t really matter, does it?  The point is that we had really never had a fight, and I stated very clearly that we never would.

I wasn’t lying.  I had been head over heels in love with that guy for two years.  He. Was. Perfect.

I loved every single thing about him.  I loved the way he didn’t even have to say what he was thinking – because I knew.  The way he whistled.  His love for the country and all things outdoors.  I admired how positive he was – he never complained.  Nothing ruffled his feathers.

Ahhh, to be young and in love and having so much fun you can't even stop laughing for a picture.

Ahhh, to be young and in love and having so much fun you can’t even stop laughing for a picture.

I even loved things about him that others probably didn’t love.  He certainly has never been the most PC guy around, but I found him to be hilarious.  I mean the laugh-so-hard it hurts hilarious.  And the fact that one of his front teeth was actually gray?   (High school football accident…)  It didn’t matter.  I thought he was the most good looking guy I had ever seen, much less made out with.

(In case you were wondering about that gray tooth, he had it fixed just before our wedding… his own idea.  I’d have never, ever pointed out one of his flaws.)

So on the day that we got married, I was sure I was marrying the right guy.

Beyond sure.  I was so in love, y’all.  So crazy in love.

Just a couple of kids, muggin' down behind a trailer.

Just a couple of kids, muggin’ down behind a trailer.

I prayed to the Lord and literally told Him, “I have no idea why you gave me the perfect guy, but THANK YOU.  I don’t deserve him, but THANK YOU.  This is really all I have ever wanted in this life.. a love like this.  Thank.  You.  God.”

And our marriage was perfect.  Storybook perfect.

Vacay in California!

Vacay in California!

I wanted to have Oatmeal’s babies.  I just didn’t plan on having one so soon.  I suppose I thought it would take a little bit of time to get pregnant, but that wasn’t the case.  Once I stopped paying attention to any, er, family planning measures, BAM.

Pregnant.

And the wheels came off.

Okay, so I don’t really mean that literally.  I’m certainly not saying that our marriage went to hell in a handbasket.  On the contrary, I want to point out that we have added yet another tot, and it’s actually deeper and more wonderful than it has ever been before.  But I just want to be someone who writes something HONEST about being married and having little kids.  Kids who you love so much it literally (and I do mean literally) pushes you to the brink of insanity.

My 25th birthday - back when he shopped for my gift ahead of time, and sang to me in front of other people.

My 25th birthday – back when he shopped for my gift ahead of time, and sang to me in front of other people.

It’s hard. Sometimes it is even really hard.  And guess what?  I’ve eaten my words a hundred times over since saying that we would never fight.  Of COURSE we fight!  When no one is sleeping and everyone is hungry and the house is a wreck, we fight.  When we let ourselves fall into the deadly trap of keeping score over who has done what, we fight more.

And what makes it worse?  Well unless you’re a brick, it is almost impossible to avoid comparing your marriage to others.  Look on Facebook or Instagram this weekend and you are guaranteed to see a picture of a friend or acquaintance on a date with her husband.  Or maybe even posing on the beach, looking tan and relaxed.  “Love my hubby!” the caption reads.  And in that moment, you may be sitting five feet away from your own husband and realize you haven’t had a date in weeks… or months.

Does splitting a bottle of wine while one of you watches Castle and the other stares at your phone qualify as a date?

If so, my dating life is pretty active.

Scroll through your feed a little more if you dare…  There is your old sorority sister’s husband curled up on the couch with their six month old baby.   Gosh, isn’t her husband just the best father ever!?  Oh and look, the picture she posted before that was a shot of him building a homemade swing set in the back yard while changing a diaper – blindfolded!

You try not to compare, but you flash back to the night before when you got out of bed for the fourteenth time in a row to settle your own baby.  Naturally, your husband was sleeping through it.  The next morning you mutter something about how tired you are, and he clearly has no idea what you mean.

Remember the days when you had shared hobbies that consumed your weekends together?

Remember the days when you had shared hobbies that consumed your weekends together?

I don’t care who you are, if you don’t occasionally feel insecure while looking at those beautifully filtered Instagram pictures, you’re either lying or made of steel.  Their eyes look all twinkly, and his arm is around her shoulder, and that baby just looks so doted on.  And the insecurity inside of you begins to build and you think, “My husband and I just had our fourth argument of the day, and one of them wasn’t even out loud.”

In that moment you forget where you came from.  Work happens, or kids happen, or time happens, and it seems the foundation of you + him crumbles a little.  Because you’re tired.  So very tired.  And time.  There is no time.

Oh honey, you want to make out?  I spent four hours in a doctor's office breastfeeding and getting hit in the head with a rubber shark, so let's pencil that in for a week from never.

Oh honey, you want to make out? I spent four hours in a doctor’s office breastfeeding and getting hit in the head with a rubber shark, so let’s pencil that in for a week from never.

Have you ever been told that after you get married, you may hate the things you once loved about your mate?  I laugh at that advice all the time!  Remember that part about how I loved knowing what Oatmeal was thinking, even if he wasn’t saying it?  Well guess what folks, that can be a double edged sword.  And when I’m about to scream out loud (which I often d0) because the kids won’t stop whining, and Oatmeal is walking around whistling?!

Yeah, I no longer find that whole whistling thing to be charming.

Whistling when a baby is doing the “colic cry” is not okay… not ever, ever okay. 

Look, I just want to say that I am slowly learning that every single couple has an up and a down.  Sometimes the downs come all at once and the ups aren’t really even visible.  You know what that’s called??

Normal.  Real life.  Chances are good that you didn’t really think your husband was perfect back when you married him.  Guess what, he still isn’t.  Neither are you.  But you’ve got each other, and that is worth a lot.  That is gold.  You’ve changed some, and he’s changed some, but you’re amazing together.  Let me tell you, you’re AMAZING together.  Oatmeal and I are no exception, we are AMAZING together, even when we are not.

So stop worrying about what everyone else is doing in their marriage or comparing how many date nights you have planned versus him.  I’m serious.  Guys and girls are different, and if he’s going to work every day to take care of you and the kids, that may just have to be his love language for now.  Thank him for it.  Put your phone down tonight and sit next to him on the couch.  Don’t expect any romantic measures, just enjoy the fourty-four seconds of his arm against yours before the baby wakes up.

When I do things like this… when I stop comparing and just try to soak up my hubby… I remember.  I remember how much fun it was to spoon on the couch while the dishes sat dirty in the sink.  I laugh at his off color jokes that I would never, ever let him say in public.  I elbow him and joke, “Oh my god babe, I seriously wanted to kill you last week when the baby was screaming and you were whistling.”  And we both laugh and shake our heads.

We’re going to make it.  You’re going to make it.  We can all totally make it.

And it’s worth it.

I love you, babe.   Don’t stop whistling, okay?

The day after we got engaged.  I love him just as much.  More.

The day after we got engaged. I love him just as much. More.

Lola’s no marriage expert, but these things help:

  • This book.  Seriously, this book.  Even if you only read the first two chapters, WOW.
I just bought this a few weeks ago.  I wouldn't have if it hadn't been recommended to me, but it's so good.

On my nightstand right now!

  • This book, too.  A must read for any wife.  My outlook changed the day I scanned the first few pages of this old faithful.
Probably the most eye opening read of all! Again, even just the first few chapters are amazing.

Probably the most eye opening read of all! Again, even just the first few chapters are amazing.

Not a reader?  Here’s my favorite podcast for naptime or car rides.  My recent favorites are Episode 54 (Criticism & Contempt) and Episode 62 (Routine of Romance).  These are iPhone friendly, by the way.

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Comments

  1. So good. So, so good L!! I have contemplating writing a post very similar to this recently as well. I still may do it. Also, you guys have some ridiculously beautiful and envy worthy pictures yourself! The horses?!? Stop.

    • Thanks friend. You should write it. This one has been in the works ever since your tic-tac throwing paragraph, to be honest, so you were part of the inspiration. 😉

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