Sometimes Marriage Sucks

A lot of the content on this blog comes straight from the effects of a good marriage. Adventure-ing, being able to be a total goob in front of someone else, having fights and making up, silly conversations, cuddling, adorable photos, having a buddy, blah, blah, blah and some more cutesy pootsey blah.

But even good thing suck sometimes. And last week, for the whole week, being married sucked. And here is why:

You can’t really escape each other.

As close as I am with my friends (and we are stupid amounts of close, weird amounts of close, awesome amounts of close) I am not, generally, directly touched by their moods. If they’re in a shitty mood then I don’t have to talk to them that day, I can give them space. If they decide to be grumpy and keep the world out and watch Greys Anatomy and sob in an entire box of kleenex that doesn’t keep me from basking in my own sunshine in my own little happy land.

But when Kamel is hating the world, or hasn’t gotten enough sleep, or has just decided to be an ass hole for a day… I can’t escape it. It doesn’t even have to do with being in any sort of physical space with him, I could go for a walk or have dinner with friends, and yet… he’s still there. I am tied to him in a way that is unique, and frustrating. How does one person have so much power over how I feel and what I do and how my day runs its course? It’s so unfair! When we talk about “sharing our life” it doesn’t mean only the good parts, it also doesn’t mean all of the good parts AND all of the mutually shitty parts. Sometimes we share the parts where the other person is being a dick, and I have to be the one who puts up with it and grits my teeth because… sometimes we’re all ass holes, and sometimes we all go through things that make us ass holes, even me.

But it doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck. It sucks. And I hate it and sometimes I resent him for it. I say things like, “You are RUINING MY DAY!!” or, “Why are you being such a dick? You’re making me hate you right now.” And I don’t want to hate him. I want the parts where he makes me laugh so hard I pee my pants a little. Or the parts where we are just quiet together and everything is as it should be while we move together in the same space as separate people. I don’t want the parts where I wake up like the happiest person on the planet and am forced to deal with a grumpy, immature jerkface. The guy who throws a little tantrum and stamps his foot in Target. The guy who melts down over making a decision – where both choices either don’t matter or are both good things. And I’m left to move us along, to try and make the best of it, to sooth even though there is nothing to soothe because nothing I say fixes. Because this is his world and I’m just living in it.

Last week was like that because he was freaked out about the balloon. He was uncomfortable and anxious and mad at me for getting him into this situation where he was now uncomfortable and anxious. But it wasn’t clear and I didn’t understand. All of it came off as just… obnoxious and negative.

But then he didn’t die in the balloon, and he actually kind of thought it was a little bit amazing. And he stopped being so mad and uncomfortable and started loving me again and all was well. But I had a shitty week when I could have been having a totally normal week because I’m married and I have this other person tethered to me. And sometimes I guess that’s how it works, even if I think it’s stupid and unfair.

16 thoughts on “Sometimes Marriage Sucks”

  1. This post is making me aware of something I hadn’t realized before, namely that I can be less of a moody jerkface than I currently am.

    Sometimes I like to wallow in being grumpy for a while (I’m a masochist like that, I guess). Which is fine if it only concerns me, but is not at all fine if I am inconveniencing Beloved. He doesn’t really seem affected by whether or not I am grumpy, but it is worth bringing it up for a double check.

    Thanks!

    1. I am the same as you. Sometimes I wallow in my grumps. Sometimes I’m the one on the other side of this conversation – the one being a pain in the ass. I think it’s just part of the game. We could all be a little less jerk-facey. But shit happens, and sometimes we are mad at the whole wide world and sometimes that rubs off on the one we live with. Goddamnit. 😉

  2. Oh, how I wish I didn’t empathize with this post quite so deeply. But one of my biggest faults is that, with my husband, I am an emotional mirror. All it takes is one sharp word (or lack thereof, as the case may be – he is a silent-type Moods McGee) to set me on a path of complete and total misery for the rest of the day. My mood is tied to him SO. Closely. Whether he’s pissed off at me or he just had a shitty day at work, it affects me to an almost embarrassing degree – and just like you say, it doesn’t even matter if I’m out of the house, at work, at a bar, anything. His mood-tentacles transcend time and space.

    While I accept this is just part of marriage, to a certain extent, I would also like to make it a goal that I try not to let his moods affect me quite as much. Much like when you become part of a couple and start sharing illnesses, he can cause me to be moody twice as much as I normally would be. And that’s a lot of time to lose to misery.

  3. Lauren, you’re in my brain. I swear. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about this sort of conflict in my relationship, where one of us is in a nasty mood and it rubs off on the other. It’s definitely not fun.

    It’s also one of my favourite things, because it pushes Bunny and I to be better to each other, and for each other, and to tell each other what we need more clearly. I also completely melt down over making decisions if I’m tired, hangry or in a general bad mood, but we’re at a point where I can just say “I need you to please make the decisions right now because I’m overwhelmed with xyz”. Bunny’s a little tornado of scary busy when he’s pissy which is a little terrifying, but he’ll tell me “I’m just burning off the bad mood, can you let me be for awhile?”

    I guess mostly what I’m saying is that yes, absolutely it sucks big time when someone who is such a big player in your life drags you into their moodiness, but it’s also a great place to push and grow with each other.

  4. This happens to me and J, too. At least, it happens in my direction. Not sure if it happens in his direction. And it’s crazy because we live, like, THOUSANDS of miles apart right now, and sometimes I think we’re gonna end up hating each other when we’re in the same place again, but it actually usually works out OK. But it’s nice to hear this is just apparently some sort of aspect of being in a committed relationship, not a sign of disaster that everything isn’t always hunky-dory.

  5. I love this post a lot. You hit the nail on the head. (I’m not married yet buuuuttt we’ve been living on our own with joint accounts and all that jazz for two years now so I’m going to take license here.)

    I also hate it a little. Because I’ve been thinking about what an immature brat I am sometimes. But just knowing and recognizing that doesn’t always stop me from stomping my foot in Target or getting mad when Forrest points out I screwed up.

    Does loving it a lot and hating it a little make this post like marriage?

  6. Oh man. James says this all the time. I am decidedly more moody than he is and my moods go right into his core and turn him so that he immediately feels however I am feeling. It was awesome when we first met – because it was all the feel-good moods. Then the longer we were together – the more he saw the frustrated, stressed, sad, or just generally feeling ‘off’ moods and he always said, “just be happy!” Well, sometimes I want to have a bad day, mister! Sometimes I want to sit and cry for a minute because afterwards I will feel better. So if you could untether yourself from my moods for one moment… I would appreciate it. Thankyouverymuch.

    Sorry – that comment kind of made a wrong turn somewhere and just kept going… haha! 🙂

  7. GIRL. YES.

    Also, curious–did this specific aspect change for you after you got married? Like, you lived together before, so I’m assuming it was there then to an extent…but did it somehow change/get more realz after the wedding?

    1. I think a variety of things change after you get married (from my humble experience). I know that some people don’t feel this shift. I lived with Kamel for over a year before we got married, but there is something about how marriage solidifies the family aspect that is extra binding. If we were in bad moods or having an off week of course it caused friction or made us grumble at each other. But I guess I also felt like I could say, “oh fuck off, I’m outta here” and then go escape the doom and gloom. I don’t feel like I can escape it so much anymore.

      I still identify first as Lauren. Wife is far down the list of hats I wear. I am certainly NOT Mrs. Kamel Dupuis-Perez. But there is an intertwining that has happened and continues to weave itself deeper. If he is having a bad day, then I am having a bad day. Sometimes I resent it because it’s really not fair that someone else has that big of a pull when you don’t want them to. But sometimes it also makes us super strong.

      That’s why sometimes marriage sucks. Sometimes I feel like I’m paying the toll for awesome. Marriage doesn’t make your life easier, it’s mostly a positive, but it is always complicated.

  8. Oh yeah, this happens to me too. Both of us are mood-absorbers, though I am worse. How it goes is like this: he is upset, so I get upset and then mad at him for making me upset with his upset-ness, then he’s upset that I am upset and that he’s not allowed just be upset and now he has me mad at him on top of whatever he was originally upset about! I am trying to be better, I used to see it as a sign of looooove that I felt so tied to his feelings and didn’t want to change. And maybe love has something to do with it, but it’s still no good, so I’m trying to just let his moods bounce off me a little more.

  9. Ugh. I hate this. My husband goes through phases where work really stresses him out and makes him angry, and since he can’t take it out on coworkers he finds ways to pick fights with me within 5 min of getting home. I am ALL FOR having a day where you just.want.to.wallow.in.the.grumps. But don’t do it on the regular, and don’t pull me into your bullshit by getting angry with ME.

    My personality tends more toward happy and positive than his anyway, so we’re working on ways to help me stay that way and help him get that way. I am getting much better at not taking it personally, and he is better at recognizing WHY he is doing it and reining it in. But STILL – we could be taking a night to ourselves so he can be moody by himself, him upstairs playing computer games while I read on the couch, and him being in a bad mood will still influence me. Yuck.

    Lauren, this is why I love your blog. You are so willing to be honest about marriage and relationships, yet not come across as complain-y/hateful/boys + marriage suck. It helps us all to realize this is normal.

  10. lauren, thank you for your truth! i’m getting married this fall and i think about things like this. then i wonder if maybe we’re the only couple who’s dealing with these things, because i mostly see sunshine and rainbows from my friends (and the blogs i follow!)… thank you, thank you, thank you.

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