Marriage. Ever-evolving. What that really means is just when you think you have stopped up all the leaks, plugged the holes, had the last fight about that one recurring disagreement and we can all go to bed now let’s cuddle, hold hands, sing songs – something else pops up that needs maintenance. Ever-evolving. Weeeee!
It sounds kind of terrible but right now we are bumping up against ye-old-cliche of “this isn’t turning out to be like what I thought it would be like,” otherwise known as, “what did I get myself into?” It’s not so dire that I want to push the eject button, I just want to have a what the fuck, come to Jesus talk.
Right now (and maybe forever and ever amen) it’s about travel. TRAVEL! The one thing I really never anticipated being an issue in my marriage ever ever ever.
The biggest perk for me when it came to marriage was having a perma-buddy to have adventures with. Kamel seemed like a guy who would be up for stuff. And I think I just assumed that everyone loves adventures and travel, and even if they didn’t once they experienced life with ME, they would swiftly change their tune. Kamel and I talk about travel, we make plans in the future like, “Fall of 20__ we should definitely spend a week in London and Scotland.” or “For our next trip do you want it to be beachy and relaxing or someplace new and busy/adventure-y?” Except, it turns out, actually pulling the trigger for trips that do not involve family or weddings has been incredibly difficult. Part of that is cash flow, a bigger part of that is time.
Another legitimate slice of the no-vacations pie, though, is making it a priority. Me? I would go somewhere new every other month if I could. I love airports, I love new places, I love everything there is about travel (maybe except for the actual flights). I don’t mind dragging the baby around if it means seeing and doing with child vs not seeing or doing. My perfect year would be if we only ever traveled for our own leisure. That would be perfection.
Guess what Kamel’s perfect year is? Guess. I’ll give you a minute.
Not traveling at all! Not one single trip anywhere for an entire year! No flights, no new things, nothing nada zip.
And yes the argument is, that is valid. Traveling is exhausting and expensive, totally reasonable to want to stay put.
Except! I’m attached to that now. I, me, right here, yoo hoo! Adventuring extraordinaire! Waiting my whole life to be an adult and to be able to go where I want and do what I want whenever I want to! <- me. Chained to no man! <- not me.
Did you just hear the record skip? I did.
Sharing my life and all of my life-ly decisions with another person who is NOT ME is the worst and most difficult part of marriage in my world. This is not what I signed up for! I signed up for the perma-buddy! Who would follow me around on all of my adventures and help me change the baby in public restrooms with a smile on his face and let’s go ziplining for fuckssake! Epic epicness!!!
So we have fights about travel. And sometimes I lose and don’t get to go where I want and do what I want when I want to do it. And sometimes even when I win it doesn’t feel like winning. It feels like dragging a kicking and screaming person who doesn’t want to go anywhere through airport security. As good of a sport as Kamel can be, sometimes he is not. And sometimes that is my fault for not listening to him say, “Lauren, I don’t want to do this!” And sometimes it is his fault for not sucking it up and playing along.
And here is where my own trantrum comes in because being a wife and a mother changes you, yes, but there are certain things I refuse to have it change. And if I can’t refuse then I will fight it tooth and nail because I will not let those two things swallow me whole. Compromise is important, bending in a situation can save you from breaking, and my marriage is clearly more important to me than most things, but I’m still me. If I married someone who would rather not spend 6 months out of the year going to new places, fine. But that means that he married someone who would. Compromise doesn’t always land in my corner, but sometimes it does. Sometimes it needs to.
How do you handle the places in your relationships you don’t match up on? Is there anything that surprised you after you had already committed to be with that person forever and ever and ever? Do you talk about it? Ignore it? Who wins most often in these situations?