Marriage Is Not The End Zone

Yesterday’s post, though honest and fraught with the reality of my swollen hot feet and sweaty knee-pits, bothered me all day. I kept thinking about how it wasn’t the post I should have written. How the lightening storm was great, but it was actually a small piece to a larger puzzle. I thought all day and even into my happy hour with Claire about how to say what I want to say, but I am still coming up blank.

Since we’ve moved to Seattle things have been good, I have been happy, we have so many opportunities here, we have a much better quality of life, there are a thousand and one excellent things about our world right now.

Except Kamel isn’t happy. He is happy that we moved, he loves Seattle! He is not happy for other reasons. And his unhappiness spills out of him and onto us. It creates tension and stress and negativity that eats away at all of the good things, all of the happy things. And it is exhausting to be forced to go down that path with him. Things have been harder than usual. More tears from me. An undercurrent of loneliness.

This marriage thing is a constant evolution. I don’t even remember what our relationship was when we dated. Who were we again? I do remember what I thought marriage would be on the day I got married.

A buddy for life.

Someone to always have adventures with.

My jovial, up for it, supportive Kamel.

Except we are way more things than that. We are much bigger than vows. On our wedding day we are the best version of ourselves, but in our marriage we are sometimes the best, we are sometimes the worst, but we are often just somewhere in the middle.

But lately it hasn’t been great. And more often than I want it has been not good. It’s been hard. It is hard navigating the world with someone else’s issues in mind. It is hard for Kamel, but I don’t speak for him here. It is hard being the person who is generally content while tied to a person who is not.

The thing is it is not an easy thing to talk about or write about or express. “Marriage is not easy” is too simple of a phrase. Marriage is a difficult, challenging existence but it is not a bad one. The work of it matters, the hard parts mean something, choosing that person even when they suck, even when they are no fun at all, that means something.

Staying up and watching the lightening after a day of choosing to be nice instead of wanting to be nice. That moment where he reaches out and touches your side just because. Being kind to one another, knowing that each of you is trying and working towards a common goal, knowing you have a partner even if in a moment (an hour, a day, a week) you feel alone.

Marriage doesn’t have anything to do with kids, parenting has to do with kids. Marriage is this umbrella thing that I am sometimes figuring out on my own, figuring out how to be better at my parts, figuring out how to communicate about the parts I need us both to be better at. It’s a dance, it’s a slow dance. Sometimes the songs really suck. But I keep choosing him, again and again and again, I keep choosing.

Because Marriage is not the end zone, it’s the starting line.


Year 3: Leather

People watching at fancy hotels is the best. Such a strange group of people. You realize that money doesn’t make you pretty and that humans are just humans, bathing suits and bellies and bottoms and tan lines and burn lines and hairy backs. And we all just want to get some sunshine, order a beer, and go for a swim. “Oh man! Look at that guy!” Kamel said, “He’s roasting! He looks like he’s smoked a thousand cigars. He looks like, he looks like…” The first thing that came to mind was the word “Tanning” …. but I didn’t mean it in the “lay out in the sun and get a...


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This weekend was one for the books! Staycation, celebrating our 5 years of knowing each other, and our first night away from Gabe! Last year for our anniversary we went to Target after work, got stuck in traffic, and then ate take out at 7:30 at night while the baby cried. This year we decided to treat ourselves and spent 2 nights at the Four Seasons Seattle. The weather just happened to hit 90 degrees on Saturday. It was at July anniversary miracle. The Four Seasons were kind enough to supply us with a real crib, complete with bumpers and sheets and a quilt. Plus all the Johnson and Johnson baby products you could ever wish for AND a...


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5 Years of Knowing

When I was pregnant with Gabe, Kamel and I would go on lots of walks. Frequently we would ask each other, “5 years ago could you believe this would happen? That you would be living here, married, and about to have a baby?” We would always say, “no way! no how! I wouldn’t have believed it even if future me came back and told me it would happen!” Five years. (A photo from July 12th, 2009) It’s not so long. Not as long as I have known my best friends. Only a fraction of how long my parents have been together. But 5 years of knowing, somehow it feels solid. Not so solid (but what is solid? 10? 30?), but it...


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Those Wide Open What-Ifs

Do you remember when you were a teen and reading books or watching movies and you’d think about your future and it was all possible? What would you be? Where would you go? Who would you date, marry, live happily ever after with? The world was full of so many firsts. So many big events. Sometimes when I read YA, and am put back in those teen romance angst years, I feel pangs of grief. I feel like this sounds crazy because who wants to go back to the angst? The angst took over my life, it was terrible, so many what-ifs, so many possible social blunders and hurt feelings and crushed hearts (99.9% my hearts). What am I mourning? Why do I...


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Marriage the Continued Saga

A while after I got engaged I was driving across a bridge, I remember exactly where I was (and I have almost written this exact sentence some time ago, I know it), and I remember that it suddenly hit me: I am not at all any happier being engaged than I was not being engaged. We are almost 3 years married. It’s like a blip on the marriage-time continuum. But even so, it absolutely boggles me that I spent so much time and mental energy chasing this existence. I don’t even mean I was out to get an MRS degree, I don’t mean I was searching searching searching for a husband all of the time. I had long periods of being single and...


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Who the hell is she?


I am a writer living in Seattle and I believe that life is a grand adventure and only boring if you believe it to be. Plus! You don't need money to have fun.

I live with my husband, a photographer by education and a maker-of-video-games by trade, and a baby named gabe in an apartment on the hill.

I am romantic about most things and I cry... about almost anything. I tell stories to entertain you, I spread stories to keep you in the loop. I am not a grammar freak, but I do know how to spell it. I am exceedingly proud of my scrambled eggs and I really could eat an entire pan of cupcakes. If I met me, I would be my best friend. I tend to be irreverent.

If you would like to chat with me or see what else I'm up to you can follow me on Twitter (betterinrealife), on facebook, or email me at betterinrealife at gmail.