The Truth About Marriage

One of our first fights was about eggs.

yes, really. It went something like this:

“umm, have you seen the eggs I bought? (indirect, accusatory way of saying, this is your fault.)

“yea. I used them to make eggs this morning.” (nonchalant, because what else would you do with eggs?)

“whhhaaat!? I was going to use them to make banana bread.” (over-reacting example of how I had an idea in my head but failed to communicate it out-loud.)

And then it only got worse; quickly spiraling into an argument about being too controlling, someone over-reacting, someone else not communicating, and you can imagine how it went from there. Both of our ugly sides came out.  Both of us mad and angry… about eggs.

 

•   •   •

 

I look back now and think how ridiculous it is to fight about eggs. But it’s never really about eggs, is it? It’s about something deeper. It’s about something that comes up when all of the sudden you’re in love and married and trying to figure out the right way to wash dishes and what should or should not get hung on the walls. All of the sudden the small things like who uses up the last of the eggs become big things.

 

Maybe that’s what I’ve learned. Marriage is about learning how to share eggs.

And somewhere in their you have realize that it’s impossible to share eggs when you’re stuck labeling things as mine and yours. Egg sharing is serious business. It means you have to learn how to not complain if someone preparers their scrambled eggs different from how you prepare yours. And you have to learn to forgive quickly when someone breaks the last egg. And sometimes it means you may buy the eggs, but not get to eat them.

The truth is sharing is sometimes hard. I am sure for some personalities and people egg sharing comes more naturally. For us we’ve had to work at it. And we will continue to have to work at it.  The truth is I love my husband and because I love him so much I want to be able to share who I am and what I have. I want to not just do life together, but really learn how to share life together. However, sharing by definition mean giving something away. You can’t want to share a life with someone and be insistent about always get things your way. It’s just doesn’t work. I believe what you gain in marriage, is because of something you lose. You lose a little freedom, control and perhaps your way of doing things. But what you get in return is so much better.

So, we’re learning how to share a life and share eggs.*

 

 *authors note: we have not argued about eggs since that first fight. We have however argued about numerous other things.

 

The Truth about Marriage is a new series I plan on writing about from time to time and inviting other people to join in and share their perspective.

In a culture that feeds us stories of either fairy tell weddings or of marriages that crumble into messy divorces, I think its important to have places where you can tell the truth. What does real, not perfect, day-to-day marriage look like? What does loving someone with everything you got look like when a minute later you’re so frustrated wondering how on earth this is going to work? Maybe when we learn to be honest about what marriage looks like (the good, the ugly and the confusing) we’ll be less and less inclined to worship the idea of it. Marriage is wonderful, but it is certainly not a means to end. I want to tell the real story. The truth about marriage.

 

I’m curious, if you’re married what does marriage look like for you? How is it different than you expected? Or is it?

If you’re single and wanting one day to be married, what are the expectations or ideals that you have been told about marriage?

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9 thoughts on “The Truth About Marriage

  1. I love this idea, Michelle, and can’t wait to hear your thoughts. One of my biggest surprises was arguing at the grocery store. He wanted to price check every single item. He’d stand in front of the butter for like, five minutes, analyzing the best deal. “Just put it in the damn cart” I’d be thinking to myself. 😉 To each his own, right? Now I’m just happy that we got grocery shopping together occasionally. But, on a bigger scale, the grocery shopping is an indication that we process decisions differently so we have indeed had much larger fights on issues unrelated to butter.

  2. Ms Michelle, it is so good to hear young marrieds want to share life together not just live it. Tom and I will be married 39 years the 16th of June and over the years so many things have been eye openers for both of us. I had to learn as your friend Lesley, Tom process’ things where I just make decisions and we both know not always the right one. Tom may take three days on how to spend 50.00 and in that process the item is gone. I was a control freak he is passive aggressive, we have done a lot of give and take but at the end of the day we have been able to come together and smile and know we love each other deeper than an “egg” so be it….We don’t win we learn to be one together! And after 39 years I am still telling we are still learning! Miss you GF pray for the two of you always!
    Love ya Robin

  3. Lesley, I hate to admit that you and I may not be good grocery shopping together either. I am a price-checker. And may be known to spend 5-minutes analyzing many items in the grocery store. G and I have found it works better if he waits in the car for me reading sports on his phone and I go in to spend all my sweet time price checking : )

  4. Thanks Robin. Good to hear. And many congrats to you and Tom and 39 years of marriage. What a wonderful example of your love for each other and your commitment to share life together. Thank you!

  5. I, of course, discovered that I am not very good at marriage (hence, the divorce). No, I am not only blaming me since it takes two. What I do know is that one’s marriage is usually not what others think it is. What makes a marriage work or not work is different for everyone. I look forward to reading your thoughts on the marriage thing!

  6. Helen, I think you’re right. What makes a marriage work or not work IS different for everyone.

  7. What a great series, can’t wait to read more.

    We have had the egg fight, and the “there’s nothing to eat” fight. But I agree, it is always about something deeper. The important part is to communicate and figure out what the “deeper” is.

  8. “Maybe that’s what I’ve learned. Marriage is about learning how to share eggs.”

    Love that line. So true. On my last “learning what marriage is about” post I wrote: “Marriage is built on a million more mundane moments than magical.”

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