Jennifer, I think you’re great. Really great. I also think that there is no reason for you to fear marriage. I’d like to shine some much-needed limelight onto modern marriage. People don’t get married because they are Leave it to Beaver-obsessed and want to create the perfect model home. People get married because they are in love. That ooey-gooey, “I don’t want to look at anyone but you”, “You complete me” kind of love. The love that no one else wants to hear about because it’s obnoxious and gag-worthy if its anyone’s but your own.
That kind of love shouldn’t be frightening! It should be fun and exciting and joyous and blissful and blah, blah, blah. And then… that love has to become realistic. Why? Because all of us have our own quirks and abnormalities and we aren’t going to be perfect all the time. (Although there is nothing abnormal about drunken puzzles. Everyone does that. Don’t worry.) Your spouse will see the flaws that you try to hide during dating. My spouse learned that I do not shave my legs every day. Why don’t I? Because I don’t shower every day. Apparently, this isn’t as odd as I once thought. He learned that I have a terrible time hanging up my laundry, it just kind of moves from the hamper, to my bed, to a pile on my dresser, without ever making it to my closet. He learned that when I’m really upset and frustrated, I can drink a 12 pack by myself and yell at him for not understanding why Breakfast at Tiffany’s is my favorite movie.
The best thing about that is I don’t have to feel embarrassed about any of it. (Well, not with him. I’m a little embarrassed admitting it here.) Because I love him and he loves me and my little quirks. He has his own random habits that I had to get used to. All of those things that you try to hide from each other come out and both of you have to accept them. You should never feel umcomfortable or embarrassed in front of your spouse, unless it’s something that you actually want to change about yourself. For the record, I think yogurt and vodka sound like a great combination, don’t change that. [Editor’s note: have you been drinking scotch milkshakes with Brandy Alexander lately?]
Those things that you might want to change? You now have a support system for that. I’ve talked before about how my husband helped me quit smoking, without condemning or insulting me. Right now, he’s helping my lose a little of my post-wedding-bliss weight. Not because he minds that I gained a couple extra pounds (another plus of having a husband, he makes me feel beautiful all the time), but because he knows that it’s important to me. So when I admit to him that I need a new size of jeans and start getting upset, he says great things like, “Well, we both need to start eating healthier.” Then he starts stocking up on fruits and veggies and helping me plan out our meals. He makes what would have been a daunting and stressful process a little less frustrating.
And what if my husband decides to become a clown? Well, maybe I’m not okay with clown. That’s creepy. But if his life’s ambition changes and we have some adjustments to make, that’s okay. My ambitions might change too. That support that he gives me is not going anywhere. How much I love him isn’t changing either. So wherever we need to move or however we need to accomodate, I’m okay with making those sacrifices. We make sacrifices everyday for things that we want. Why is it so scary to do it for another person? I sacrificed a great pair of shoes because I need to buy Christmas presents. You sacrifice a night out with friends because you have work in the morning. The issues get larger than that, but the premise is the same. You might have sacrificed a college you loved because it was too expensive. You could sacrifice an awesome apartment because your job asked you to move. We all prioritize in our lives. When you’re in love, it’s not so hard to make sacrifices for your spouse. Because their happiness has become one of your top priorities.
Marriage isn’t for everyone. Sometimes it’s not what you want. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. But it doesn’t have to be scary.