No one gets married thinking they're going to break-up, obviously. But no one marries thinking, "Shit, bitch! This is going to be the most fucked-up, insane, difficult thing ever!" And it is. Marriage is seriously tough. And the fact that I can look at Hal and he can look at me and we can even crack a smile at each after three years, I think, is miraculous.
We barely knew each other when we got married (dating for a mere eight months) but there was something about being twenty-five weeks pregnant that caused us to overlook all that. We had made the ultimate commitment to each other, already, deciding to have a baby. Might as well score a vacation weekend and some eweddingbands dot com to make it official...
Our ups and downs were the typical ups and downs of any couple saddled with a newborn during the so-called honeymoon months, or should I say any couple saddled with a newborn at all. The fact that people have children as a relationship bandaid is pure insanity to me. There is nothing more wearing on a marriage or any kind of coupling than a stranger asleep on a pillow between you.
When I was working on my book, this time last year, Hal and I were enduring an especially rough patch. We were on the verge of breakupsville, choosing marital therapy as our last resort. Our happiness together seemed hopeless for a week... a month, a while. I spent a lot of time down south at my parent's. We spent weekends away from one another to "think"...
Meanwhile I was trying to remember happier times, so that I, if for no other reason could write about them in my book. A lot of what I was writing was in real time, during a time when we were barely speaking... A confusing and difficult task. I wanted to be honest. But I also so desperately wanted to be happy. I wanted to write about love and what it felt like to be in a family of my own. A family I wanted to come home to.
Days after the book was finished, Hal and I shared an especially poignant moment together, a diamond in the rough-patch so to speak, so (naturally) I wrote about it, a perfect epilogue, I thought for the end of my book. The epilogue merged with the rest of the manuscript and in the second draft, became the ending, an ending I didn't realize at the time would become the beginning... to this: Our love-story 2.0.
Whether it was an accident or a subconscious choice, I had written, in a way our happy ending. A happy ending to a story I thought was mine.
But It wasn't my story. It never was, I soon realized. It was our story from my point-of-view.
A lot of our issues stemmed from our different ways of seeing things; marriage, life, work, everything else. I have a hard time looking at life through any one's eyes but my own. I have always been the center of my own universe, something I have been forced to face and then fess-up to as a wife, a mother, someone with responsibilities beyond herself. Myself. No one has held up a mirror to my flaws quite like my husband has and living with that reflection can make things tumultuous. But also, and most importantly, helpful. I am a better person, now. I've grown up. I'm growing up. We both are. Helping each other change for the better without sacrificing the parts of ourselves that we know make us great. And that's really what it's all about.
When Hal and I first met we were work partners, writing a pilot together that we never finished. Maybe because we didn't have a story, then. But we do now. We have our story, a story that has inspired us to work together again. A story we can tell from experience and then see what happens... Because that's all anyone can ever do: see what happens. In a marriage or creative venture, or any kind of partnership.
Our creative team took three and half years to make possible. And in that time we created a beautiful child together, got married, then engaged and in the last few months, really fell in love... and not in the Honeymoon kind of googly-eyed love we felt at the beginning. In the real, holy-shit, I know you! kind of love.
This week we will put the finishing touches on our pilot and whether or not anything happens with it beyond our living room is beside the point. Whether we stay together for a hundred years or die tragically in a Morrissey-esque double-decker bus-accident. No one knows what's going to happen. But I can say this, I've never been happier in my marriage. I've never been more in love. And that's fucking rad.
The fact that in six-months two whack-jobs could go from barely living together to being an unstoppable force to be reckoned with is beyond anything I would have ever predicted or expected or hoped for.
I don't know about happily ever after, but I do know about being happy. Right now. That's all we can ask out of love. And marriage. For the good times to outweigh the bad. For the love to break through the clouds in sunny rays, for the rainbows to appear with some patience. Mmmmmmm yeah... Patience....