I survived 13 years of marriage… not in the sense that marriage is hard and I managed to make it work, but like people survive cancer… I am a marriage survivor!
It was like going through an enchanted forest, and found myself fighting daemons and mutants and shape shifters and goblins and zombies and elves… and whatever fairy tale monster there is, just not to loose myself in the process and come out alive through the other side. I survived by not staying dead like I was supposed or expected to… I survived by still being able to produce dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins, when what I went through should have stopped my brain from generating any happy hormone, hell it should have killed it.
People should not have to survive marriage, they should enjoy it and celebrate it… enjoy each other and each other’s company… support and respect and be proud of each other… . Couples should also always find a way of being passionate together, stay in love and stay comfortable and sensual and aroused by each other, not just manage the days. Nonetheless, they should rationalise the process… not battle reality just to make it work when all desire and solace has faded.
However, people have romanticised love and marriage and as a result, ruined it. From the 1800’s the idea of romanticism made us unequivocally expect that the euphoria of love that is at the start of the relationship will prevail over a lifetime of marriage without needing to do the work. Not only that, but that we instantaneously and intuitively should understand our partner the minute our eyes meet and till forever. Romanticism assumes that we nor our partner should ever be attracted to anyone else, that there are no secrets and that having a partner will and should end all loneliness. In addition, it presumes that there is one ideal lover and lifetime partner and that our lover must be everything to us; a soulmate, best friend, spiritual guide, parent… But most importantly, romanticism made us live on the premises that no matter what our differences; socially, financially, values, personality, we should overlook all of them for the sake of love and overcome all advertises no matter what, to write an unprecedented utopian story of passion.
Yes, let’s chase an unrealistic, hardship-full scenario and try to make it work… Such assumptions and unrealistic ideas have destroyed families and has just ruined love. Either that, or maybe I’m just too unromantic to believe in fairytales.
Nevertheless, I believe that before getting married, couples need to learn how to criticize each other without the drape of finesse that sometimes stays down way longer than it should. Couples must realise that both of them are flawed and that they will never find everything in another person. Couples should also talk about money without acting so above it and it is in no way a betrayal of love. Couples should be able to talk about laundry and fridge decorum without feeling that such are trivial conversations for the high and mighty love… Couples need to be compatible and agree on their needs and talk about their expectations. Couples should express their sexual desires and fantasies and kinkiness without fearing being judged. All that before getting into a lifetime commitment that will leave them always expecting and yearning for something different, because they did not really get to know each other. This is a realistic relationship, not some fictional Disney tale nor an illusion of romanticism that most are so afraid of disrupting…
So I did survive the fake experience that I was conditioned by the myth of romanticism to believe…
This is how my marriage started. Boy and girl were friends… boy and girl fucked… boy and girl got addicted to fucking each other and lost track of reality… boy decided that any talk of reality is a betrayal of love and got really angry that reality even existed… girl believed boy and tried to manage her expectations…
But eventually both got fucked. Reality did unravel itself and like smoke it found its way into each and every corner and nook of our lives and it stunk. Our personalities, families, social habits, value system, food orientations … nothing overlapped and over our differences, he was mean and insulting and berating and accordingly, over time all turned very ugly, genocide ugly and I broke… and the more I broke, the more demeaning he grew.
And now I have no idea how to unbreak myself.
I so fucking wish things were different… that we could have lived in the heat of love forever… that we talked about laundry and organising cupboards and sleeping hobbits… that we talked about sexualities without fearing judgment… that we could criticise without being hurtful and accepted criticism without feeling ridiculed. I wish he was just a tad nicer to me. I wish I could just erase the baggage and the history and the ugliness I have inside from us, because it’s hurting me more than anyone. I just wish that I did miss him nor us together… but I don’t. I genuinely wish had a happier marriage, but it wasn’t and it’s just not possible nor rational to believe it ever could be.
I know how to take care of myself, despite being tired of always having to… always looking over my shoulder, always patting myself on the back, always trying to make all the right choices, always trying to please everyone, always trying to find the damn rule book to play by… while not loosing my soul in the process. But it is exhausting being my own support system. Although I survived marriage and romanticism myths, I still have no idea how to unbreak myself!