Valentine’s Day is less than a week away, and everywhere I look there’s another article on love and marriage. Whether it’s keeping the fire alive or finding the perfect partner, there’s nothing like Cupid to spark a conversation about commitment.
I’m a huge believer in marriage — Joe and I will be celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary in March. We’ve been very lucky to have spent most of these twenty-two years very happily married. But I’d be lying if I told you that I’ve never wanted to pack up my belongings and head for the hills. Blissfully alone.
Here are my five top reasons I’ve contemplated divorcing my best friend, love of my life, and father of my three children.
- His alarm clock. Let me set the stage for you: I’m finally resting comfortably after being awakened by one of the kids or the bladder that each one sat on while I was pregnant with them. Sweet slumber is mine. Suddenly I’m dreaming of sirens, or another loud, obnoxious sound. Then I realize it’s not a dream but Joe’s alarm clock. Again. My dearest love sets this thing for 5:00 a.m. each day with the hope that he’ll get up and catch the early train. Rarely does he achieve this feat. But I wake up, usually threatening to step on it if he doesn’t turn it off this minute. (I never said I was perfect, but this is my list.)
- Joe has a very difficult relationship with time. He’s late to every family event. It’s usually because he just wants to do one more thing before we leave. I’ve often told him that he’s going to be late for his own funeral. He reminds me that that’s not a bad thing to be late for. (How can I argue with that?)
- He’s a total cover hog in bed. He strongly denies this. But there have been many, many times when I’ve dreamt that I’m hanging off a cliff in the Antarctic and woken up to find myself clutching the side of my bed with not a single one of the covers. He’s asleep as snug as bug in a rug. Joe believes I stage these scenes. This makes me laugh, diffusing any anger I’m feeling. He then calls me wifey, tells me he loves me, and puts the covers back on me. (He could at least be obnoxious about it and let me have my righteous anger, but no, he has to be nice.)
- He’s a control freak and insists that there’s only one way to load a dishwasher, stock a fridge, or run a load of wash. I, on the other hand, tend to be a bit of a free spirit about these things, feeling that as long as we have clean clothes, dishes, and food, who cares how they get that way? The upside to this is that he’s much happier doing all of these chores himself which gets me out of these unpleasant tasks. But, I’m left dealing with all three kids. (A fool he’s not.)
- When he orders pizza he insists on having it cut in 16 slices. Now this worked out just fine when the kids were little, but they’re now 16, 13, and 9. Our baby days are over, and I fear my husband isn’t entirely happy about that. (Considering how long it took us to be parents, there’s something sweet about this. But for today I’m keeping it on my list.)
Living with someone day in and day out isn’t easy. Especially when you add in the stress of raising kids together. It takes a lot of work and commitment.
Yes, we’ve had our difficult times, but oddly enough it’s these little things that can leave me feeling as if I can’t take it one second longer. But as I was writing down my list of grievances, I realized that these are also the things that make up the fabric of our marriage and help us weather the bigger storms when they come our way.