What is it about YEAR TWO and marriage? I was prepared for the “terrible twos” with a kid…but with MARRIAGE?
No one gave me any warning…and so year two brought its fury and came into our household as an unwelcome surprise.
We finished blissful, happy year one…and on September 9, 2008…day one of year two….I blocked out…probably because it included something like Tim and I throwing things and slamming doors and screaming obscenities.
My first thought was, “well, what fun we’re going to have in THIS PEACEFUL, LOVING RELATIONSHIP TIL DEATH DO US PART.”
Tim and I couldn’t even agree to disagree. WE WERE BOTH RIGHT. ALL THE TIME. I’ve decided that it has something to do with our personalities. See, there’s this flaw…that somehow we are both lucky enough to have…where it doesn’t matter if a freight train is barrelling down the tracks. We’re not budging if we A: think we’re right or B: are trying to make a point.
So we’d stonewall each other and storm off in a huff with neither person wanting to break down and apologize.
Because that’s weak. That means you’re giving in.
And so, instead of solving the problem, it got to the point where questions about socks and TV volume and how someone said a SINGLE WORD THE WRONG WAY would turn into a full on explosion that left your hair singed and face blackened. Then I’d cry from sheer frustration and Tim sat in silence, fuming. This solved nothing.
The other day, we were both in the kitchen, making dinner…something with chicken in it. And we have a garbage disposal who has decided, DESPITE WHAT IT WAS BUILT TO DO, that pieces of raw chicken are absolutely NOT acceptable. It’s fine with turkey. Just not chicken. So, Tim is always the one fishing out the pieces that I continue to put in, convinced that THIS TIME IT WILL WORK…that the disposal WILL EAT IT. It has yet to happen… the pieces come out all white and disgusting and Tim gags every single time, like this particular evening.
Except this time, he didn’t say, “Sweetheart, WHY? Why do you put the chicken in here when you KNOW IT DOESN’T WORK??”
He just did it.
And when we brought the groceries home earlier in the day, I abandoned any effort to put anything into the refrigerator…because Tim likes to organize it. And he leaves me to the pantry, my own little organized haven.
I now do most of the laundry and he cleans out the litter box.
I looked at him that day, smiling.
He stopped whatever he was doing, some sixth sense saying, someone is staring at you and looked at me all, “What?!”
Me: “Are we changing? Are things changing?”
Tim: “What do you mean??”
Me: “I mean THIS. We’re not fighting for space…or to prove anything.”
He sat there for a minute. Pondering. Working through exactly what I meant, as he’s learned how to decipher my words into their actual, hidden meaning.
Tim: “I think we’ve just realized what we’re good at…and also what the other person is good at…and on those things we don’t do so well…we’ve given it up to the other person.”
Me: “You know…you’re right. WE ARE DOING THAT!”
We’ve finally relinquished those things we absolutely suck at and at the same time, do the chores and tasks we don’t mind AS MUCH but know the other person hates. Swallowed our pride and realized that we aren’t good at EVERYTHING and we aren’t right ALL THE TIME.
Just in time to start year three…on September 8, 2009.
And it couldn’t come soon enough…because I am more than ready to put this behind us. Year two was DREADFUL. But, as hindsight always does, our boundary battles taught Tim and I how to ebb and flow with each other.
And I love him so much more for it. For fighting it out with me…
So we could be where we are now.