second year hell

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.

T&J

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20 Responses to “second year hell”


  1. 1 merrilymarylee August 8, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Hooray for you both. A couple that good looking must do what it takes to stay together, happily ever after. Stunning photo!

    • 2 Jessica August 8, 2009 at 3:24 pm

      Thank you!…It’s a hard job…but someone’s got to do it… 😉 You know, truth is, we were both just having a REALLY GOOD DAY…usually I’ve got hair sticking out everywhere and Tim’s five o’clock shadow is well…working its way to midnight…

  2. 3 ifbyyes August 8, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    On our wedding day, my father began his speech with “some wise words from Ogden Nash”

    “To keep your marriage brimming
    with love in the loving cup,
    whenever you’re wrong, admit it.
    Whenever you’re right… SHUT UP.”

    And I have found it to be very, very true.

  3. 5 lifestartsnow August 8, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    oh i really enjoy ifbyyes comment! just put your self in the other person’s shoes. would you enjoy somoeone bragging about how right they were in a particular situation? probably not.

    will try to remember that one!

    franzi

  4. 6 ifbyyes August 8, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    XD God Bless You, Ogden Nash/my dad 😛

  5. 7 twowheelsoneworld August 9, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Great writing here. I’m glad to read some real struggles in married couples lives. So many times couples rub the “good stuff” in our faces, and then pretend like nothing every goes wrong. So, thank you for perspective, and I’m really happy for you and your next year of marriage! Go get ’em!

    • 8 Jessica August 9, 2009 at 6:19 am

      twowheelsoneworld: It’s the stuff that goes wrong that makes for the good stories later on…as long as you’re willing to share that you’re ACTUALLY HUMAN AND MAKE MISTAKES. 🙂

      Hope to see you stop by again from time to time.

  6. 9 mindexplosion August 9, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Congrats on beginning year 3 (soon!) My husband and I are on year 2 now and there have been some….moments.

    Great blog!

  7. 10 LiLu August 9, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Awww, so good to hear. You look beautiful!

  8. 12 butterfly effect :@ August 9, 2009 at 11:23 am

    It’s great that you are both working at it, good luck to your 3rd year. Expect more ups and downs in years to come… I know, i’ve seen many “hell” and “heaven” years… and now we are on our 13th year!
    check also http://www.hapiness-project.com, i read just now about “23 Phrases to Help You Fight Right”…. nice tips!

    • 13 Jessica August 9, 2009 at 5:59 pm

      butterfly effect: thanks for the link. I’ll have to check it out. And congrats to you – 13 years is an outstanding feat and really shows the strength of your relationship

  9. 14 tarakeating August 9, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    I’ve noticed that there are some struggles that get harder, but the love definately grows deeper. We are in year 10, I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone by! And really, truly, I can not imagine my life without my husband. The good moments, and maybe even the bad moments more so, have made our relationship that much more fulfilling, deep and rich. Congratulations for your upcoming 3rd anniversary , and hold on for the ride!!

    • 15 Jessica August 10, 2009 at 4:30 am

      tarakeating: I agree- the darkest moments end up bringing the most beautiful rainbows. We’re learning to push through those times…because we know what’s at the end.

  10. 16 joz1234 August 10, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    I’d say communicating calmly is key…and having the ability to admit when you are wrong or at least agree to disagree.

    We are in year 8, but we have been together for 14. We lived together before we married and went through that 1st and 2nd year thing…
    We worked it out and now our relationship is as close to perfect as I imagine it can be. We work hard at it. We are still in love and neither of us are unhappy at all.

    Good luck to you both.

    • 17 Jessica August 10, 2009 at 4:46 pm

      joz1234: We lived together for two years before we got married (screw those who say cohabitation doesn’t work). It is definitely hard work…but it is worth every minute. Congrats to you and your hubby! Past the 7-Year Itch! 🙂

  11. 18 ladiesofmight August 12, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    I am currently in the throes of Year Two and have never heard it described as such… or had such a hopeful example to make me look forward to Year Three! All those rumors about marriage being work? Sooo true. I am really enjoying reading about your experiences… as someone married three months longer than I’ve been, I trust your wisdom and guidance!!

    m1

    • 19 Jessica August 12, 2009 at 12:33 pm

      m1: hang in there. It will get better…it was pushing and pulling and knock ’em down, drag ’em out for awhile…but then…the waters calmed and we started giving in more than trying to take up emotional real estate…let me know how it goes for you!


  1. 1 it’s official! happy anniversary…to us. « booshy Trackback on September 8, 2009 at 10:30 am

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