Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Putting It All out There

If you have not done so already, go read this guest post by A Cupcake Wedding right now:  http://www.sourismariage.com/2010/07/this-one-is-from-cupcake-wedding-on-how.html.

OK, have you read it now?  Good.

This should have been soothing to me and delightful to hear.  I can identify with all of her fears/problems...except for the decent job part.  So I should have the same moment of clarity, right?

Eh, I sort of did, but the thing about epiphanies is that when the moment has passed, the clarity often goes with it.

I am a young bride.  Daniel and I met when I was 18, and that has given me no shortage of trouble ever since.  I was SO naive when I was 18.  I thought I was ready to meet the man I wanted to marry because I was sick of dating.  I had no idea of what restraints being in that kind of relationship would mean for me.  Back then, I thought meeting the right person would mean you were absolutely certain about him being "The One" and that you would never, ever have doubts about it.  Now I just laugh at that, especially the enormity of the concept of "The One."

I am so grateful for Daniel and so happy that we'll have so much time together.  But there are definitely times when I wish we had met later.

When I was 18, I wanted to be a travel writer.  I wanted to travel all over the world and have adventures and experience everything.  It didn't take long for me to realize that that wasn't going to work when I was in a committed relationship.  And in the end, even if I hadn't had a serious boyfriend when I graduated college, I probably would have given up on the travel writing thing eventually because it's SO hard to get into (in a way that actually pays enough money for you to live) that my preference to have a family and be there for them would have won out in the end anyway.

And yet...

I still want to travel, I want to live in a third world country, I want to see as much of the world as I can...and I kind of want the freedom to do those things without having to always take someone else into account.

I really worry that I'll never be able to find a career that I love because it will be so much harder for me to pursue it when thinking about someone else's career as well, especially since I don't really know what I want to do yet.

And I worry about what my marriage will do for my life.  There are just some things that we don't have in common.  I'm a very active person, and I like to be out doing something a lot of the time.  Daniel, less so.  Daniel's main recreational activity is gaming in one form of another, the appeal of which is totally lost on me.  Both of these things have always been a source of contention, and they probably always will be.  For us to live together, I have accepted that if I want to go out all the time, sometimes I'll have to do it with friends or on my own.  I also have accepted that Daniel is going to spend a significant amount of time on gaming that could have been spent with me, and he has accepted that I'm just not interested and more importantly that he can't spend all of his free time on games.

We're not perfect, and accordingly we're not perfectly suited to each other in every way.

Here's why we're getting married anyway:

We compromise:
  • Daniel has agreed to travel with me, including spending a year abroad.  There will still be restrictions, like I'll have to find a program that will pay enough for him to keep paying off his loans, and I won't be able to travel as much as I would have liked, but it's good enough.
  • Daniel has assured me that he will support me in any career that I choose, including living somewhere where that will be doable.  At the same time, I know that it's important for him to at least get his career started, and if he gets a job in Podunknowheresville, CA, that's where we're going to have to go for a while.  Because the economy is just that bad.  BUT he has also promised me that he will apply to jobs in Hawaii :).
  • As for the day to day life stuff, we've been steadily improving on the "making it work" scale for the last four years, and even though it will always be a struggle, I am confident that we can be reasonably happy with the arrangement.  I make him come out with me sometimes, and I acknowledge that sometimes staying in is OK.  And I have played so many more games since I met Daniel than I ever had before, and some of them are OK (Munchkin and Once upon a Time are my favorites).  The thing that really gives me confidence in this area is that Daniel may be a geek, but having real life experiences is important to him too, so at least when we got out, he enjoys it.  It's not like I really have to drag him out of the house, and he does plan outings sometimes too.
We love each other.  I know that sounds like such a simple thing, but it really does help me see how much better my life is because he's around.  I am certain that I am a better and stronger person because he's with me.  And when it really comes down to it, I know that having him in my life is more important than having an awesome career or having adventures because I really want to be able to share my life with someone.  I think I'd be a lot less happy even if I did have everything else I wanted in my life if I didn't have someone to share it with.

I'm never going to find someone better.  I am absolutely certain of this.  Different and also good, sure, maybe.  But never better.  And Daniel is just so awesome in so many ways.  When it comes down to core values, compatibility, and just having fun together, Daniel is it, and I could never give him up.

We're different people.  We like and want different things.  But when it comes down to what we really want out of life, we want the same thing:  a family that we love and care about above all else.  That makes it easier to give the other things up.

There are still things I wish I could be single for, but one way or another, Daniel and I will make it work because that's what we want.  I think it's OK to want other things sometimes because, well, that's life.  Life's hard.  Relationships are hard.  Everyone says you have to work at it everyday, but in the end, it's so worth it.  So in the end, I know who I want to spend my life with, and everything else will have to be worked out in time.


  1. I understand exactly how you feel. I actually wrote a post about this when I first started blogging, and it's going up on WB tomorrow. I am nervous about what people will say. I fear I will get a lot of negative comments like "so you're saying now that you're getting married you can't reach for your goals?" "you're setting feminism back!" and so on. But I am so happy that someone else relates to me. And isn't it nice that we are marrying someone with a lot of differences? We have someone to keep us on our toes, see a fresh perspective for the rest of our lives. I know I've changed for the better since I met Dave and I don't want to ever leave him, despite being a different person now with different goals.

  2. Oh, I totally know what you mean about fearing the comments. I'm a little worried just about comments here, but I would dread the craziness that is WeddingBee comments. Good luck! I'll give you a good one ;).

  3. I think this is a really important post for all girls to read. I think the reality is that 99% of the time, there is no "One" for anyone, there's just the "Best One." You could never have someone who was 100% compatible with your every need and want, and as Kristin pointed out, who would want that anyway? Having differences is one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of a marriage, and in my opinion, your ability to overcome those differences and even turn them into pluses is the sign of a real, sustaining marriage.

  4. I know what you're talking about. Nicole and I are in the same boat. I'm the one who wants to go out dancing; she's the one who wants to stay in and watch a movie. We struck a good balance in France, and it'll take a bit before we strike a good balance here in China. Really, the best way to get through it is to talk about it and to want a compromise. You can still live in a developing country, but maybe you'll have to wait a decade, and it'll only be for a month or two, but that doesn't mean it won't be a real and life-changing experience. Keep in mind, though, that you'll always have this problem. My parents fought a lot about my dad's hiking obsession after 25 years of marriage.

  5. this really resonated with me too. i even mentioned it to derek when we were going through another tough evening, to show that it's not just me! i hope we both figure it all out. :)


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