I have been married 22 years of my adult life. Hold on. Hold the applause. Quiet the cheers. That’s 22 years between two marriages.
Yep. That’s me.
I’m a statistic.
I married way, way, way too young, just a few months shy of my 21st birthday. I thought I was ALL grown up. I thought I knew what I wanted in life. And to weaken the odds of marriage survival, the man I married was 10 years older than me. Set in his ways. He knew what he wanted. He was all grown up.
“I don’t want to wonder
If this is a blunder
I don’t want to worry whether
We’re gonna stay together
‘Till we die” – I never worried that we might divorce someday. We both had similar upbringings. We never fought. We had the same goals in life – or so I thought. And I was a very practical, down-to-earth, hippie chick. I didn’t need an engagement ring. We drank health shakes and camped under the stars. We eschewed material things. We were academics. We were athletes. But there was no passion in our marriage. We lived very separate lives day-to-day. I look back now and I wonder what in the world he saw in me? Especially seeing who he married right after me. She is rail thin, stiletto heels, always lots of make-up and jewelry. I can’t imagine she’s been camping a day in her life. What was he thinking? (with her or with me?)
“I don’t want to jump in
Unless this music’s thumping
All the dishes rattle in the cupboards
When the elephants arrive” – I was always a very pragmatic soul. I didn’t believe in soul mates and happily-ever-afters. But I’ve changed. I believe in fairy tales. I believe in magic. My new favorite movie is Enchanted. I want the Disney kiss, wrapped up in a guaranteed happy ending.
“I don’t want to fake it
I just want to make it
The ornaments look pretty
But they’re pulling down the branches
Of the Tree” – But marriage is hard. Hard, hard work. I remember our first real fight as a married couple (with my now husband) and I called my sister in tears. I thought we were over. I said, “We’ve hit a snag. A huge snag!” and she asked me to explain. I did and she laughed at me. She said, “Jane, that’s not a snag. That’s a marriage.” Because there was basically no conflict in my first marriage (and as a consequence, no passion or real love either) I had no idea how to work through this. I wanted the painted, pretty picture of marriage – walking into the sunset of life holding hands. Work at a marriage? What work?
“I don’t want to think about it
I don’t want to talk about it” – But of course, we do. It’s how we’ve lasted these past 11 years. I’m still not the communicator my husband wants me to be in our marriage – I’m more passive. Not passive/aggressive. More passive-what’s-the-point? But I’m getting better.
“I don’t want to hold back
I don’t want to slip down
I don’t want to think back to the one thing that I know I
Should have done” – I’m not a woulda-coulda-shoulda kind of person. I don’t hold onto to things. In fact, I’m so good at letting go I will infuriate my husband sometimes. I have argument amnesia. I forget what we’re arguing about if we move onto something else. He’ll still be annoyed with something and I’ll be oblivious. If you tell me nothing is wrong, I believe you. “Say what you mean, mean what you say” It’s my credo. And I like it that way.
“I don’t want to doubt you
Know everything about you
I don’t want to sit across the table from you
Wishing I could run” – I’m at a stage in my life when I don’t want drama. I want to push the easy button when it comes to marriage. I know it isn’t supposed to be that way every day. But most days sure would be nice. I’ve learned that marriage is a system of ebb and flow. You ride out the ebb and enjoy the joy of the flow. I love riding the tides and I relish those days. Those are the days when loving you madly is so easy, so fun. It’s during the ebb that it’s tough. But with you – I’m hanging on. You make it so worth it.
“I want to love you madly
I want to love you now
I want to love you madly, way
I want to love you, love you
Love you madly”
23 responses to “Love You Madly, That’s All I Want To Do”
Love your thoughts and love this song by Cake!
I love this Cake song! I’d forgotten about it!
Happy Anniversary, from one peace-seeker to another!
Great song! Glad you found that worthwhile love and learned that working for it is well worth the effort. Marriage really is work, but it is so rewarding.
Ohhhh. I love this post!
Marriage is hard work. At least it has it’s perks! : )
When I think about marriage, I think about growing together. It’s about shaping each other, by changing yourselves, into people you both mutually enjoy.
Any blogger who can successfully integrate Cake with an anniversary post deserves and award! Happy anniversary, Jane!
You know, I used to think that if I married when I was truly a “grown up,” that the odds of staying married would go up. Maybe they do, but then again, not so much.
I was in my mid-thirties when I married, and I was a still a statistic.
So, I’m thinking we’re all statistics in some way or other. In omission as well as commission. As for marriage? A bit of luck goes a long way, as do two people who can work together even as they grow older, understanding that loving “madly” is wonderful, but it takes a lot more than that to sustain a relationship.
Cool post. And happy day!
Very hard work. So long as you both participate, at least on occasion.
Happy anniversary Jane!
I love your sister’s quote: “Jane, that’s not a snag. That’s a marriage.” Such wisdom!
I always enjoy your take on the songs you share. I have a great memory for song lyrics, but it would do me much more good to stop and think about what I’m listening to, just as you clearly do.
I really enjoyed this post, Jane. And I kinda think its funny that you forget an arguement. That’s awesome.
I think it’s kinda funny, too. But my husband? Not so much. 😉
I love Cake. Both the dessert and the band. I’m so happy you have a good marriage. Love madly!
Happy Anniversary Jane! That was a truly beautiful post and so very, very real. Marriage is wonderful because it is just like life. It is not always easy, but if your love is real and you have the stamina to work at things, this imperfect love is more perfect than anything that is.
PS I’ll have to check that song out too!
This is such a sweet post! Congrats to having a marriage that works for you 🙂
I think I love you!
Everyone’s a statistic of some kind. It’s why there are statistics.
It’s true. Marriage is hard work. I used to be very susceptible to believing that anyone who put up a good front was in a better relationship than I was. Now I realize that everyone has their crap. The beauty lies in someone who knows all your crap and loves you madly anyway.
Love this song, Jane. You are such a cool lady.
I love “Enchanted” too! I just wish it was real life. So far, the rats and roaches don’t help me clean. 😦
I also have argument amnesia. Good thing I have such a great collection of Victoria’s Secret things. A great argument ender. I never said I played fair. 😉
I get what you wrote….Relationships are life journeys and as we grow, so does our expectations of our relationships. You are at a good place now.
Happy Anniversary to you.
my husband forgets arguments. I can side with your husband on that one! i loved this post. It speaks such truths about marriage. I believe, if it’s too easy, it’s not working.
What a fiercely true and fantastic post. Life is about snags, about work, about desire. I love that you believe in fairy tales now, but that you still have a keen sense of reality and its grays. Thank you for these words and this window.
This is a great post about marriage and long term relationships. I have been with my husband 9.5 years, married for 5.5. And I am young. I tell you what, every day – especially as I am getting older – I thank god we grew into a being a great match. Because when we met? When we got married? I had no clue!
my name is madly