The old adage about the grass always being greener on the other side is usually referring to peoples’ assumption that someone they know is much happier than they are. They look at another person’s lifestyle, profession and material possessions, and conclude they have it way better. In healthy individuals, this sparks drive and ambition to excel and achieve the same status or material gain through self improvement and competition. In less healthy individuals, this sparks resentment or coveting. Coveting is addressed in 2 of the 10 commandments, regarding material things and wives. No mention of coveting husbands being a problem…still think man didn’t alter the Bible a bit? Yes, you’re a total heathen if you read on.
Hey! Glad you’re still with me. My idea originated with coveting, which got me thinking about single peoples’ perspective about married people and vice versa. I have been with my wife for 18 years, married for 15. I had a 5 year dating relationship throughout college that could be categorized as volatile. When it ended abruptly, I responded much like the institutionalized Brooks from Shawshank Redemption who upon his parole after 50 years of incarceration hangs himself. I indeed felt like a reluctant parolee but the only thing I attempted to kill was my liver. There was the inevitable collateral damage that occurs when 2 objects collide. The 2 objects, my ego and reality. The damage, as you might have guessed, my poor brain cells. My wife came along, and like many fugitives or parolees who can’t handle life on the outside, I behaved in a way to get put back where I’m the most comfortable.
I’m most comfortable as a married person because I was not a “successful” single person. All of my dating/casual encounters had a painfully clumsy, Chevy Chase quality to them. On the rare occasion that I tried to date more than 1 woman, they always found out about each other. You can imagine how the more intimate encounters turned out. It was quite frustrating because I had several friends who were quite good at juggling these encounters. I have 2 friends that I’m reasonably sure have been recruited by the CIA for their cloak and dagger prowess. Being single like them, “successful”, looked great. Stress free, casual, unlimited. Beautiful women…or beautifully willing to do whatever. But alas, being single like that is a super power that I don’t possess. My super power is killing spiders and fair to sharp wit/sarcasm that has not been undone by the aforementioned brain cell damage.
Single people look to couples, married or not, and think someday I will find that. Or they think “THAT WILL NEVER BE ME! THAT WILL NEVER BE ME! THAT WILL NEVER BE, NEVER BE ME! NO!” (Quick Reader! What movie? If you don’t know, you need to shore up on the 80’s movie quotes.) If you are a single person reading this and want an honest assessment of marriage from a married person, here it is.
Being a husband and father is what I was meant to be. I know this more than I know anything else in my life. This in no way kept me from being scared out of my fucking mind on my wedding day and when our son was born. But never did I doubt for a minute that I was on the wrong path. If you don’t feel the same way to some degree, then maybe you are on a different path. I always knew I wanted to have a family.
Now, that being said, there are a million books, songs, and failed sitcoms about love and relationships. Most people will not admit it, but they do create the drama in their lives. There are hundreds of different scenarios that could be examined, but I believe all conflicts come from the ego. Selfishness, pride, needing to be right and the other person to be wrong…that sums up a lot of it. But my main issue in my relationship with my wife has less to do with her than with the kids…and here it is.
We are not spontaneous at all anymore. Parenthood completely fucks up spur of the moment anything. The impulsivity of being young and doing whatever you want whenever you want is done as soon as you have kids. Everything is planned, considered, written out, organized, choreographed, and synchronized. Want to do something without the kids? Can’t do it yet, have to get a sitter first. Want to jump each others’ bones right this second? Go check on the kids first and make sure they’re asleep…and lock the door in case they get up.
Choosing to have a family is probably the most daunting thing anyone can choose to do, besides getting involved in a land war in Asia. (Reader, another 80’s movie! Redeem yourself!) So, you must always remember that your spouse/s.o. is still the same person that you had sex with against the front door of your first apartment because she looked so hot, smiled, and flashed you. Do whatever you can to remember the mother or father of your lovely children is still the insatiable, sexual deviant you fell ass over tea kettle for so many years ago. Coveting should always be someone else’s problem.