“Sometimes, my husband just gets on my nerves.”
She kept her eyes down. I could see she was bracing herself for my response. She was ready to be shamed. So I spoke to her truthfully.
“Oh my gosh, mine, too. In fact, I feel badly because I’m pretty sure I don’t get on his nerves very often–or if I do he hides it better than me.”
My friend burst out laughing. “You’re serious? You have no idea how much that makes me feel human.”
I’m totally serious. Sorry, Nathan. A majority of the time we are golden and he makes me giggle, helps me out, accomplishes things that I’d never be able to on my own. But sometimes, we just aren’t gelling. Sometimes it’s hard and I swear if he asks me what’s for dinner while I’m running around like a madwoman and he’s relaxing on the chaise part of the couch—the part I claimed when we bought the thing of craigslist—then I might go on strike. I might quit food prep altogether. No lie.
Food isn’t my love language anyway and I don’t understand why everyone expects me to feed them three times a day plus snacks. We are children of the 80’s. We grew up with guilt over food being thrown in the trash that could have been packed up in parcel boxes and shipped overseas. Obviously.
But back to the reality of marriage.
There is no shame in admitting marriage is hard.
There is no shame in saying that sometimes, it seems like it would be easier to quit.
There is no shame in confessing that you do not have the strength to do it alone.
There is no shame in asking for help.
There is no shame in recognizing that you two get on each other’s nerves. In fact, you should celebrate because you are still in a marriage that feels. You haven’t grown numb or callus toward one another. You still expect to be comforted, and reject the irritation that comes when communication breaks down.
My husband and I take turns with our kids’ sports. He does practices and I do meets. I don’t know if I got the short or long straw yet as our kids do track and swim–the longest sporting events in the entire world. But I watch and I love it.
My favorite thing about swim meets is that no one claps during the entire 74 events with 4 heats each. You do the math. But then there will be a race where one of the swimmers is so slow. So slow. As in, most of the swimmers have finished and have the chills while this person is still half way down the lane. Suddenly, all parents are on deck cheering someone’s child on. They are clapping and hollering, “Go, go, go!” The kid doesn’t realize that everyone is thinking, “Oh my gosh, there are still 256 events left. Come on, kid. You can do it!” He just knows that there’s a room full of people that believe in him.
It’s okay if you feel like your marriage is lagging behind. There is something that makes our hearts soar as we watch someone fight to finish. It’s why a crowd will hush and then stand to applaud. I know it feels like you are the only one struggling–but that’s simply not true. There is an entire room of people cheering for you, believing you can finish. May we be a people that cheer each other on.
So, you get on each other’s nerves and that’s not so bad.
In fact, if I had to guess. My amazingly handsome and committed husband will come home this afternoon and let me know how much this blog post annoyed him. To which I will say, “Hey. At least I took time to write something. You’ve been pestering me about blogging. What’s for dinner?”