I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about relationships, marriage specifically. This post came to fruition today because of a interaction I witnessed between a husband and wife. I was at the farmers market and as I was waiting for the woman behind the table to take my money the man next to me set his bag of mushrooms down on top of the tomatoes. The wife said something along the lines of "not on top of the tomatoes" and he went off on her! He yelled at her and what really stood out was when he said "if you don't f**king shut up..." and she was embarrased and pleaded with him to stop and be quiet. He continued to verbally attack her. She caught me staring and I felt bad. I wanted to say something to him but I knew that would only make it worse for her. This was not a young couple either. They were older, possibly retired. The funny thing is, I recognized this man, he used to be a customer at the Starbucks I worked at and he was an ass then too.
What compels a woman to stay in a relatiohship like that? In the past my immediate response would be to think she should divorce the guy. But having gone through one myself, I can understand why someone wouldn't want to do that, especially after years and years of marriage.
One side affect of going through this is that I very often worry about the state of the marriages of my friends and family. I don't want to see anyone I love have to go through this. If I see a couple bickering I worry that it's a sign of something bad to come, if I see someone unhappy I worry that things aren't going well.
As I've stated before I don't think marriage is anything to mess around with and I feel that if things are going badly you don't just give up and throw in the towel. You do everything you can to find that magic again and save the marriage. I fully endorse going to therapy. Just talking to someone outside of the relationship that can see things clearly is a good thing. Therapists are often good at pointing out things that afterwards you think, now why didn't I see that? They are also good at pointing out your good and bad points that you may not be able to see or believe in.
I also think it's a good idea to make a point to share activities together that you can bond while doing. I also think that people are naturally selfish and it takes work to remember to think of the other person, and before yourself sometimes.
Communication is obviously one of if not the biggest part of a marriage. Contrary to popular belief we can't read each others minds. If you don't tell your significant other that something bugs you, or there is something you need from them how are they supposed to know? I think every couple no matter how happy they are should read The Five Love Languages. It can really help each person to understand how the other shows love, and communicate in their language.
As I get closer to the one year anniversary of ground zero I have been thinking a lot about dating. Am I ready? Do I even want to date? I sometimes think I'm glad I don't have to deal with the drama of having a man in my life. I kind of like not obsessing about things and overanalyzing everything, which would probably come along with having a man in my life. On the other hand, it would be nice to have someone to do things with, and by things I mean, movies, and cooking and going to the farmers market. I still imagine having a husband and being married and having kids but amazingly enough it's not a priority right now, which is refreshing because after everything happened I was so worried that I was going to be 40 before I found someone and the chance to have kids would have gone out the window. I'm still not sure if I will ever be able to trust a man with myself again, at least not in more than a dating capacity.
Ok, well that was a helluva long post and a lot of contemplative diarrhea, if you got through my rambling you deserve a drink! In all seriousness though, if you are married, go out and get the book. At the very least it'll be enlightening. And don't yell in public, it's bad form, and generally embarrasing for whomever you're with.