5/7/14: I fully plan to write more about my new baby boy very soon. But FIRST, I had the post below all drafted up and almost ready to post before the birth, but I just never got it published. So I wanted to get this post out there first…then I’ll move on to baby posts. 🙂
Originally written mid-April ’14:
A couple weekends ago, about a week after I had written this blog post about marriage in L.A., our friend was in town to pick up some books he had recently self-published (check out his book’s website here!) and stayed with us overnight. KP and I have known this friend for many years, since the early days of our marriage, and it’s always nice for us to catch up.
The next morning, we all went to eat brunch. While eating, the conversation shifted to a girl he’d recently begun seeing, and our friend asked us a question. “If you don’t mind me asking, are you guys always this nice to each other, or just when you’re around others? I notice that you guys always say please and thank you to each other.”
Now first off, I’ve never really noticed if KP do indeed say please and thank you to each other, but once it was pointed out, I guess we might. Do we? I’ll have to start paying attention.
Secondly, I was flattered that he felt we were open enough to be asked about our marriage. Most people, especially single people, don’t usually ask about being married, because it seems to be something single people don’t think much about…until they have someone that makes them start thinking about it.
My marriage post a couple weeks ago was pretty benign and I tried to stay very open-ended, as I don’t have all the answers either. But for some reason, I was still really nervous to post it! I guess because I don’t often talk honesty about marriage in public, or to anyone else, other than KP himself.
When KP and I were first married, and for a few years after, we were one of the only married couples – in our 20s – that we knew of in L.A. So I early on made it a point not to talk about marriage related stuff in front of others, especially those who were single. And most everyone I knew our age was single. I didn’t want to alienate anyone, so I got into the habit of not ever talking about the trials and challenges of marriage with anyone, largely because I assumed no one else cared.
I know I don’t have many readers on this blog (yet), but not only has my marriage in L.A. post been the highest viewed post on this blog (so far), but in the days following the posting, I also heard from a couple friends that the post was especially enlightening to them.
Sooo…back to the conversation at the diner I started this post talking about:
After being asked by our friend if we are always nice to each other, I immediately answered “no”. I didn’t even glance at KP or wait for him to answer first. I added, “I mean, yes, we do typically try to be nice and pleasant to each other both when we’re around other people and when we’re alone – but I think we’re the kind of people that recognize that arguing in public is not really appropriate and never really does anyone any good.”
(And actually, I hadn’t realized until that very moment that KP and I unspokenly shared this similarity, and how much I appreciated that we did.)
We talked a bit more with our friend, but the above was the part of the conversation that stuck with me. Has it been a mistake to have kept silent about the realities of marriage (or at least, what I know about marriage from my own 8.5yr marriage)? Maybe people need, or maybe even secretly want, to know what marriage is really like. Maybe people should know that it’s normal to have hard times in marriages, EVEN in those marriage that look really great on the outside and the couple is really nice to each other.
So, with this said, here is my first marriage confession: KP and I fight. Absolutely. We are not always nice to each other behind closed doors. In fact, we have on rare occasion, in spite of our better judgement, been outright MEAN to each other. We don’t always forgive the other before bed either, as the old adage suggests; we sometimes go days where we hardly speak about anything other than pertinent issues regarding schedules or our daughter. We do eventually make up and move on, as we are committed to making our marriage work no matter what – but making up is NOT always an easy thing to do, and takes a very conscious effort on both our parts.
I think this is important for people to know. And I think I’m going to start being honest about this more. I think this blog will be a good outlet for such.
HOWEVER, with all this said, I still very much know the difference between what things are appropriate and not-appropriate to discuss publicly, and if anything, I tend to lean conservatively when it comes to the norm of this city, so you can trust that I won’t go overboard in my sharing. 🙂 Not to mention that I also value the privacy of my marriage to my husband and will never betray his trust. (So you’ll have to talk to me in-person if you want my tell-all. 🙂 )