Roslyn’s Second Epistle On Marriage

I’ve thrown up on my husband. I’ve also bled all over my husband. My husband is the only non-medical person who has actually seen my uterus (twice!) and yes, according to him it’s just as horrific as you can imagine. (I was so full of the happy juice I really don’t recall any of this, but he was apparently traumatized beyond belief). My husband stood by me when our babies died. When my mama died. When it seemed that everything I’d ever given a damn about was dying. He took care of my mama like she was his own. She lived with us for nine months before she passed on, and they adored one another. More than once when I slept through one of the baby’s late night feedings he got up and brought the baby to me and let him latch on. (Yes, I slept through more than one baby nursing from my breast, and yes, it’s as freaky as it sounds). In other words, my husband is my rock. He knows more about me than any other human being, even my best friend. And she’s responsible for shaving my chin should I lapse into a coma lest the world discover I have wookie DNA.

Why am I telling you this? Because there is probably no one in my entire life that I’ve been more intimate with than with my husband. And I’m not talking about just sexually, though there is that, I’m talking about the day-to-day interactions that regularly occur in life. See, I give a lot of advice on this blog, especially about romantic relationships. I like to think I give advice not just about attracting a mate, but about sustaining a relationship. I don’t give a lot of “man-catching” advice because, quite frankly, that’s the easy part of the equation. If you’re a woman, men are going to be attracted to you. Sustaining a relationship is much more difficult. And that’s what this post is about. I see a lot of people recommending all manner of deceptions, big and small in the quest to get a man. This confuses me because in my mind I think they’re forgetting that the object of all this man hunting is marriage. After you get this dude, you’ve got to live with him. And you’ve got to live with him in a open and vulnerable way or it’s highly unlikely your marriage will succeed.

Lies or deceptions as you might prefer to call it have an ugly way of growing and manifesting into even bigger lies. I remember a dude I met online dating back in the day. I was in my early thirties, and he’d claimed he was in his early forties. We met for coffee at a Starbucks and he was telling me about his children. Both had already graduated college. I was like, “Wow, you started early.” He was forced to admit he was actually in his early fifties. I really liked this guy; he was handsome, well-traveled, sophisticated and charming. Even though I probably wouldn’t have dated a man that old under normal circumstances, the fact that he lied was such a turn off I couldn’t go out with him again. If he lied about small things, how would he handle much larger issues? So from the beginning I would’ve started out not trusting him. That goes back to my Free Lesson about choosing an honorable man: You can take the word of an honorable man to the bank. My husband does not lie, even when he probably should. Even when I would prefer it. It can be hard to live with at times, but you know you can trust him, period. If someone lies, even by omission, they’re not a trustworthy person. Period. Oh, you can rationalize all you like, and people do. “Don’t hate the player, hate the game,” they say. But the bottom line is, you choose what game you play and how you play it. It really comes down to either you’re honest or you’re not.

Now, don’t get it twisted, as I said in my Free Lessons book, you don’t have to tell a man all your business. In fact, I think women tell men far too much in the beginning of the relationship. However, what you do choose to share with him, must be truthful and honest. After all, if you’re successful this is the guy who might have to make the decision about pulling the plug on you one day. Do you really want there to be even a fiber of dishonesty between you?

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Marriage Equality and the Civil Rights Movement

Yesterday someone said that comparing marriage equality to the Civil Rights Movement demeans and lessens it. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Civil Rights Movement, like all human rights movements, was always universal. Twenty years ago when I heard those Chinese students singing “We Shall Overcome” in Tianamen Square i was proud that my ancestors created a movement that resonated so strongly that these young people, born a generation later on the other side of the world felt its impact. The Civil Rights Movement, much as Lincoln said about Gettysburg, has already been consecrated; in blood. It cannot be demeaned or belittled unless, in a misguided attempt to honor it, we stand idly by while oppression continues. The oppression of one is the oppression of us all.

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Roslyn’s First Epistle on Marriage

I haven’t been married for four decades, but I think the most crucial part of a successful marriage is finding someone who wants to be married to you, and to whom you want to be married. This is not easy, but more than anything, it makes a difference. No matter what (barring abuse and/or infidelity) I know he’s not going anywhere and he knows the same about me. And yes, there are days when I absolutely loathe the man, and I know he feels the same way, but there is nobody on earth I’d rather be with. With just a quirk of an eyebrow he can make me laugh until my sides ache. And watching him with our children is the greatest joy in my life. It more than compensates for those other times.

I was in my early thirties when I met Whit. Long past any delusions about who I was or my ability to change a person. At that point I understood marriage is pretty much WYSIWYG. Traits you don’t like aren’t going anywhere, so you need to decide if you can live with them before you get married. More than anything marriage is an amplifier, not a change agent.

But marriage is also about faith; knowing that even through the bad times things will get better. And we’ve been through some bad times; job loss, relocation, infertility and that’s the tip of a very large iceberg. I didn’t expect our marriage to survive the year we each lost a parent and a baby, but we came through to the other side. Stronger and more importantly confident that we can weather the tough times. After all, if we didn’t break up after that fuckery, what could be worse? And that’s important. Tough times test a marriage, but they show you how strong it is too. I know there is no one I’d rather have at my back than my husband. Yes, he’ll drive me batshit crazy, but he’ll make me laugh and I know he’ll go down fighting to the death to save me. Because he wants to be married, to me. And that’s the core of our marriage.