One of my friends posted an article on facebook about what marriage is. The author gets all Christian about it, but the point I found interesting is that he said the goal of marriage is not necessarily to be happy, but rather to grow into a more whole person. What I liked abut it was that he addressed the nitty gritty; not the “you complete me” bullshit, but rather the day to day business of living together and being partners. He talked about how learning to deal with the truly irritating parts of living with the person you love teaches you about sacrifice, compromise, and becoming a more thoughtful human being. Also, the process of coming to terms with the parts of yourself that truly irritate your partner can make you either divorced or drive you to work on your less than perfect traits.
I went to therapy because of my partner. I had been grouchy, angry, and unsettled before. But I had always been able to retreat into the bedroom of my shared apartment and didn’t need to explain myself, necessarily, to my roommates. I didn’t always like living with myself, but I coped. But DP was having problems with living with my explosive, needy self, and he wasn’t ready to just put up with it. He wanted me to do something about it. It took me a while, but I did.
DP is a fantastic reader of my work. He cuts right through my bullshit. He deletes words that need to be deleted. The first month we were dating, I gave him a poem to read. He cut the first three lines and handed it back. The poem got published the following month.
The book takes me away from DP, and away from my friends. But of course DP is a writer too. Theoretically he should be able to engage with my work. But DP does not like The Fucker. He does not like creative nonfiction. He does not like it when I cry. He does not like it that I am depleted at the end of the day. He does not like it that I might stay home and write Saturday morning rather than going out to breakfast.
I’m fine when he tells me that an image doesn’t work, that I need to explain something further, or rework a paragraph. “I don’t really like nonfiction,” however, sends me spiraling, spitting right over the edge.
Will your marriage survive your fucker? Are you glad not to be all shacked up so you can get the fucker done? Would it be easier if someone rubbed your feet and brought you a cocktail in the evening?