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Tuesday
Sep272011

The Secret To Staying Married According To Moi

I've attempted to vocalize my theories on marriage before and I never quite get it right and end up getting legions of offended people commenting about how dysfunctional I am. But maybe my openness to dysfunction is key in making a marriage last. Huh? Ever think about that? My willingness to deal with all kinds of bullshit puts me ahead of the pack of "normal" folks who cry DIVORCE at the first sign of fighting.

Because I don't think there is any big secret to staying married for a long time other than endurance. Yup. That's it. ENDURANCE. Never go to bed angry? Get the fuck out of here with that bullshit. I've gone to bed so heated I nearly set the sheets aflame. The only key to staying married for a long time is being determined to stay married, period. Shit happens. Let it go as soon as you can. Move on. Shit happens again. Let it go as soon as you can. Move on. Shit happens. Let it go as soon as you can. Move on. The more you do this the better you get at it thereby increasing your endurance for marriage and the potential of being married to the same partner forever.

So yeah. Serge and I argue. We do! Ask anyone. And that's okay for us. I mean, we don't like how much we argue and are definitely trying to dial it back, but we argue and I'm not ashamed of it. Okay, kind of ashamed. But, generally speaking, our arguing doesn't bother me too much. As long as we don't let it get out of control. It's just kind of how we roll. And I guess that's where a lot of people disagree with me. They think arguing signifies major malfunctions in the relationship. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. I've known a lot of couples who barely argue and are, in fact, super schmoopy with each other and guess what? They aren't couples anymore. Some are busy destroying second marriages, even!

Bickering makes some people uncomfortable and might be a deal breaker but arguing is a part of our relationship. In fact, I sometimes feel like our comfort with arguing has actually created a stronger marriage. We vent and get on with it. Of course, sometimes we go too far, say horrible things that are hard to forget, but that's what happens when you're with one person for years and years and years. Because - let's face it - before marriage we go through life pretty much on our own. Sure we have siblings and college roommates and friends, but they aren't a part of every decision we make. We don't have to share bedrooms and bathrooms and checking accounts and children with these people. We don't have to reconcile the daily intricacies of financial choices and how to raise children with these people, yet that's what happens when we get married. Suddenly, all this crap is something we have to deal with all the time. And it's really hard!

For the first time ever, I read an article that closely mirrors my thoughts on marriage so I thought I would share it with you here. A woman named Iris Krasnow has written a book called The Secret Lives of Wives: What It Really Takes To Stay Married. A couple days ago she summarized the book in an article for the Huffington Post called The Fine Line Between Marriage And Divorce. Even just the title so fantastically captures my thoughts on marriage. Because I really believe it is a fine line. Some days are awesome and then the next day BANG. Worse day ever. Or worst week or worst month. Feelings constantly change.

That's where endurance comes in. It overrides those fleeting feelings. I am acutely conscious of the fact that I'm hitched to a fella who is pretty dedicated to being married, even when he doesn't like me very much. He's as loyal as they come. Like I said, when the shit goes down it takes folks who are dedicated to being married NO MATTER WHAT that are going to come out on top. Not those lovey-dovey motherfuckers who like the world to know just how in love they are. Okay, those guys might last too, but I'm just giving you my vibe here and I am not a love dovey type. After all, like I said, I've seen some really lovey-dovey types, real schmoopy couples, bite the dust over stuff you would've thought they could've weathered.

Point is, the Never Go To Bed Angry types don't have it locked in even though they do a pretty good job of convincing us that they do and making our own marriages feel inadequate. You just never know where a couple stands. Not only that, but when you are a part of couple you often never know where your partner really stands. Smart, funny people are blindsided by a partner wanting a divorce all the time. That's the scary part of marriage. You can only control so much.

For her book Krasnow spent two years and hundreds of interviews listening to women talk about how they are managing to stick it out in their long marriages. Krasnow herself has been married for 23 years and has raised two sons with her husband so she isn't just gleaning this info from interviews. The woman knows how down and dirty (and not in the good way) marriage can get from first-hand experience:
From my own experiences, and from the dozens of sagas unloaded into my tape recorder, I am constantly reminded of the eggshell-thin line that separates loving from loathing. I know that staying married can mean plates flying across kitchens, tears soaking pillows and emailing old boyfriends at 3 a.m.
Y'all, I have broken more plates and vases then I care to share in this blog. Serge has had more tantrums and destroyed more fans then I even originally revealed. I told you those sonofabitching fans are a major cause of marital discord. In fact, we had another doozy that left one of us sleeping in the guest room two nights ago. It was fan-related but involved the temperature of the room as opposed to the loudness of the fan and I absolutely flipped out. Like, I went nutso.

I just exhausted with my bedroom not feeling like a place I enjoy or want to spend time in because the noise and temperature and everything that might make me comfortable had to be his way. I felt like it signified a huge disregard for me and my feelings and and and and and... a bunch of other crap that I blew all out of proportion. I illustrate the ridiculous causes of our arguments to explain that stuff happens that makes me really, really mad but in the grand scheme of things I'm really glad that we're arguing about a fan and not an affair or some other equally horrifying situation. It's also nice to know that a couple you think has a pretty okay marriage (that's us I'm referring to) argues and yes, even contemplates divorce a time or two. In fact, you might be surprised who's contemplating divorce. Krasnow throws out this little statistic and accompanying examples:
Of the 200 plus women interviewed and woven into The Secret Lives of Wives, I can count on one hand those who have never considered splitting up. It was no surprise that Beth often considered leaving her husband. He routinely told her she was fat and ugly, and when they fought in the car he would pull over and shove her out the door. Who could blame Shauna for her many consults with a divorce lawyer? She's the wife of the traveling doctor, a man who hasn't initiated sex since their honeymoon 30 years ago. Her secret is that she has it both ways: an intact family and a ten-year affair with a hard-bodied lover, who does her landscaping for free.

The biggest shocker is the number of wives in stable unions who frequently contemplate fleeing their marriages. These are not abused wives; they are women with nice husbands who give them orgasms and jewelry and stability. Yet many of these settled midlife women admitted they were slightly jealous of Tipper Gore who gets to have a fresh start after 40 years of matrimony with the same guy. While many speculated about whether one of the Gores fell in love with someone else, my instincts without talking to either of them is that perhaps they are a lot like other couples portrayed in the book. Maybe they were simply sick of being around each other. And maybe one or both of them finally couldn't take it any more.
They just got sick of being around each other. Is that really so surprising? Serge and I get sick of being around each other all the time. As Krasnow says "It's the subtle nuances of living with one person in one house for a very long time that grates at the soul, that causes a simmering malaise. It's the grind of the ordinary that drives people into thinking, "Is this all there is? I want more. I want adventure. I want change." Simmering malaise. The grind of the ordinary. Sounds familiar.

But the point is that just because you get sick of someone or fantasize about divorcing them doesn't mean your marriage is dead. Nowadays people hit these kinds of walls and think the grass has got to be greener somewhere else. So they divorce. Unless your husband is a tried and true jackass of the Arnold Schwarzeneggar fucking the maid variety, THE GRASS IS NEVER GREENER. If you're in an "I Can't Stand My Husband" phase, get out more. Get a hobby, go running - but don't get a divorce. Especially if you have children.

Krasnow says the happiest wives don't spend a whole lot of time with their husbands. Makes total sense to me. If you've ever spent a significant amount of time with anyone you know that even the greatest people will eventually get on your nerves. In fact, you probably also know the stuff that originally drew you to them starts to become annoying. So get away, go do some other stuff so you can begin to appreciate what drew you to the person in the first place.

Krasnow says there's a chapter in her book called Separate Summers that is filled with women who take their own vacations, take their own summers, take charge of their own lives. Couples who allow each other to grow separately are the ones with the best chance of growing together and staying together. That really intrigues me because one of my life's goals is to buy a home here in the Pennsylvania countryside and then purchase a small apartment in Manhattan. Why? Because it's the best of both worlds. Because after our children leave my husband and I can go to New York City together, if we want, or take mini-breaks away from each other. He can spend a week in the country while I hit the city for some drinks, dining and girlfriend time because guess what else? The wives with the highest marital satisfaction have a tight circle of wild women friends with whom to drink, travel and vent about their husbands.

So what is a common trait in women who have long-running marriages? According to Krasnow "They have the guts and determination to stick it out, no matter what. And their laments about their marriages aren't because of anything serious." BOOM. That's the shit I've been saying for years. None of this never go to bed mad crap. It's stone cold endurance. Straight up. And that is why I think I will be married forever. I have the guts and determination to stick it out. And our longest-running argument isn't about an affair or a flirtation or any other common marital deal breakers... It's about a fan - which seems to be the case with so many of you who left the most brilliant comments ever after this post. Our fellas can be HUGE pains in the asses but are inherently good guys who mean well. And in the grand scheme of life, what more could a woman really ask for? Not much. So, as I age I hope to spend time away from Serge, travel more, but also share interests and enjoy time together and even when I hate his goddamn guts know that it's just a passing phase, because it always is. This is how you keep from developing grass is greener syndrome. That shit will kill a marriage every time.

Not romantic enough for you? That's because you grew up watching Disney fairy tales. There will be romance, if you work at it, and there will be droughts. But don't set your sights too high or you will be disappointed. Mediocrity in marriage is more prevalent than you might imagine. Don't ever look at another couple and think they have it figured out because, dude, they are stumbling and bumbling along just like you. As most women interviewed for Krasnow's book said, "they stay married simply because they like their marriages more than they dislike them, even if much of the time it's 51 percent "like" to 49 percent "dislike."

Exactly. Sounds depressing, but it isn't. It's reality. Some days it's 90 percent like to 10 percent dislike. Sometimes it's exactly the opposite. But if it's 51 to 49 most of the time then I think you're doing all right, girlfriend.

Got a marriage theory? Think I'm full of shit? Let's hear it!

Reader Comments (54)

Crazy shit but so true, today i told my husband i hated him as i stormed off to work. There are days when i cant stand the asshole But overall i do love him and i know im not going to be the 1 to throw the towel.Depressing but so very true. Awesome piece.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlejandra

Spot on, thanks for being brave and telling it like it is!

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBeccaV

Since about 8 weeks into my last pregnancy (the one that ended when I gave birth to my 4 month old) I have had this awful recurrent dream. I call it the "Penelope/Ulysses" dream. It's where I dream that I'm being forced against my will to marry someone I do not love and I long for this faceless man who loved me so good but for some reason I cannot remember his face/name/why I'm not married to him. I always wake up after I remember the man I want to be married to is my husband in reality. I always wake up relieved and thinking "I guess that's what it would feel like to be divorced". Not sure why I keep having this dream BUT you absolutely nailed the "Grass ain't always greener" sentiment. And I love how you bring up how grateful you are that the knock-down, drag-out fights are about stupid crap like fan usage instead of cheating or some other assorted problem so much more huge and painful. My husband and I both say "Murder, eh... Maybe. Divorce? NEVER!"

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaty E.

I've been married for 34 almost 35 effing years, Monica. Some days are better than others -- hell some HOURS are better than others. But you're right -- its all about endurance and commitment; the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Our kids are grown and gone now with lives of their own so its just the two of us now. The days of ringing his neck or even mentioning divorce are long gone. We each have our own set of friends as well as "couple" friends, and we don't spend every waking hour together. Yet I know what he is thinking or how he is gonna react to almost everything. But mostly I know I can depend on this one person for just about anything. He's got my back and I his. We're finally good friends and lovers. But man, we had some knock down drag outs getting to this point. Whew! Sometimes I wondered if we wouldn't become another statistic. Marriage is WORK, its give and take and learning to pick your battles. Its allowing the other person to be them and accepting them no matter what. You don't always have to like everything but you have to accept that they're different from you and its OK. And you're right, I've seen couples who never fight, act all lovey when in public and I always envied them or thought something was wrong with me, or at the very least, our marriage. They're divorced. We stuck it out. The older you get the more accepting you become. Things that used to make me crazy 20 years ago hardly bother me now. Nothing changed with him, it was I who did the changing and vice versa. The other force in our staying married when I wanted to KILL him was our kids. I just couldn't or didn't want to have either of us leave them without giving it our best shot. And yeah, they've heard us fight and make up more times than I'd like to admit. Not the knock out drag out fights but sometimes nasty verbal exchanges. We kept it pretty real. And I think our kids, being older and in long term relationships themselves understand that life ain't prefect and there is gonna be disagreements. So have them and move forward --- and the sooner the better is always best.

I'm glad to hear you've got both endurance a strong commitment --- it will take you far in the world of marriage.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDona

This is so depressing...I am sorry but it is. I am 26 and my mother and I just had the talk about how things really are in relationships. It really does seem to contradict the shoot for the stars in every aspect of your life mantra that she had always instilled in me. Like shoot for the stars but not in your relationship b/c THERE ARE NO STARS... Relationships are mediocre most of the time...it literally is do the good times out weigh the bad? I asked my mom if thats it...if thats all I could hope for the good outweighing the bad and she Absolutely that what you should AIM for and even that gets hard. It still seems sad to me but I know its reality... She is also the one (married 25+ years) that said if you dont fight its b/c you dont care...my parents fought all the time :)

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

@Sarah - It's depressing in a way but not really. Like Dona said above you - the goal is to stay married and reach that point in life where you are content and comfortable with your mate. And the longer you stay together, hopefully the more you'll respect each other for sticking in there and a new, deeper love can grow. But, this mediocrity of marriage thing is a reality you should be aware of if you want to stay married. Otherwise, you'll shoot for the stars that silly movies and Disney fairy tales have taught us about and inevitably be disappointed and fall victim to the grass is greener syndrome. I look forward to a future with Serge, of doing new things together and getting to know ourselves as we change and being grandparents together... And don't think I don't have amazing moments with Serge, because I do. But it ebbs and flows... and when it's ebbing it's important not to think something better is out there. Because it isn't. And if you keep searching for better pretty soon you'll have a string of failed relationships behind you and no one to grow old with.

September 27, 2011 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko

Just this weekend we had a huge fight about a remote control. He was so mad that I didn't take care to fix his remote control (I'm on maternity leave, so I should do EVERYTHING at home, in his opinion) that he said to me that he didn't want anything from me, from now on... So I said: "But this means that we shouldn't be together anymore!" And he said: "Yes, this is what it means."
I was shocked, 'cause we rarely argue... and I started to think how life could be without him. I really don't see my life without him, it's something I really don't want, and I'm sure, as you said, that I want to stick it out, never let go 'cause I chose to have children with this man, I love him and I want him in my life, today and tomorrow.
Luckily, he was just angry, and he didn't mean what he said, so we're still together. But I felt better, today, to read your post and to hear you say that it's not so terrible to argue, and that it's normal to get sick of someone after many years together (10 for us...). I had not the chance to talk with a friend about what happened with him so I was alone with my thoughts, afraid to be the only one in this situation...
As usual, reading your posts makes me feel better, 'cause you're a person that I admire, and it helps to see I'm not the only one to struggle with this difficult thing that's marriage, and life with children, and being a working mama...
Hugs, and good luck with the fan (but if you want an advice, beware of remote controls too...)

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSerena from Italy

Sarah, Please don't be depressed. I think you really have to choose your mate wisely. Look deeply inside yourself and examine what is important to you... and then make several lists. The lists should be "Must Haves", "Cannot live withs", "Would be nice ifs" etc...and make them as detailed as you like but try not to be shallow (like "Must only have blonde curly hair and be exactly 6ft 25 inches tall".) Can be randomly specific l(ike "Must not yell at bums", "Must always wear a seat belt" "Must Vote" "Must like to read and enjoy music" ) and then make sure you live up to the standards you expect. That way, when you meet the right one, you'll know pretty quickly.. You have to make sure first and for most that you both truly share the same values... and most importantly, do NOT settle or try to talk yourself into, or force yourself onto, the wrong guy. Be sure you can cut bait at the first sign of a trye red flag because once you get married, it's a LOT harder to get out of if it ends up not being right. Marriage has it's ups and downs for sure but it's mostly pretty excellent. It's hard work but it's so very rewarding. Please don't be discouraged or feel like you should settle.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaty E.

@ Serena from Italy, I think it's ok to fight hard as long as you each do your best to make up tenderly. And if you fight in front of the kids, make sure you fight fair in front of them and be sure to kiss and make up in front of them too. I grew up in a very stable, loving, well-adjusted home and what fighting there was didn't scare me because my parents were always sure to make amends in front of us.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaty E.

"I'm really glad that we're arguing about a fan and not an affair or some other equally horrifying situation"
I love this line.

And I am newly married so I don't know where the road will take us, but I sure as hell know I'm committed to making this work. And not every day will be rosy, not every day anywhere is rosy, but I love him, I took a vow and I will stay with him.

The guy referenced in Krasnow's book that called his wife fat and ugly and pushed her out of the car? That right there is abuse though, not "normal" couples fighting stuff.... That horrifies me. I'm OK with people arguing, fighting, getting confused, whatever - but not treating their spouse like total dirt.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I needed to read this post this week. We had a real knock-down, drag-out last Friday... *over the way that I woke him up* (not with a bj before jacuzzi? actually it was because i was shrill and frantic, but whatever). He crossed a line in the argument and I've been kicking it around in my head for days just not getting over it despite a sincere apology and lots of ass kissing. Thanks for writing this, Monica.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDayna

Thank you Monica for writing this. You are so spot on and its so nice to see other marriages 'work' just like yours. I cant stand being around my husband all the time, i need a break and if im with him constantly i seriously want to wring his neck! He is a good man, a great father and wonderful provider. We celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary next week and sometimes I cant believe we made it. There has been many screaming matches, separate beds and wet pillows. Someones I thought we were the only ones who fought and argued, but i talk to my other friends and im definitely not alone! But like you said, maybe the ones that don't argue are the unhealthy ones. Im about to book a holiday to Bali with my two sisters for a few days. The hubby is staying home with the kids... and i cant wait!!!!

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda

@Sarah - It IS shooting for the stars, if by "stars" you mean a lifelong relationship with a good man who loves you. If by "stars" you mean a tall, handsome, rich investment banker with six-pack abs and a vacation home in the Swiss Alps who is willing to do half the housework, rub your feet and love you even with frizzy hair and no makeup... you're going to be alone forever, wondering why all your friends seem so happy to be married to these shmucks they settled for.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGrace

Monica, I agree with you 100%. I've been with my man for almost 9 years and people always ask me how we've stuck it out this long. My answer has always been "just stick it out." Guess it's not that romantic, but it's the truth! After witnessing my parents' 35+ year marriage, I know that we aren't always going to love each other or always want to be around each other, but when things get rough we can rely on each other. And when things are happy we want to share it with each other. I think that's the bottom line.

And I totally agree with the separate summers idea. This past summer I went on vacation to visit a friend of ours, by myself. People asked me why my husband didn't come and I thought to myself, "Why does he have to come? Why can't I just go somewhere by myself?" It was GREAT to spend some girl time with a friend and take a break from my husband, especially since we own a business and therefore work together. That doesn't mean there's something inherently wrong with our relationship. I think it means that we're both healthy individuals that enjoy spending time together AND apart.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErin

I've been married for nearly thirty years and I also think that going to bed mad angry stuff is a bunch of bullshit. Can't tell you the number of times that I've gone to bed mad, then the next morning whatever it was that I was so truly pissed about seemed truly petty. I think you end up saying too many things that you end up regretting and fighting about issues that weren't even part of that night's problem. Let sleeping dogs lie...

After all these years, we still have knock down drag outs on occasion - mostly though - my husband is my best friend, my lover and the person that always makes me laugh. I'm not sure how we've made it...but I'm still glad to seem him come through the door most evenings!

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShawn

Monica, you are so right. I'll be married 23 years soon... officially half of my life. HALF OF MY LIFE! And truly, for the most part, it's been fun. We rarely have knock-down, drag-outs, but we do often argue. Not screaming arguing, but irritating disagreements. Today's: Is it "mean" to call NJ Governor Chris Christie fat? My opinion: No... the dude IS fat. His opinion: Yes... it's judgmental. (We are both registered Democrats...and we are both reasonably physically fit.) We went around and around about it. We ended it when I said, "You exhaust me," and we agreed to disagree. And we moved on. Our kids are teenagers. We're in it for the long haul. We took that "till death do us part" thing in our vows very seriously. But three big things stand out in making it work. We truly "get" each other, for the most part; we have weird work schedules and don't see a lot of each other, so we cherish our time together; we have a very similar sense of humor. The guy is still the only person who can make me cry tears laughing on a regular basis. That goes a long, long way when things aren't so rosy.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBEllen

Arguing, to me, is the same as healthy confrontation... It needs to happen. Every time I've gotten in a fight with the significant other, a friend, or a coworker, we duke it out until understanding happens...and it WORKS. By the end of it, we're hugging, crying, fist-pumping, whatever. Now if I could just get my mother in law on board with this theory...we might actually make some headway!

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErin

The grass may be greener on the other side but the dog shits over there too.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGreenInOC

You are exactly right. It's commitment, period. Couples who don't fight are not living their lives authentically. One person is always giving in and not getting their needs met. Fighting shows that we all have needs and are willing to stand up for it. Even if the fight is about me needing his attitude to change.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

I read the same article in Huff Post and had the same response...damn right, it's just endurance. I've been married for 16 yrs and there are periods of time when I can't stand the man. There are also plenty of days when our teamwork, fun times, and loyalty make me swoon. Time away, time with my girlfriends, and interests of my own keep the sanity and sparks going.
Your response to Sarah was brilliant. Knowing what you're getting into increases your chances, I think.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCynthia Coffey

Fighting, yes... but screaming until your head feels like it were to pop will drain the life out of anything. Serious. Well, it did me. I am not married now, but if I were to do it again, I would buy that book. In fact, I think I will once I get settled in my new place....with my bookshelves full of these self-helps. Anyway...yes, fighting can be cleansing when it's with someone you share some kind of special ability to do it right with. It's like marriage...

PS.Thinking back to my two marriages - the first in my 20s ( 8 months of hell on earth ) and the second in my late 30s, (6.5 years of scary limbo)- I have come to the conclusion that I chose to marry for reasons which had NOTHING to do with having an actual relationship. While there were friendships, there was never any chemistry. I had serious anxiety, a streak of impulsiveness, and all sorts of wrong ideas about marriage, thinking it would solve all of my problems. I was easily pleased and eager to do be a 'good wife', fine enough, but I forgot to consider whether the guy was easily pleased, and whether he would be a good husband! I guess I figured my parents are married this long without any indication of love. As long as I wasn't going to be a spinster. So...after all of this, I would suggest that the key to lasting marriage is an exclusive relationship with someone who not only shares your values and sense of humor but one who knows and accepts and can handle the good, the bad and the fugugly.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGina

THANK YOU. I just today figured out how many days I've been married to my husband (127) - not because I am OMG SO HAPPY TO BE A NEWLYWED - but because he woke me up AT 3AM to complain about a tiny spot of poison ivy on his arm, and I wanted to compare the amount of time we've been in it to the amount of time we will be in it. I love him. A lot. I wouldn't have married him if I didn't. But I'd be lying if I told you a part of me, some days, doesn't hate him as well. I'm a huge proponent of the middle-finger-behind-the-back and the yelling-at-eachother-for-hours-over-how-the-oven-isn't-clean-enough. Fights happen. Shit happens. And "never going to bed angry" isn't a realistic goal. Endurance is. If nothing else, my sheer stubbornness and inability to admit failure will cause us to be married until we die. And I welcome it. At the end of (most) days, my husband is great. My best friend! I also sometimes wish I could kill him. Thanks for speaking the truth.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I love your perspective, and think there's really something to it (although.... I think you and Serge should have separate bedrooms, and not because you don't love each other, but because you have different sleeping 'styles').

I'm a singleton, and just yesterday had to explain to a co-worker about how I never have had the urge to marry. I've been head over heels in lover-ville, but never wanted to glue myself to someone for the rest of my days.

As you say, there are some very bad days within a marriage, and I will remind you all: there are very bad days when you live by yourself!!!!! Sometimes I feel as though I'm in a rut that is impossible to escape, and then I don't... I guess that's the human condition.

Guess your marriage mantra could be, keep on keepin' on. What else is there really to do?

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

You know - some of those lovey dovey couples really are genuinely happy. Wow! - Who'd have thought that they aren't just putting on an act?

Does putting down those in genuinely happy marriages make you feel better about your marriage being so miserable? Because for years you have been going on about how miserable it is. You do know there's no prize at the end for staying married just for the sake of it? No trophy, no certificate. Nothing.


I never get sick of being with my husband. Never. When he's away I miss him every single minute till he gets back. He is my best best friend and my lover and every day I am grateful for all the things that happened in my life, all the decisions i made, big and small, good and bad...that brought me to the day that we met. Including leaving a relationship which was miserable but probably, if i'd forced it to be, tolerable. It was probably 51:49. But I feel nauseous when I think about where I would be if i hadn't bit the bullet and left. I would probably be where you are.....trying to convince myself that conflict and anger are normal and that the grass isn't greener.

And he doesn't get sick of being with me - he routinely gets into bed at night, spoons me and says "God, i love being with you"...then gives me a ribbing about how i knocked him back when we first met. He too shudders when he thinks about where he would be if he hadn't left his previous relationship - a life of groundhog days of forever mowing the lawn so he could avoid talking to her, going to the gym morning and night to minimise the time spent at home.


We don't argue. And it isn't because we don't care, I think it is because we do care....i value him and our relationship so much that the stuff we should probably fight over, that other people fight over, just isn't important. We adapt, we compromise. And we do it without shouting or throwing things. I know that none of the stuff that should irritate me is done for the purpose of irritating me. So why go on the attack and generate all that anger and negativity?

And it isn't like we don't have stresses in our life - we've got two hormonal teenagers just for starters, i'm self employed, he has high pressure job and we're in the middle of major renovations. Newborns are a piece of cake compared to a 17 year old girl who's going on 27 whether we like it or not, a 14 year old boy who communicates with monosyllabic grunts, tradesmen who never show up when they say they will and one or both of us having to jump on overseas flights at 48 hours notice.

So, i'm sorry - but i disagree with you - life is too short and precious to spend with someone you constantly argue with just so you can boast that you're still married. As for throwing shit...are you serious? how old are you? And more importantly, what are you teaching your kids about relationships? That mommy and daddy arguing and throwing stuff all the time is normal? Nice work. I understand that you think that having you and Serge together is probably better for your kids than the environments that you two both grew up in, but not if it means Violet and Henry grow up in a family where mom and dad are constantly at each other's throats. You two both need to learn how to compromise and resolve conflict as adults - skills you probably haven't learned because you didn't have them demonstrated to you. Which means you both need to stop shouting and throwing things, you need to sit down with a cup of tea and talk things through like adults. Like the fan issue - can he get a smaller fan, turn it down a little, can you have separate blankets so you can control your own temperatures? You both need to give and take because let me tell you, if you can't resolve the fan issue after this long, heaven help you when you have a real crisis to deal with. And you will.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLoveyDovey

@Lovey Dovey- Wow u obviously have too much time on your hands with your self employed career i bet your flying overseas now! You seem to know alot about Monica and her blogs so i assume you come on here quite often. If her posts bother u that much why bother reading them and commenting? I personally dont think your as happy as you claim you are and i definitely dont think you have a perfect relationship. On that note have a nice day!

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlejandra

@ Katy E. : thanks for your advice!

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSerena from Italy

@ LoveyDovey-So you " knocked him back"? what exactly does that mean...in simpleton terms?

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGina

I so needed to read this today. My husband and I had our first really ugly fight about three weeks ago wherein I threw orange drink in his face and he threw beer in mine. He also called me a bitch for the first time. We called our respective people that we would call in this situation and his cousin, who is also our Pastor, was horrified. She felt like we were getting too close to domestic violence. She also started a nonprofit about relationship violence after two of her childhood friends were killed by boyfriends. I didn't feel like things were that bad. She also has never been married. She almost had me feeling really badly until I thought about the fact that we have been together for 17 years and married for almost 12 years and this is the second time anything like that has happened. The first time was in 2001 when my Mom committed suicide and his Dad died from pancreatic cancer. That fight was about grief and not about us. Anyway, I agree with what you are saying wholeheartedly.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErika

I enjoyed this post, Monica. I think you made valid points about the work of endurance in committing to a marriage, and I sincerely respect you and Serge's choice to commit to each other. I think it's great. My personal problem, however, is that I'm feeling all that mediocrity, discontent, and irritability within my own relationship of going on 4 years. I want to look to your words as advice and encouragement, except the facts are that we are unmarried, childless, and in our early twenties in college. In the past we've talked about getting married one day, but now I feel like I'm teetering on the fine line between sticking together and break-up. Since we're not married and we're still pretty young, I'm having trouble knowing whether or not it's the right thing to endure. We live together and he's my best (some could say 'only') friend, so a clean-cut would be impossible. But he's a sweet guy who's still completely in love with me, and I do admire and care for him, so the idea of ever having to leave him breaks my heart.

I'm not really expecting advice like a write-in to Dear Abby, but after reading your relevant post I felt the need to vent. Relationships are hard, yo.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAsh

@Ash - Take my advice with a grain of salt, of course because Dear Abby I ain't... But, if there is doubt and you are unmarried, childless and very young, perhaps a trial separation is in order to see how that makes each of you feel? While on the break, do you sincerely miss him or do you feel relieved? Perhaps the result of that could make you feel more solid in your decision to commit or break free...

September 27, 2011 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko

My answer to this is so personal, that I can't actually write it on the internet. I agree and disagree with you, and the author you quote. I wholeheartedly agree that commitment is KEY. Being willing to stay married is at least 95% of it. I know you and Serge have that.

I don't fully agree on how couples treat each other, spend time together, etc. And my reasons for that are, again, based on my personal experience and what I have learned from my life and observing the marriages of others - the ones that lasted and the ones that didn't. For the past two years, I've been asking married couples about their marriages, to learn from them. That's been really valuable to me in my own marriage.

Of course I am happy to discuss sometime offline! Beers in PA? :-)

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiz aka EDW

your saying "get the fuck out of here" is killing me, I picture you saying it like Eddie Murphy talking about Italians :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fp67geuhJM&feature=player_embedded#at=61

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterXmastime

I've only been married for 17 days. But I've been with my husband for almost 10 years. We didn't live together before we got married so everything is new in that way. Ask me in a few years and I might be feeling a little different than how I feel now. I have a feeling we will have a fight like you and Serge did about the fan. He has been known to have the AC on in the winter.

We are very lovey dovey together, lots of hand holding and kisses, but we do fight. It is human nature to fight, argue, and disagree. I don't have any solid theories on marriage yet. But I know relationships take work. And I do think sometimes it is 51% like and 49% dislike. But there should be those 100% days in there too.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCec

I think part of the reason your previous posts about marriage have spiraled into combat is because....well. You probably realize that you've tended to throw spears at marriages that differ from your own (...spears that involve mocking disdain.) In that respect, this post is probably your fairest and most even-handed commentary regarding your perspective on marriage, largely because it was pretty low on the volleys toward other types of marriages. Basically, I think if you can continue to focus on your own experiences in your marital convos, that'll probably keep the teeth gnashing to a minimum. Reading about personal experiences? = fun, interesting, engaging. Reading commentary that broadly judges or dismisses other peoples experiences? = not so fun.

All that said, since you asked for differing perspectives, I will say that I honestly can't relate to the idea of marriage being half love and half hate, half peace and half war. It does sound stressful to me, especially since I've been in that kind of relationship before--but if you say it works for you, I believe you.

As for my own experiences, I realize you don't have much faith in the idea of peaceful, non-combative marriages (that aren't based on lies and repression), but I can't do anything but assure you that they do exist. My husband and I have several "couple" friends who are examples of this kind of marriage, and honestly, we seem to meet more wherever we go. I suspect it has to do with "birds of a feather flocking together" or something.

In our own case, in the six years of our marriage we've never raised our voices at one another...and I want to clarify (since I've been accused of this in via the internet in the past) that our lack of yelling/fighting doesn't mean we're dispassionate people, or 'repressing our true feelings'. Actually, we're both pretty strong-minded and intense--but when it comes to our relationship, our temperaments happen to be well-matched, and our communication styles are complementary. Unusual? Sure, I'll grant you that. But we do exist, and I have to admit that I quietly wish more people could experience this kind of harmony, because it doesn't suck.

In the end though, I've come to realize and accept that no relationship can be generalized, and there are infinite nuances and gray areas to human interaction. I also suspect that people who relate to your marriage, or the ideas in the Huffington Post article, are probably more likely to be drawn to your blog or the work of others who share your perspective. And that's completely expected and normal--people will always be drawn to the ideas and individuals that speak to and for them. I guess...just keep in mind that there are others out here with different experiences. You just may not be hearing from them because those inherent differences have caused them to congregate elsewhere.

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOther side

I hear you on endurance. My husband (of 10 years) can completely get under my skin. He he is a really good guy - a devoted husband and completely awesome father. But separate trips? Dude, I'd be out the door if our lives currently allowed for things like impromptu solo vacations. I would miss him, but I would do it to shore up on peaceful alone time, and I would love it. I'd call him on the phone for fun connecting and then go to sleep in a quiet room that had no snoring. Or I'd go away with fabulous girlfriends and love every minute. Anyway, my point is, I'm with you. There are times when it's endurance that keeps you going.

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErin

Alejandra - I have been reading Monica's blog for a long time..... Which is why I know that her relationship has been less than ideal for a long time. But I am not sure how you conclude from thatm that i haven't got a life.

She asked for feedback and she is getting it. Per usual there a backlash when there is a comment that isn't all high fives and back slaps.

Constant fighting and throwing things is NOT normal....and you can rationalize and justify and prosthelytize it all you like, but it still isn't normal and it isn't healthy for the couple and especially not for young children.

And assuming that people who don't fight and throw things are just putting on an act to hide their true misery doesn't make such behaviour OK or normal either.

Why not look at those relationships that are harmonious and loving and cooperative and respectful as a source of inspiration.....identify how they resolve differences and disagreements before it gets to the point of throwing crockery or worse, hurtful hateful words and see if you can't learn from them?

Marriage isn't meant to be a prison sentence...but this apparent belief that marriage has to be 'endured' makes it seem like it is. Perhaps the first step towards creating a more peaceful marriage would be to drop this belief that marriage is something to be endured and you may lose a ton of anger and resentment which is surely fuelling so many of those fights.... the trigger point of some of these conflicts might be easier to diffuse if there isn't an undercurrent of resentment of 'this is my bed and i HAVE to lie in it'

And changing your perception and knowing that your partner is there because they genuinely want to be with YOU and (vice versa) and not because of some stubborn vow to 'stay married' would probably help too.

And for the record.....my relationship really is that wonderful, and that it is something I am proud of and incredibly grateful for.

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLoveyDovey

@Other Side - Your point is well written and well received.

@LoveyDovey - Did it occur to you that people are refuting your point not because it's not a high five or a backslap for me, but because you have difficulty making your point without sounding condescending and just plain rude?

We need to sit down with a cup of tea and learn to "give and take"? Is that all? Well, why haven't we ever thought of that before? Marriage is just that easy, isn't it? Garsh, me so stupid it will really suck when I have a real crisis like home renovations and jumping on overseas flights to deal with, won't it? But only you know about the REAL difficulties in life, right? I'm just an idiot who constantly screams and throws plates in front of my children. Sometimes I throw plates at the kids, you know, for fun and stuff. Violet's getting real quick on her feet, but Henry, he's a little slow still.

I have news for you, fighting in a marriage is totally normal and people like you who make others feel dysfunctional and stupid about it is a huge part of why people divorce. No one said a loving marriage isn't something to aspire to but my argument is that people shouldn't get all down on themselves and their marriages and seek new relationships because they argue. Arguing is NORMAL. In my experience couples who don't argue are couples that tend to repress a lot. Perhaps couples that don't argue and aren't repressing do exist, I just don't run across them very often. I never said marriage was a prison either. I enjoy my marriage a majority of the time. But other times it really fucking sucks and that's okay too... and it's those times that it really sucks that you have to endure to get back to the good times.

September 28, 2011 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko

As a life-long fan of many of the cultural and the pop cultural arts (everything from reality television and celeb magazines to classic albums, novels, paintings, films, etc), I must chime in here on an important point. Very rarely has there been much "happy marriage or happy love affair" work worth cherishing, or even just investigating. Think about it. Maybe truly happy means truly uninspired. This isn't my theory exactly; just make two columns, The Happys and The Strugglers; the Bunkers or the Bradys. Sure, there are giant exceptions to the rule, but mostly they're just that: exceptions.

Monica seems pretty willing to write the uglier of her life on her blog. And lucky for her, the fires that burn keep us interested and relating and coming back for more.

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMel

Love this post. Was really getting sick of my husband over the weekend, and I am pretty sure he was getting sick of me. Money is kind of tight, so we have had a lot of together time at home. A lot. Too much. So Monday, I said I was going to a movie (in French, subtitled - something he would never go to!) with my friend who I always go to those kind of movies with. Except I just went by myself. Because I was feeling nostalgic for the many years when I was divorced and I could do whatever the heck I wanted by myself when my daughter was at her dad's. And guess what - yesterday, he was all lovey-dovey and we had sex for the first time in awhile. I fibbed because I just didn't want to be too straighforward with him about needing time alone, he is feeling bummed about the no money thing and it would have been too obviously related. So my tiny fib worked for us. I notice we fight less as the years go by because we have each learned to do these small things for ourselves. It doesn't happen very often and makes us so happy to see the other one walk in the door when we have been gone. (Of course yesterday we also bickered about his failing to buy paper muffin cups for my stepdaughter's school project - yes, I said muffin cups! But of course it was really about everyone expecting me to drop everything and fix the muffin cup problem. Endurance, yeah.)

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie

My parents never fought. In the 14 years I was alive during their marriage, I can't recall a single time I ever heard my parents argue. There was the occasional frusturated comment here or there, but with 4 kids all within 6 years of each other, that's to be expected. My mom would run to the door when my dad got home and hug and kiss him. They seemed like the perfect couple to everyone that knew them, until one night, 2 weeks before I was to start 9th grade, my Dad told my Mom that he wanted a divorce. Nothing she could say or do could reverse the way he's felt for the 17 years they've been married, 17 years of pent up anger and unresolved feelings of disregard etc. Maybe if he wasn't so concerned about not arguing, and keeping the peice, they could have fought it out and he could have explained how he was feeling etc. But because they didn't ever argue or express their feelings, divorce was the decision. I say pathetic. I have learned from their mistake and am maybe even sometimes to vocal with issues within my own relationship. But I'll be damned if I ruin a relationship because I'm too afriad to fight it out.

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMandy

@Monica--Thanks. I've attempted to participate in online convos about the nature of marriage in the past, trying to explain my perspective to people who don't relate, and I've almost always failed. So, I'm glad I wasn't totally alienating this time.

I do have some questions for you, out of curiosity. For a little background....my marriage isn't the only relationship in my life that doesn't involve arguing; I actually can't remember the last time I had a full blown fight with someone (family, friend or otherwise.) Basically, the people I have had repeated conflict with are no longer part of my life, whether they were romantic partners, family, or friends.

I say this not to sound like a snobby jackass, but just to explain that, while you say "Arguing is normal," I have trouble relating to that position. (And to be clear, I do have conversations about difficult subjects with my husband and others when they're necessary to have, but these conversations stay at the discussion level.) So first--just to be clear on the language we're using here, I was wondering what your definitions for "difficult conversations" vs "arguing" vs "fighting" are. What's the distinction between the three, for you?

Beyond that, my real question is: where is your personal "line," in your own relationship or in the relationships of others? At what point do you feel that arguing/bickering/fighting *does* become dysfunctional or toxic? At what point do you think the people in the relationship should cut their losses?

Right now we live above a couple who have yelling and bickering matches multiple times a week. The weekends are the worst--they've actually woken us up with their yelling. They're generally not fighting about anything substantial, and it's never reached a point of violence, otherwise we'd call the police. They just...fight. Like it's a favorite hobby, honestly. They'll fight about the dishwasher, about food, about any single personality trait they feel like lambasting the other person for...if music is playing while they bicker, they sometimes start arguing based on the theme of the music. And the yelling can go for hours on end.

You said arguing is normal, but to me...these are two people who need to stay as far away from each other as possible. But they persist in being around each other, and don't seem to have any line for the treatment they are willing to accept within the context of a relationship. And I guess that's the thing that worries me about conversations like the one I've been seeing in comments, with so many people talking about the hostility that exists between them and their partner. At what point does arguing go from "normal" to "seriously problematic"...?

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOther side

You. Are. Awesome. Soooo needed to read this today. Hubs and I have fought all week. I actually told him yesterday to hurry up and go cheat on me so I would have a better reason to pack up the kids and leave his ass. Horrible, I know, but eye opening too. For me to have said that is proof that no matter how much i hate him sometimes, or how much he hates me, nothing we fight over is grounds for divorce. And I think he knows if he DID cheat, he would be PRAYING for just a divorce and not a month or two stay in the hospital from me kicking his ass... just sayin. :-)

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterApril

I agree withOther Side 100%. I don't think that because I don't argue with my guy that it means we are repressing anything - because we talk. We talk a lot, about things that are on our minds, things that are hurting us, things that we want to change. We talk without arguing. We don't raise our voices. I take a lot of pride in being able to communicate with him without fighting. I understand that both partners have to want that or be that type of communicator, and we are lucky to be that way, but I also don't think I could stand being in a relationship where we fought all the time.

I guess what bothers me the most is the idea that intrinsically, marriage is an extremely difficult institution and is meant to be that way, and that it is the fault of "marriage" - that it is inherent in the relationship. I don't believe that. I would not participate in any relationship in which I found myself screaming at someone, or feeling constantly hurt by their actions -- not for the sake of a vow or children or anything else.

This isn't to say that it isn't work to be in a marriage - it is work. I work on my ability to process stress and anxiety, on how I react to things that he does and says, on how I communicate my wants and needs to him. My reward so far has been a loving, stable relationship with a man I trust completely, who is devoted to me, and who would rather die than hurt me in any way - and I feel the same about him. I'm proud of that....and while I don't judge you for having a rougher time of it (actually, I wish you a lot of peace and I think it is great that you are committed to being with Serge), I don't think that I am boring, or repressed, or "wrong", or stupid, or unrealistic, or blinded by Disney, because my experience is different. And I don't think there is anything wrong with striving for a relationship that is good to its core, without fighting, threatening, or name calling. Really that is the only kind of relationship that I want to be in - otherwise, my life before I met him was pretty awesome.

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

Rock on, Monica. You are totally right. We fight. We talk. We resolve. We move on. We have good times. We fight again. Rinse. Repeat. It's still awesome and really hard at the same time. That's the part I didn't get before I was married.

I think unrealistic expectations and lack of endurance are two BIGGEST reasons for divorce. Yeah, you can marry the wrong person or the person you marry just stops caring. But mostly? I think people think marriage should be all romance and flowers and happiness and feeling in love. Which is a crock of shit. Nice gestures are nice, lovey feelings are good but those things do not last on their own. Commitment and work outlast that stuff. Before I got married, I asked my dad what the secret to not getting divorced was. His response was "You pick a good person and then you just......stay married". That's it. You do whatever you need to do to achieve that.

My husband is a wonderful man. But on a semi-regular basis, I want to throttle him. Same goes for him about me I guess!

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate

I certainly agree that most marriages have a tendency to ebb and flow. And that is not always a bad thing. However, I do not agree with the notion that the happiest wives do not spend a whole lot of time with their husbands. Huh? So avoidance is key? To my own personal logic, that does not sound right. It does not sound like it would make for the happiest relationship.

I love my husband, and the vast majority of my time is spent (by choice) with my husband and my children. That is not to say that I do not appreciate a girls night out, but when it comes right down to it I married the person with whom I want to spend my life. If before marriage I thought I would want to spend more time with my girlfriends or away from my husband, I do not think I would have chosen marriage.

As in all cases though, what is right for one couple is not going to be right for another couple. The same can be said for just about anything- parenting, finances, religion, etc. You just have to find what works for your relationship, and most importantly be on the same page with your partner, and things will work out.

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim Q

I am not married, but my SO and I get along pretty well. Sometimes we miscommunicate, feel snappish and need a break from one another but thankfully we are one of the (rare, it seems) couples who generally communicate in a very similar way, so things that need to be said generally do, and in a respectful manner. We may feel snappish, but we choose not to snap at each other and we can both recognize when the other is feeling that way. It works for us. We disagree, but we never yell. I could never live that way.

I agree that endurance is important in a marriage, but I don't think it's the most important thing. I just hope people don't use that as an excuse to not work on the scarier parts of improving a marriage, shoving things aside and just saying "Whatever, I'm going to stay married just because I decided to never divorce no matter what!" isnt' healthy. But I agree that endurance sure is important.

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterluisa

I both agree and disagree with everyone. Monica, I don't in any way think marriages need to be perfect. They get boring sometimes, they get annoying, and there will be points where the two partners ultimately disagree on something important or fundamental. I just think that blazing rows are not a great idea. Smashing things or screaming, will never be effective ways to communicate. And those harsh words that come out can never be unsaid. And it's that kind of thing that does damage. What about counselling? It's not a weakness to attend. You might just learn better ways to communicate.

I have another point too: I know from reading the blog that yourself and Serge have tendencies towards depression. Everytime I am depressed I project misery on to my relationship and give my partner a hard time. When really I'm just unhappy in general. When I've received my treatment I've been happier enough to realise that my relationship wasn't the problem at along. I was just depressed.
My partner has two brothers, both married. One brother is in a seemingly unhappy marriage, and the other brother has a very happy marriage. I asked my partner what was the secret of the happier marriage. He said 'They're each just generally happier as people'.

I wish you the best Monica, don't let others with their seemingly perfect marriages get you down. You and Serge fell headlong and absolutely in love when you met. Your love story is as wonderful as any. Afterwards It's communication, and making sure you deal with depression that count. How can we be happy in a relationship if we are unhappy in ourselves?

Plus, you and Serge are too hot a couple to be wasting time arguing when you should be engaged in more sexy pursuits :-)

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRose

The best thing for a marriage is for BOTH spouses to continue to value their friendships. My group of girlfriends and our time together is cherished and necessary for mental health. Thankfully, all of our husbands know this. We frequently do trips or nights out without husbands /kids and a wise husband would never try to stop this. In fact, ours encourage lots of girl time because we all come back in a better mood. You know the old saying, "if momma ain't happy, ain't no one happy"

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCMW

I was going to post something saying how much I enjoyed this post, but Monica - wow. I can't believe how defensive and combative you were in responding to "LoveyDovey" who was responding to your post asking if you were "full of shit" (did you forget that?). You may not agree with what she said, but she was giving a reasoned counterpoint and pointing out your weak points (like your insinutations about lovey-dovey couples, which WAS unnecessary). Wow.

If this is what you mean by "arguing is normal" and the like - I can tell you that you would make me want to shut down and hide rather than communicate with you. It seems like when you argue, you don't want to reach any resolution, but rebut statements in a very immature and sarcastic way. I wish you the best, but you will have a hard time with your "endurance" marriage if you operate from a position of harsh sarcasm and plate-throwing (WTF??). Scratching my head about that third child idea ... also, how does this post reconcile with your other one saying you were "the asshole." Maybe you can't really decide how you feel about the arguing?

On another note, you might enjoy "The Good Marriage" - a wonderful, highly readable book that was the first to investigate what makes a "good marriage" instead of a bad one (which, incidentally, sounds like a precursor to the article/research you described).

Also, good luck these next two weeks. When my husband works late for several nights in a row, it is really hard on me with my two little ones, and I tend to get frustrated even though it's no one's fault. Hang in there.

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJDB

@JDB - I'm fully willing for someone to tell me I'm full of shit, as "Other Side" did quite well but in a tone that wasn't filled with condescension, hence my sarcastic response. "LoveyDovey" was rude, period. And the fact that you're "scratching your head" about my wanting to have a third child makes me feel as if you didn't get the point of this post either. Nonetheless, thanks for commenting.

September 28, 2011 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko

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