The Shift

There seems to come a point after you get married when you stop being boyfriend and girlfriend and start being husband and wife. And it's not when you say, "I do." Shortly after we married, everyone would ask A.P. and I if it felt different. "It" being that we were married now, and no longer living in sin. For the most part, I always responded with the joke, "No, it feels like the same boring sh*t." And I meant it, because at the time, it did feel like the same boring sh*t. But now...now it feels different.

I have never posted about this, which is a bit surprising, since many people seem to discuss this topic after they marry. My caution to broach the subject is steeped in the sense that I haven't been a member of the club long enough to know whether what I'm feeling is actually "the shift" or not. But lately, I've been feeling as if this awkward period A.P. and I have been going through is because we're experiencing this shift in both our relationship, and our attitudes towards one another.

I've made no secret that the past few months have been hard for us. We went from happy newlyweds to contemplating going to therapy. That's not a positive step forward for most married couples. In fact, I think most would argue that's a sign we'll become part of the statistic we're so desperately trying to avoid. You know the one...half of all marriages end in divorce. But the thing is, I don't want to divorce A.P. Even when things are terrible and we're at each other's throats, I don't want to divorce him. Heck, I don't even want to think about divorcing him.

So why aren't things going swimmingly? Well, I think it's because I am finally starting to understand what it means to be married. It means...forever. I always knew that, but now I for real know it. I started really thinking about the problems I have with A.P. and our relationship, and I realized that a lot of the fights I have with A.P. these days center around how I can't tolerate certain behaviors forever. It's interesting because part of me feels like I'm having these fights as if I'm trying to work out the kinks now so that the rest of the marriage is mostly smooth sailing. I constantly remember my friend who got married years before my other friends telling me that if she weren't legally married to her husband when they first started out, she would have left him a million times. It's only now, years later, that there's a routine, a comfort. There's an understanding there, one that only comes with the comfort of knowing your partner so well you can predict their every move. That comfort comes from years of being and growing with a loved one.

I don't have years of marriage under my belt, but I do have years of knowing I love A.P. under my belt, and years of knowing he is the one for me. Those prove to be useful things in times like these. It makes me remember why I married him, and why I'm not going anywhere, even if this isn't what I expected or planned for in my first year of marriage. And I also try to remember that we won't always be having these fights. One day, our finances will be in order and work like a well-oiled machine, and we won't have to argue about sitting down and getting our finances in order. One day, we'll have a cleaning routine down, and we won't have to argue about who is going to do what. Those days might not be tomorrow, but they're not far off, either.

In the end, I feel like all this turmoil that we've been enduring as of late is really just the groan of our relationship shifting. I feel like I'm starting to understand what it means to be a wife. I'm starting to understand that a marriage is more work than a regular relationship, though I honestly can't pinpoint what it is that has changed. I'm starting to understand that it's not just about being with one another anymore, but is instead about building a life together. We're figuring out what works for us, and perhaps our learning curve is a little steeper than others.

A funny thing just happened when I was writing this, too. I wanted to verify that a steeper learning curve meant that it was harder to for us to learn. I asked A.P. whether that would be the correct expression, and he told me to google it since he wasn't sure. When I did, I found this answer, which states, "The steeper the learning curve, the progressively more difficult the concepts to be mastered are." And if saying that we have a steep learning curve when it comes to marriage isn't the most appropriate thing ever, I don't know what is! After all, the only "masters" of marriage tend to be those who've been married for fifty or more years, which means that A.P. and I have another good forty-nine and a half years to master this concept.


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