When we first got married, it seemed like everyone had the same question for us for months: "So, how's married life?"
It was an awkward question to answer, honestly. The surface answer - the one that everyone wanted to hear and which was quite true even if not very descriptive - was "It's wonderful!"
And it was. It was and it has only grown more so.
But there was more to the story than that.
Saying "It's wonderful" doesn't really describe what it's when your husband can gently but firmly tell you, "I knew you lied to me when you told me you didn't believe in bad moods. What you were really saying back then was that you didn't WANT to believe in bad moods...but you still believe in them because you have one right now. This isn't going to get better until you fix your attitude."
I know. Some girls out there who might be reading this are probably saying, "Huh?! What kind of thing is that to cite as a wonderful romantic thing about your husband and marriage?"
But this is why I married Benjamin Paul Turner. Because a wonderful man who tells the truth honestly and lovingly is rare; and a marriage in which a husband can say this to his wife will have more happiness in it than one in which the husband brings his wife breakfast in bed every day - something that's often seen as romantic but doesn't have a lick of usefulness when it comes to real-life things like taking care of grandmas and new babies.
Saying "It's wonderful" doesn't do justice to what it's like to be part of a marriage in which two people genuinely want to be together all the time. The other day Abigail was being a pickle and I finally marched her out of the house and put her in the stroller so I could walk her up and down. I do this quite a bit, walking her back and forth on a stretch of sidewalk about five houses long so I can keep looking in the window to make sure Grandma Lila is okay. The difference on this particular day was that Ben was home and I marched out anyway.
Before we were married, Ben and I did nearly everything together. We both wanted a marriage where the husband and wife were together and we figured the best way to determine if we wanted to marry each other was to live our life that way so we could see each other constantly in "normal" situations and be comfortable enough with each other that we would be able to actually see each other as we normally were as opposed to on our "company behavior". It worked very well: we did decide to get married and after a year and a half (and two children) we've yet to be surprised by each other's character. Life together is in many ways very much as we expected when we got married.
However, one thing that changed after we got married is that we became responsible for Grandma Lila's care. Initially, we thought that would mean a sort of general presence which would include us making sure Grandma had her meals and the house was taken care of and she got medicine on time, the kind of general companionship you have when you live in a family. Since Ben only works at the office during the afternoon, we thought it wouldn't be too difficult for us to manage things in such a way that I would continue to do everything with him as we had before.
Things did not work out as we had planned. It was made clear to us that while it was obvious Ben had to go to work, it was not so obvious that Lauren had to be with Ben; and since someone needed to be with Grandma Lila, Lauren was the one who was going to stay home. That was to be Lauren's job.
Does it sound like I'm still a little sad about this? Well, I am. Not because of having Grandma with us - and not because she actually needs so much more care than what I described - but because it has meant a lot of separation between Ben and I; and the thing we were and still are afraid of in this is that we'd get used to it and the closeness we had anticipated, desired, and planned for would vanish as we lost the sensitivity of needing to be together.
The other day when I took Abigail out and began walking her up and down even when Ben was home was a product of us getting used to being apart. I've gotten used to doing this without Ben, so I had no red flags about doing it without him even when he was there.
Ben realized this and came out looking for me. "We have to be very careful," he said. "This is a little thing now, but pretty soon we can start doing more and more apart and the next thing you know, we'll have two separate lives like so many other people do. If it's good to take Abigail for a walk, I'm more than happy to go for a walk."
And that is why marriage to Ben is wonderful. Because having a husband who reasons with me and protects me is what I was hoping for when I married him.
Wife of Benjamin and mother to two wonderful little girls who are getting bigger every day. Enjoys writing down thoughts and discussions we are having within the family and sharing them with whoever is interested in reading.
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