I love being married. And I really love my husband. He’s my best friend and my favorite person and I love spending time with him. He takes good care of me and he teaches me and he listens and laughs and loves so well. I know there’s no one else I’d want to be married to, but that doesn’t change this: marriage is hard. And why is marriage hard? Because relationships are hard, all of them, friendships, family-ships, co-worker-ships. They are all hard because, as my favorite blogger mom Beth Woolsey likes to say, we’re all “made out of human,” which means we’re flawed and weird and messy. And being flawed and weird and messy makes being in relationships with other flawed and weird and messy humans a little bit hard sometimes.
I have a friend at work who thinks Chad and I are some sort of super-married-couple anomaly. She thinks we love each other too much and is perplexed by the fact that Chad and I always want to be around each other and always find something to talk about and say “I love you” willingly and often. And most of the time, she’s right. We are awesome together and we do want to spend most of our time together. But we still fall out of sync sometimes. I mean there are the occasional fights and disagreements and hurt feelings and angry feelings, but right now, I’m just talking about those moments when something just isn’t fitting.
And it’s frustrating because, most of the time, everything does fit. So how does it happen that one night everything just feels off? Every look or gesture feels strange, every discussion comes to a weird end, every comment or suggestion sounds offensive or silly or irrelevant.
I cook dinner and we open a nice bottle of wine that was meant to celebrate Chad’s latest wine certification (he’s a Master of Wine for another wine region, people. That’s awesome!) and then that celebration is interrupted by us just not being on the same page. We have conversations that on a different day would be good conversations, where we would be supportive, validating the other person’s opinions, but this time… not so. And there’s no satisfying explanation for this. It’s just the flawed, weird, messy parts of us that aren’t aligning. It’s a difference in priorities. It’s been a long day, or week, or month. It’s just not the right time.
And it will be fine. It’s nothing serious. Sometimes we just fall out of sync with each other. Sometimes it lasts an evening and then you reset, sometimes it lasts longer and you start to think, what happened? why can’t we seem to get on the same page? why can’t things be normal and easy like before? It can happened between spouses or friends or siblings or parents or people you work with, go to church with, or live with. Relationships are hard because we aren’t in the same place all the time, we’re not in the same mood or attitude all the time, and sometimes, we’re just not going to line up. And it can feel terrible and overwhelming and disappointing, but it’ll pass. It might take some extra effort to make the other person feel loved or wanted or respected or seen and heard, or it might take a good night’s sleep, but it’ll pass. It’s just part of being human together.