Stand-Up Saturday: Marriage

stand-up

Welcome to the first installment of weekly no holds barred, profanity-laced, semi-comedic rants straight from the rambling mind of the Supreme Destroyer of Bullshit — The Maineiac.

Today’s topic: Marriage

I remember a few years ago when Al and Tipper Gore dropped the big bomb on us. Apparently, it was top news that after 40 years of wedded bliss — after popping out several kids, rockin’ the robot dance at the inaugural ball to Aerosmith’s Dude Looks Like A Lady and displaying one chillingly awkward public kiss — their marriage was over.

Al and Tipper Gore Dancing at Inaugural Ball

“But it can’t be!” people cried. “How is this possible?” people gasped. “Oh! But it’s so sad! They were married 100 years! And to end it after all that time? It just doesn’t make any sense! Such a shame!”

Shame? I’ll tell you what’s a shame — that we aren’t admitting what really happened to their relationship.

We all know one day Al was lounging in his silk bathrobe in his king-sized bed, smoking a cigar and writing his upcoming book, Hanging Chads, Climate Change & Other Big-Ass Bummers, when he turned to look at Tipper’s green mud-mask-caked face and said:

“Hey, honey? …we’ve been together what…forty-odd years? Well, for forty goddamned years I have had to wake up and see your goddamn fucking face every goddamn fucking morning. And you know what? I am sick of this shit. I am tired of watching your mouth flap on and on and on. I have finally fucking had it. It’s over. This shit is done. Finito. Peace out, dude.”

Then he carefully took off his reading glasses and shuffled into the kitchen to knock back a shot of Metamucil and call his lawyers.

It’s true. This is definitely what went down in their marriage.

Slide1

At the beginning of every relationship, we all manage to hide our own deep personal shit. Stuff we cram down and try to bury with either sex or booze or chocolate. Stuff we bring to the marriage from our own bad childhoods. Most of us are basically more than a little screwed up from the get-go.

Then we bring this shit to the table. We show it to our spouse, but slowly over time so they won’t run away in horror.

But you can’t hide it forever can you?  That’s when your spouse realizes, Hot damn! You have some serious messed-up shit!

The longer your relationship,  the more you reveal. Then your spouse starts to think, Oh no! HELL no. This is WAY too much shit to deal with! I got my OWN shit! I can’t handle YOUR shit too!

This is often why people get divorced. It’s not just because someone cheated. It’s not because of arguments about money or parenting or crack habits. It’s simply “Hey, y’know what, honey? I’ve been thinking things over and….um…I have come to the realization that I am officially bone-ass sick and tired of you and your shit.”

For some couples this takes a few decades. Others, only a few months. It’s that moment of clarity when it hits: I am sick of you. There’s no shame in this. Don’t beat yourself up. It’s only natural. And very likely your significant other feels the same way.

It’s really not a question about love. Do you love your spouse? Of course you love them! This is why marriage can suck the life blood out of you.  It’s all the little daily annoyances that build up over time. It’s more a question of “how much shit can I stand and for how long?”

It’s your sanity versus loving your partner. One chips a little bit away from the other. You have to ask yourself the hard questions:

  • Does your love override the fact that they leave nasty shitty food in the sink?
  • Does your love overcome the fact that they fart in their sleep?
  • Does your love trump the fact that you have to sit there and watch the same M*A*S*H episode for the 1,500th time?
  • Can you just once get out of the fucking shower, Hunnicutt?
  • For the love of God, can you for once stop sucking down that martini, Pierce?
  • Can we finally admit that’s all M*A*S*H is — people wearing various drab shades of green standing in outdoor showers drinking martinis?

But I love my husband, so I suffer on through it.

And he puts up with my severe, unpredictable hormone-fueled mood swings and extreme hatred of Alan Alda.

I think it’s a fair trade.

People that have been married 50-60 years — we celebrate them. We think, “Wow! they must really have their shit together!” We are in awe of these couples, we hold them up as a high standard that we one day hope to achieve. “Damn! They must really love each other! They must be soul mates!”

Oh no. Sure, they love each other. But y’know what it is, really? Why good ol’ Martha and Frank are still together after slogging it out day after day, year after year, decade after soul-sucking decade?

Because those two can really put up with a whooooole lotta shit.

Slide1

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101 thoughts on “Stand-Up Saturday: Marriage

          1. dentaleggs

            I’m stuck with the cleaning. It’s ok, though. He’s teaching our daughter the basics of Skyrim which I’m very thankful for.

    1. Yup, me too. Marriages can work. But it’s work sometimes. Even though you wouldn’t have guessed I was an optimist by my post. I consider myself a realist now that I’m having mid-life crises every few weeks.

  1. Well, you said it – marriage is all just one big-ass bummer! I find it really is the crack that gets in the way, in the end. The butt crack, I mean. When he bends over to pick up his dirty socks from the floor. Oh wait. Ha ha. He never does that.

    1. Haha! Yes, butt cracks sometimes do tend to get in the way of things. We just gotta shield our eyes from the butt cracks and focus on the good things– like the fact that he’s at LEAST picking up his dirty laundry. “You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and then you have the facts of life….the facts of life….”

    1. Us too. Course now we’re facing loads of other stuff that typically hits around middle-age…illness, aging parents…. I swear my husband and I have already been through so much shit in our 15 years of living together, it’s pretty clear we’ll make it to the end together.

      1. Aw damn. I was hoping you’d start weeping enough so that your clown makeup would smear. Oh well, I tried.

        They really should put this in the wedding vows: “Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, through illness, in-laws and endless reruns of M*A*S*H?”

  2. Funny. So true. Hubby and I are on 12 years and yes, things do change. There’s more to put up with on both sides. Once I made it to married status, my first question to everyone who tried to push it earlier was, what the heck is the rush? We work so hard to live until 90, wait until as long as possible to get married because once you do, you’ll be there for awhile! Oh, and as for the Gore’s–I have to think it was the other way around–Al was pretty ridiculous for a few years before the split!

  3. Wow! If that piece of writing doesn’t shout out “LOVE!!!” loud and wildly from the rooftops, I don’t know what does. Congrats on not having committed murder by now… 🙂

      1. I think my aversion to this show is due to one thing: my older brothers used to babysit me and stick me in front of the TV with a jar of peanut butter and a spoon, while the depressing theme to MASH would play in the background. It’s all just bad memories. I did finally make myself watch one entire episode of the show and I actually did think it was funny. (but I didn’t tell my husband that)

  4. My husband and I have just celebrated our 27th year of, ahem, wedded bliss. How do we do it? For most of the time we’ve been married, John traveled a lot.

    Now that he doesn’t it is more challenging. Especially since he realized that it was me, not him, farting in bed.

    1. I couldn’t love that song more, Elyse. It’s true, the key to a long lasting marriage is to be around each other just enough, but not too much.

      And that list of annoying habits were all mine (except for M*A*S*H)

  5. When it gets really bad though, it’s not just that you can’t put up with shit they do, it’s that you can’t put up with ANYTHING they do. Even the way they brush their teeth drives you nuts, you know? I had a friend who was at that stage, and she would phone me up fuming, saying things like “He’s eating an apple now! How am I supposed to cope with listening to that!?!”

    1. Oh god, that is SO true, V. When you get to the point when their breathing is driving you to the brink of insanity, you’ve got a huge problem. That’s a sign you need to reevaluate your entire relationship.

  6. “Oh for God’s sake shut your piehole” – yep, said it.

    Hubbs is the cranky one. I’m quirky, too, but a lot more malleable. I’m like a golden retriever in the relationship – happy, bumbling along, kinda goofy — he’s a cat. Prissy, fussy, difficult to please. He’ll decide if he (we) wants company, He’ll decide if/when/where – whatever.

    Every once in a while, like a big ole dog, I’ll whomp him upside the head (not literally) and smarten his cat a** up. Pretty soon he’s purring again.

    21 years … we still like each other … most of the time :).

    MJ

    1. YOU said “shut your piehole”?? I can’t picture that, MJ. You’re way too sweet of a person.

      Yes, I think most of the time, my husband and I really enjoy each other’s company and like each other a great deal. This doesn’t mean I still don’t lose it when I find a pile of cracked egg shells in the sink, though.

    1. yeah, if we’re being completely honest here, I have to say I am always astonished that ANYONE can put up with me and my daily shit. I am shocked my husband can stand living with me day after day, year after year. I really did think I was going to live alone my entire life (or with a bunch of cats). But it’s true, we can love someone and still get pissed off at them. We’re only human.

  7. We’re still doing pretty good here. Sure we each have our moments.And the last time hubster got a bit too wound up, I took the kid and went for a drive. The next day when we talked, it was actually productive. He was able to see that what was triggering him was from decades ago, and he didn’t need to get out of control about it, and take things out on the kid. I might have made some promises about if it ever happened again. These days, I see in myself when I’m all out of whack, and I flat out tell my family that it’s me and not them, if Bitchahora Monster decides to visit. Then I crawl into bed as soon as I can.

    1. Well, you are much more enlightened than most, Sue. You can stand back and say, “this is something I am reacting to”. That is HUGE. Then you can see both sides of things and not fall into the same old negative thinking and traps that doom a relationship. Thankfully, my husband is a very sweet, sensitive man and actually enjoys communicating and hashing things out with me. This is why we’re still together. We talk to each other about what’s really bothering us. Usually we find we’re both really coming from the same place, just from slightly different directions.

      1. Back when I first discovered your blog, I was not nearly this enlightened! It’s been because of everything I’ve gone through and learned since I met you. Your husband sounds wonderful. Good for you for picking well.

  8. So damn true. What’s your compromise/acceptance bar? Got a high one? Stay married. Got a low one. It’s over.Marriage probably became an institution when people lived till like 20, so it made sense. haha

    1. I’ve always found real truth in life to be very sad but at the same time extremely hilarious. Personally, I’m still married, but I think marriage is overrated and our society will eventually find it’s obsolete. The divorce rate is so high it’s almost like, what’s the point? Just be in a committed relationship and get on with life.

  9. Well, I guess I’m gonna be married the rest of my life, because 1) I can get away with leaving food-crusted dishes in the sink, ’cause if I cook, the EPA WILL become involved; 2) neither of us is shy about sharing …. anything, and All The Rest) we both like MASH. (And not to be THAT guy, but the showers were inside a tent.) 😀

    1. Have you been talking to my husband? Shows you how much I pay attention to that show. I hear the first few bars of the theme song and I run off to watch The Golden Girls in the other room. (a show my husband doesn’t like)

      1. A-ha! Hubby sounds like a man after my own heart! (Oh, and a little hint for ya about watching MASH – I have literally thousands of WW2 and Korea photographs, and I can guarantee you that no Army nurse I have ever seen had her uniform painted on. Well, except for the ones painted on bombers’ noses…. 😉 )

    1. River Monsters?? Oh god, I have never heard of that one. I sure as hell hope my husband never does, either.

      We will be married 14 years soon and have lived together for almost 16. So yeah, we’ve pretty much had our share of highs and lows. We can basically get through anything now. Even MASH.

  10. Getting a Nobel prize and an Oscar can really mess with a guy’s ego…
    The moral of your post, as I understand it, is “don’t add your shit to the shit your partner already has to deal with” – at least how I try to do it. Sharing and caring is great, but I think even in the marriage there can be “Too Much Information”. We do, after all, close the door when we go to the bathroom, even if we already get plenty of fart action in bed 🙂

    1. Yes, exactly. We all have our own shit we’re trying to work though in life, the key is not to dump that shit on your partner’s shit. Well at least, don’t dump it on them all at once, just gradually over a long period of time.

  11. Finally! Someone understands! I was married 24 years to a lovely man. And that was all of his shit I could take. That and the fact that I was rabidly bipolar at the time. After a few months of separation, he figured out he didn’t want any more of my shit either.

    I’ve learned a lot since then, and think I’d be a much better partner now. But, honestly, who’d want the steamer trunks of doo-doo I’d bring with mer? And do I really want to give up hogging the whole bed and start shaving my legs again? Nah uh. So, I’m learning to embrace my Cat Lady status.

    1. This is the perfect comment. “steaming trunks of doo-doo”.

      I can’t get over the fact that people think that just because you’ve been married decades, that somehow means you can’t separate, I think it’s the opposite. I mean, sometimes there is only so much shit you can take. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your spouse so much as you’ve changed, they’ve changed and both spouse’s personal shit doesn’t mesh anymore. There is no shame in this. It happens. People grow, people learn, people don’t feel like shaving their legs anymore.

  12. Sweet Cheeks and I just celebrated our 34th Anniversary last Monday (if you consider him watching Monday Night Football and me grading papers to be celebrating). I also think I won the spouse lottery – I just choose the life-time annuity pay out. He makes me laugh, he thinks I’m smart and he loves me just the way I am. He makes me want to scream and sometimes he is just a stupid comment away from being throat punched. He has a man cave and I am setting up my office/bead studio/hideout. I just need a door on the room (with a lock). That should get us through retirement, I hope. That and I replaced his little blue pill with a placebo…

    1. bwa hahaa! Oh, Katy. I love you. You’ve got this all figured out. You and the hubs will be just fine for many more decades to come. Happy happy anniversary to you crazy kids!

      Note to self: buy ultra-strong lock at Home Depot. Also — blue Tic-Tacs.

  13. My wife and I lived next door to a couple who fought like alley cats. The husband would mumble and the wife would screech. You couldn’t make out what they were saying, so the entertainment value was limited. We later found out that they had been divorced for years, but neither one wanted the other to have the house, so they stayed together, presumably for the shelter and the fights. I have always maintained that if my lovely bride screamed at me like that fish-wife next door, I’d rather live on a steam grate or under a highway overpass.

    1. I agree with you. It seems more and more divorced couples are still living under the same roof due to money issues. Reminds me of that great movie War of the Roses with Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas.

  14. I don’t know if I have anything left to reveal! The last week itself has been a revelation of every lingering piece of baggage I thought I’d sent through the shredder years ago. Remarkably, A is not reconsidering marriage to me. He has a very high tolerance for bullshit. And me? I’m grateful enough for that and other things that I think–with some reasonably high-ish degree of certainty–I’ll be able to keep putting up with his. But, hey, we haven’t even hit day one yet, so who really knows? 🙂

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  16. A-MEN! That’s what it all boils down to. Just putting up with each others shit. And this reminds me of a Huff Post article I’d just read 2 weeks ago – divorces are happening now NOT SO MUCH because of infidelity (as previously thought and was) but because of people not putting up with each other and then trying to “get back” at each other for what his/her partner seemingly did (or did not do). Great way of articulating it, in this post!

    1. Hmm…I have to find this Huff post post now…I think in a way life is all about compromise. Living with me can’t be easy for my husband and vice versa. The only way I could secure complete contentment would be to live alone with a couple dogs.

  17. I “accidentally” flop my arm over (in a throat-punching-like manner) in my sleep. It’s a recent development. Not sure what started it …. it couldn’t possibly be that chainsaw roar of gurgling phlem sound that he calls “snoring.” ya, that’s unfortunate that I wake him up when he does that, mwuahahahaaa!

    1. Yes, how odd that I seem to be suffering from the same odd arm-flopping motion. I also tend to “accidentally” kick my husband in the ‘nads when he’s really snoring too loud. I wish I could control it, but it is what it is…

      1. Must be part of getting older … just can’t help it.

        I might have also plotted a scandalous double jeopardy situation to get the life insurance policy because he left crumbs on the counter. Or, was that because he forgot to flush? Either way. Maybe.

  18. Ha, ha! Sara and I may have only been together for 7 years, but we’ve racked up a whole lotta shit in those 84 months. See, when you talk in terms of months the numbers get a whole lot more impressive!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

  19. I used to listen to my married friends complaining about their spouses. I’d think, “Wow, they’re really uptight.” Now that Mr. Weebs and I have been married 7 years, I absolutely get it. When he leaves dirty dishes in the sink DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE DISHWASHER IS EMPTY, for the 13,591st time, I can feel myself aging. And I’m sure that when he trips over the shoes I leave all over the place, for the 62,874th time, he probably wonders whether it’s grounds for justifiable homicide.

    Mr. Weebles likes watching Mythbusters. I fucking hate that show. HATE. I want to punch both of those stupid idiots in the gonads. When he flips the channel to that show, I can feel my colon tightening.

    And yet, we manage to live in relative peace. “Relative” being the operative word.

    1. Ah yes… seven years of wedded bliss with Mr. Weebs. That is the year the shit really gets interesting….Oh god, speaking of colon-tightening…mine really constricts whenever Pawn Stars or Storage Wars or Airplane Repo comes on. It’s all I can do to not throw the remote through the TV screen. But I want to still be able to watch New Girl or The Mindy Project so I manage to swallow my anger.

    1. I have to constantly remind my husband of that too. Doesn’t he get it that if he doesn’t pick up his dirty laundry it will only make me completely insane? Doesn’t he care that I will walk about the house for days, just barely containing my boiling anger? ready to snap at any second?

  20. My marriage lasted 26 years. Maybe he got sick of my crap. But I think he got sick of my sickness. I had the audacity to up and change on him. He couldn’t handle that. At least that’s my guess. He never told me why he left me… That’s fine, though. I found myself a great new life with a much better model who knows my crap and accepts it. Can’t beat that with a canoe paddle!! 🙂

  21. Good to know that my crack habit will likely not be the cause of my divorce!

    Country Boy and I are lucky that we both love to run and live some place where it is nice outside 99% of the time. It’s our secret code. Whenever one of us is annoying the piss out of the other, the other will drop everything, throw on running shoes, and take off on a run to get a break from the nonsense and work out some aggression.

    This weekend Country Boy started in on a new half-assed home improvement project that is sure to make a huge mess, cost way more money than he thinks, and take him forever to complete.

    This morning I signed up for a marathon.

    1. Hmm…that is so true. I have found this year to be my year to walk. As in, I go for extra long walks several times a week. I say it’s to get away from the hectic pace of life with my two young kids, but really it’s because my husband has decided to “remodel” the bathroom all weekend.

  22. Just let me say that I stopped in days ago, read this shockingly frank and truthful post and replied with a bitingly humorous comment. From my &*()$ tablet. Tethered to my ##$&%( smart phone at home. Just like I did for Steve’s interview. WAAAHHH!

    Anyway, I can’t remember what I said, but it was shockingly frank and humorous, just like this. You speak truth, Missy.

    1. I’ve no doubt what you said was shockingly frank and funny and full of swear words as you slammed your &*&##ing tablet down on the table. I have one of those devil-machines. I refuse to use it now, I basically just gave it to my son to mess with. I ain’t got time for dat.

  23. Pingback: Stand Up Saturday: Parenting | She's a Maineiac

  24. I rather like Ellen Kreidman’s (maybe spelled that wrong) take on it. Opposites really do attract (neat people to messy people, quiet to loud) because those qualities in one person are missing in the other.
    Unfortunately, these attractive opposite qualities are also what drives both people nuts eventually.
    From a fellow Maineiac (West Newfield) great blog.

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