Windsor tank, old (similar); ℅ Sammydress skirt (under $7!) and turquoise bracelets; Kohl’s shoes (on clearance!); Forever 21 sunglasses (similar.)
I’ve been watching True Tori for the past couple of weeks, and I have been surprised by how open and honest it is, and raw. While I do find it odd that Tori Spelling would want to share her pain and subsequent reconciliation with her husband with the world, I DO think she has been brave and very real. She doesn’t hide anything, and by sharing her story I think it helps her work through her issues and tells her side of the story.
The biggest eye opening moment for me while watching this docu-series has been her repeated mentioning of how her “fairytale” marriage has been ruined. She repeatedly mentions that as a child she wished for a romance like the ones you read in books and saw on television, and how disappointed she was that her life hasn’t turned out as she envisioned it.
This is where I think many woman go wrong (and I absolutely lump myself into this category.)
As little girls we have this vision that we will meet Prince Charming, have a beautiful, fairy tale wedding, and then live happily ever after. As a reader of romance novels, I think I’ve also had a warped version of what a man should and shouldn’t be when it comes to relationships, and I have felt let down by reality. Marriage and relationships are NOT a fairy tale. They are work. They show you things about yourself you never knew existed, and they will never be perfect. Ever. I spent the majority of my twenties sort of waiting for my husband to be this man I thought he should be. For some reason, he never could read my mind and divine what I wanted, yet I got mad if he didn’t. I nitpicked him constantly and made him feel less because he wasn’t living up to my expectations. I thought the issues were with HIM and him only. I could criticize him, but cried if he did the same to me. We fought over silly things (the placement of throw pillows on a couch!), and now that I look back on it, I wonder what on earth I was doing. I thought I would get married and my husband would just automatically know what I needed when I needed it, and be this perfect husband. It never dawned on me that I needed to be anything other than what I was, it was all him.
I know differently now.
Marriage for me today, almost ten years in, is pretty awesome. It is not by accident that we get along, really enjoy being together, and rarely fight. It’s been a learning process. It is NOT a fairy tale, and I learn this more a little bit everyday. We have two children, jobs, friends, family, a home. All of these things can be really distracting, and if you let them they can derail you. It helps that we are really compatible in how we deal with money and parenting, but that was not actually on purpose. I call it a happy accident, and it has made all the difference! We have learned things about each other that help, daily. I can tell if he needs to be left alone, and I do. It’s not a personal affront to me if he doesn’t want to talk about it, five years ago I would have been annoyed. Now I give him his time and we are the better for it. He can tell when I need a little more attention and love, and he gives it. (Okay FINE, I may cajole him a little!) He keeps his moth shut when I’m hormonal and a little mean, and I don’t bug him about watching the Red Sox every night. It’s a lot of back and forth knowledge about each other that has been acquired over the past 14 years that makes our marriage good today. It’s not perfect, at all. He annoys me a lot, as I annoy him. Nobody can live together as a family and not get on each others nerves, and that is okay. We don’t have to be that couple that is all over each other and affectionate in public to be in love, and we don’t have to pretend that the second we said I DO that it has been smooth sailing.
I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else. He isn’t my fairytale vision of my childhood, I think he’s better. All the qualities I thought I wanted were superficial. I have the love and the family and wanted, but I also have a deeper love than what I had envisioned. You may not look at us and think that we are the couple to be envied, and that is okay. I find the most out there couples don’t seem to last. For all the bravado of calling each other soul mates and describing perfect lives, I always wonder what is underneath. I prefer to have a solid foundation, a willingness to let things go and to laugh together, always.
Marriage for me isn’t a fairy tale. It’s more than that. It’s a glimpse across the room and a smile, it’s being comfortable and content, it’s someone to laugh with while watching Jimmy Fallon, it’s tucking our kids in bed at night, and it’s looking at him always and thinking he is still really handsome in my eyes. It’s real.
P.S. Here’s a post I did last Summer, on how we stay happily married!