Friday, March 11, 2011

For Better AND for Worse

"We’ve seen each other bleed, cry, and suffer humiliating defeat; we’ve given each other our imperfect best; and we belong to each other. In other words, we’re family." 

--Floorpie, one of my favorite bloggers, about her marriage

When choosing our partners for life we select for equal parts attraction and fantasy. Hopefully we also look for shared values, compatible dreams and the ability to speak the truth of who we are. 

But inevitably, if you stick together for a number of years, you get to a place I like to call the "I can't believe I married someone who" moment.

At that moment, you just can't imagine carrying on with this person. 

One of the funniest moments like that in my marriage was when I realized that my husband was using our dish-washing sponge to wipe the floor. Worse, that he had been doing this for YEARS. 

This revelation led to a shrill and shrieky argument and rocked my world for a few moments. Could I carry on being married to someone who thought it was okay to wipe the floor with the same sponge we used to wash the dishes? I just wasn't sure.....

We made it through that "for worse" moment and eventually got back to "better," but it wasn't until the other day that I realized the vow is all wrong. It should be "for better AND for worse" because it's always BOTH, isn't it?

In my younger days I always just assumed that eventually we would work out all the bugs, get to "better" and just hang out there for the rest of our days. That hasn't happened....yet. 

The other day we had one of our periodic knock-down-drag-outs about communication and somewhere in the midst of that fight, I finally got it. I stopped seeing our "worse" moments as the end of the world, or at least the beginning of the end. 

I now know that "worse" will eventually morph back into "better" (and on the flip side, that "better" will once again slide into "worse") - sometimes within days, sometimes within hours, sometimes even within minutes.

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