The math of marriage

I have many friends who are single in their 40’s and in no way do I try and say their single life is easier than a married one. As part of a couple there is (theoretically) someone to send to the store for chicken soup and 7-Up when you’re sick, someone who may surprise you and put away the laundry, someone to cry with when the dog dies. Singles surrounded by married friends are on their own in many respects, no matter how close those friends may be. You know that in a choice between your crisis and a crisis in the life of your married friend’s spouse, you will always come in second place.

Whether you’re solo or duo, life is difficult. But tonight I was thinking about WHY married life feels so much more complicated than singleness did. It’s no big revelation really, it’s just the kind of thing you don’t ponder too often.

See I’m applying to grad school and the applications require some ridiculously long essay’s with which I’m struggling. I sit down to work but my brain swims with the list of to do’s which granted, probably wouldn’t bother me so much if I had a better organizing system. Nonetheless, I don’t remember feeling this way under deadlines when I was single.  As a married the number of things I manage hasn’t so much doubled, since we joined many things together and simultaneously divy-ed up responsibilities. It’s that you live more in a state of flux. You have your schedule… and now their schedule. If your schedule changes you roll with it. If you make YOUR schedule based on THEIR schedule, and then THEIR schedule changes – mentally, even just quickly, you recheck your schedule to assess the impact. See what I mean?  Not MORE to do, just more steps.

Well that happens in single life too, you say, and you’re right. People’s schedules change all the time, requiring you to bob and weave with your own. But those people aren’t living in your HOUSE.  They’re not the ones you fight with in your undies and a mouth full of toothpaste. There’s is something about the closeness of that other person that complicates the whole thing.

Sushi. You’re on a sushi kick and get your spouse to come along for the ride. They love it, so you’re planning another Friday night dinner out for sushi, when suddenly your beloved announces they’re kind of deciding they’re don’t like sushi as much as they thought. Or that pizza isn’t going to work with this new diet. Back to step one. More time spent doing the same thing you already thought you’d done.

It’s not a bad thing, or even a big deal. It’s just nice sometimes to finally put a face on some of the indescribable frustrations that so nicely offset the beauty of waking up to that same morning hair every day.


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