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When Being Stubborn Saves Your Marriage

Anna and her husband on their wedding day
Anna and her husband on their wedding day

My husband and I have been married for 9 years.  I realize there are lots of people who have been married a lot longer than us but I’m proud of us for making it to 9 years.  It wasn’t always easy, that’s for sure.  I sometimes admit to people that our first year of marriage was the worst year of my life.  It was really, REALLY hard.  We fought.  A lot.  Over everything.  And nothing.  Mostly it was over the stupidest little things that would blow up into big things for no good reason at all.  We’re both very stubborn, very hard-headed, opinionated, Type-A and every other quality that means we likes to have things our way, with no highway option.

When we first got married neither of us was good at compromise and we sure as shit weren’t adept at choosing our battles.  I take that back.  We did choose our battles.  It was just that we chose EVERY battle.  It’s exhausting to even think about.

9 years later and it’s not all sunshine and lollipops (or Miller Lites and elk steaks, as the case may be) but I feel comfortable saying that we’ve come a LONG way.  And I’m proud of us for hanging in and growing together.  Recently I was reading old posts that I’d written (from back when I had the time and energy to keep a personal blog) and I came across this one and it made me smile so I’ll share it as an argument for sticking it out, even when it seems like it’s too hard.

“…One year ago today we got married. It’s amazing how you can spend seventeen months planning for a single day and when that day arrives, it goes by in the blink of an eye. And then you blink again and a year has passed and you’re no longer a newlywed; now you’re just an old, married lady.

Before we got married, my husband’s Grandma gave us some advice that I think is really valuable. I appreciate it most because she tells it like it is: “It’s not easy. You will fight. There will be times when you wonder what you ever saw in him (and he will feel the same about you). Sometimes those times will go on for what seems like forever. You’ll want to pull your hair out. You’ll want to pull his hair out. It’s all worth it in the end.”
To me, that kind of perspective, from someone who has been married for more than half a century, is far more worthwhile than those people who portray marriage as all sunshine and lollipops.
There were times during the last year when I thought to myself, this is not what I signed up for. But in the end, I always realized that this is exactly what I signed up for; the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s a package deal.
On more than one occasion I was ready to put my alternate plan into action. The plan where I run away to Montana and start my new, secret life there, raising bears that I take into town with me where we all eat ice cream cones.
And then there are the other times. Like when we’re out to dinner with my mom and I say, “So all I need is a shirt, pants, underwear, and pajamas?”
And Hubcap (that’s what we call my mom.  But that’s a story for another day) stares blankly at me.
She looks at my husband, expecting him to be as confused as she is. Only he isn’t confused at all. Instead, he explains, without missing a beat, “She wants to know what she should pack when you guys go away this weekend.”
He says it just matter-of-fact; as if I had spoken all those words out loud.
“You got that from what she said?” Hubcap asks.
“I knew what she meant,” is his reply.”
He knew what I meant…
…Man, am I glad we were both too stubborn to call it quits that first year.
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About Anna Thornley

Anna Thornley
Anna Thornley is a Jersey Girl living in the Wild West with her husband, their three children (with another one on the way) and two dogs. She desperately misses the beach and humidity but tries to remember to appreciate the beauty of the mountains. She works full-time outside of the home and is generally frantic in her attempts to keep everyone (and everything) moving in the right direction. Her house is a mess, but everyone in it is happy and loved—so she considers it a success. Anna spends almost all of her free time doing laundry. Her family loves to spend time together watching football and playing outside. Anna is still trying to come to terms with the fact that her family expects to eat dinner every single night. Follow Anna on Twitter to keep up with all her family’s antics: @rudeytudeymama

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