When I first read the description of Maddie Dawson’s The Stuff That Never Happened, I thought I was in for a fluffy, bedtime read.
Annabelle McKay knows she shouldn’t have any complaints. She’s been in a stable marriage that’s lasted almost three decades and has provided her with two wonderful children, thousands of family dinners around a sturdy oak table, and a husband so devoted that he schedules lovemaking into his calendar every Wednesday morning. Other wives envy the fact that Grant is not the type of man who would ever cheat on her or leave her for a younger woman.
The trouble is Annabelle isn’t sure she wants to be married to Grant anymore. The trouble is she’s still in love with someone else.
Dum-dum -DUM! One woman. Two great loves. So deliciously scandalous. What’s not to like, right?
So I started reading about Annabelle and Grant’s cozy little life. Their companionable suppers and quiet ease with one another, Grant’s passion for his work, Annabelle’s weepy episodes in public places…
A few chapters in, I couldn’t take it anymore and had to put the book away. It was hitting too close to home.
No, silly, I am not yearning for a long lost love. It’s the other thing… the being married to the sweet, wonderful guy. I have a nice, NORMAL, devoted husband who loves our family and his work. Yes, I am a very lucky girl!
I have no complaints about our marriage except that I often wonder where it’s gone…
Six years ago, I was a newlywed. We had no sooner bought a cabinet for our wedding china and a house to put it in than my husband and I thought, “Hey wouldn’t it be GREAT to start a family!”
Two kids, four houses, and six jobs later, I wonder what was so wrong with just “being in love” for a little bit longer… HA!
Ah, but so goes the great romance of my life. Still, I have no regrets. Truly.
I once read an article about how marriage brings about children, but children bring about the end of marriage. I don’t entirely agree with that statement, but I completely understand. OH. MY. HELLS. Do I understand!
In an earlier post, I detailed the amount of stress we’ve been going through lately with balancing home and work. More specifically, balancing our life at home and my husband’s life at work, which, by the way, supports this whole gig.
Until one of us comes into hoards and hoards of money (not likely), we’re always going to have to work. Furthermore, we’re always going to take care of our home and kids. Right now, the division is somewhat rigid. My husband goes to the office. I stay home with the kids. Both jobs are demanding, but not mutually exclusive. My husband still needs to part of the family. I still need to be part of the world.
At the moment, our children are very young. At ages four and one, each of them require a LOT of attention. I’m told that this too shall pass. “It’ll get better once they get older.” Except that I was a kid once and I know for a fact that it only gets more complicated… and more angsty and misunderstood.
Fortunately, my husband has a job doing what he loves and at a great company too, but it’s still very long hours. In what little time that remains, there’s fitting in all of the chores and other responsibilities of running a home. There’s devoting time with the kids- with each of them as individuals, as a family, and as an extended family. Then there’s spending time alone, pursuing our passions and hobbies, or just vegging out.
Unfortunately, on the very bottom of that list has been spending time as a couple– date nights, uninterrupted conversations…. Sitters aren’t cheap, which brings us to the very thing that divides us. His work to support our life.
It’s hard not to feel like we’re growing apart, because by necessity, we are. I just wonder how I’ll look back at all this two or three decades from now. Or worse, what two or three decades of living this way will do to “us”.
Don’t get me wrong. I adore my husband. I love our children and I’m grateful for our charmed life. However, these days I’ve been asking myself, is this marriage or is this just my marriage?
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of The Stuff That Never Happened by Maddie Dawson as member of the From Left to Write Book Club, which was created as a continuation of the Silicon Valley Moms Blog Book Club. The thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own.
To read other posts inspired by this book, visit the From Left to Write Book Club Blog.