Marriage Makes You Crazy
I now believe that marriage is supposed to make you crazy. Of course, when I was studying marriage in my sophomore year at BYU, I was taught that marriage would help me become more – more than I was then, more than I could imagine, more than I could ever become on my own. I watched romantic comedies and happy endings and dreamed of the day when I would become more – more exciting, more beautiful, more…happy!
Be careful what you choose, because whatever initially attracts you to your perfect mate, will probably be what drives you nuts. While my friends dreamed of basketball stars or chiseled, model- type guys, I have always been drawn to the ones with a sense of humor. Bad puns, clever one-liners, and sarcasm could overcome frizzy hair or geeky glasses and win my heart. I dated the guys with red hair and freckles, the computer nerds, and the guys who played intramural sports. We had fun, excitement, and lots of laughs.
Of course, when it was time for me to tie the knot, I accepted a proposal from a funny guy. He was super busy with graduate school and when we married 4 months later, we hardly knew each other any better than the day he proposed. But the day finally came that we graduated and had our first daughter all in the same week. We embarked into real life, together.
Like most couples, we struggled to make it work. Sleepless nights, no job, looming student debt, and living with the in-laws all took their tolls. Our patience wore thin, and it was not very funny. Having a discussion about these challenges always turned into distractions or jokes. “Couldn’t he take anything seriously,” I wondered?
My new husband had always watched MASH re-runs to unwind after a day at school. Now, with more time on his hands between interviews, it became Little Rascals, the Marx Brothers, and the Pink Panther (Uncle Peter, we called Inspector Clousseau.) While I like clever repartee, his constant choice to distract himself (and me!) with this silly slapstick was wearing. I finally told him that it takes more than a good laugh to work out solutions to our problems. He told me to be patient; we’d get there.
I did learn patience, along with hard work, sacrifice, frugality, and that life is not a romantic comedy, but it could be. The quality I most valued in my husband when we married, while driving me crazy at times, is a valuable part of our relationship. And we have become more. We have worked on each other’s weaknesses and learned from each other’s strengths. We are still polishing each other’s rough edges, but life has gotten smoother from the bumps and rough patches.
My theory now is that whatever attracts you to your mate, will eventually drive you crazy. Just hang in there while you both mature, so it can become an important part of your whole story. And just think, crazy goes both ways!