I read somewhere once that the first year of marriage can be the worst. Because you have two people who are suddenly living together and are trying to find a balance in their coexistence.
I understood the struggle of living with a new person (I’ve lived with many very different individuals all four years of college and then the first year after graduation), but I’ve also found that it is only difficult during the first month or two, and then people tend to fall into harmony and routine. I didn’t understand how a couple, two people who are supposed to know each other well enough to fall in love and get married, can have a difficult time living together for a solid year.
Now I understand.
Admittedly I didn’t get married last week, but I did move in with my boyfriend The Photographer, and his family.
These last three weeks through this whole moving process have been Hell. The Photographer and I have had arguments before, but we’ve never fought like this, ever.
Every fight was essentially just variations of the following:
Him: I’m frustrated because you’re moving in small trips rather than one big one like the last two moves that I helped you with.
Me: I know, and I’m trying to move as much as I can in my little car, so you don’t have to come in your truck to take as many things. And I’m moving boxes to your house as I pack them because my roommate, M, has claustrophobia, and get’s overwhelmed by lots of boxes, and I can’t keep all the packed boxes in my room, because my room is too small. And I’m frustrated with you for being frustrated with me, because you said you’d help me, and you’re acting all inconvenienced.
Him: I AM inconvenienced! It takes half a tank of gas to drive from my house to your apartment and back, and my tank takes $60 to fill, so it’s really not worth driving all the way over here for just a few boxes if they don’t fill up the back of my truck. Tell M to get over it! And I’m frustrated with you for being frustrated with me, for being frustrated with you.
Me: Telling M to get over it is not going to cure her phobia! And she’s aware that’s it’s stupid, but she does have a right to feel comfortable in her own home! And I’m sorry! Like I said, I am moving everything I can that will fit in my car so you don’t have to make as many trips, and I’m trying to accommodate my housemates, because they’re my friends! I’m kind of between a rock and a hard place here! And I’m frustrated with you for being frustrated with me, for being frustrated with you, for being frustrated with me!
Him: Well if M is your friend, and she knows this, shouldn’t she understand?! Why do you have so much shit anyway? Who needs all this shit? Can’t most of it go in the garage or Goodwill?
Me: She is trying! And that’s all I can ask! And I’m frickin trying to get rid of things, but you have to recognize that I am moving my entire existence from one place to another, AND I’m a girl, so stereotypically, OF COURSE I’m going to have a lot of shit! Most of which IS going in the garage!
Him: It’s just that it’s everywhere! It’s overcrowding the house!
Me: Yes! Yes it is! I can either pack and move, or unpack and organize, I can’t do both!
We both have valid points and grievances, but we’re too annoyed and angry to really see them in the moment. It’s been rough. It doesn’t help that we’re both stubborn as all get out. This last week has been better, but we’re still bickering over things that don’t matter.
I really thought this would be like every other living situation I’ve been in, but it’s not. And it’s not because his parents and sister are there, it’s because it’s him. It’s because both of us recognize that on some level, this experience is representative of how our marriage will be and we desperately want validation as quickly as possible that we can survive as a couple. So we’ve been impatient and resentful when things don’t automatically fall into place. At least with regular roommates, if the living situation isn’t ideal, you can say, “Oh well, just a few more months till the lease is up.”
We’re not married, and we live with three other people, but I suspect the article was talking about this: two people who need to know that they haven’t made a horrible mistake.