I Don't Like My Husband
Now that I got your attention, let me clarify. Of course I like my husband as a person and of course I love him as my husband and best friend, but I DO NOT like him 100% of the time. That shocks some people when I say it out loud, but it's the truth. To push it even further, there have been days where I really don't like him (usually when I'm PMSing or haven't had french fries in a while). And let's face it - I am not likable 365 days of the year. I annoy myself 50% of the time, so I can only imagine what he feels.
My levels of dislike vary. They range from "I can't stand the sound of you breathing" to "if you leave one more dish in the sink I will kill you." They are usually fleeting moments, but hey, I don't like him all the time. And as uncomfortable as this fact is, I expected it...
Since I've been old enough to learn the "hard lessons," my mom has offered a very realistic version of events as it relates to marriage. My folks have been married for 41 years, so that qualifies her as an expert. Of all the things that I've heard her say, at top billing is "every day is not a good day." I understood that concept on a superficial level as a young woman. Now as an old married lady, I full understand. She has added more onto this position in recent years and consistently says that a healthy dose of realism and "having the good sense to stay together" is what has gotten her through.
90% of my parents' friends are married. Ironically, at 41 years, they are considered the "babies" of the bunch. Naturally, during our engagement, we looked specifically to this unique circle of people for advice. Some of these aforementioned couples graciously hosted a Wisdom Shower for us a few months before our wedding day. It is the lessons we learned there that have helped us through some sticky times. What stood out to me during this event is how honest everyone was about this concept of "liking" the other person. The advice ran the gamut - "make time for yourself"; "go to separate corners"; "be an adult". Seems simple enough, but what really stopped me in my stilettos was the fact that every one of the couples took it as a given that there are just going to be days when you don't like the other person. The advice, therefore, was to have a way to cope with it.
In my vows, I said to Hassan, "I will love you even when I don't like you." And I have stuck to that vow. In the end, as my mom has suggested, you can't afford to let the days that you don't like the person overshadow the fact that you love the person. Look, I'm not advocating staying with someone in the face of serious issues (which I won't go into here, but everyone has their deal breakers). Instead, what I'm advocating for is allowing yourself some grace to feel what you feel. If you don't like your partner, hell, you don't like them. That doesn't mean that the relationship is doomed or that you are a bad person, it just means that you have to get through today because tomorrow will probably be better.
What do you think? Do you like your partner every day? What do you do when you don't?
Photo Credit: Scott Webb