Tuesday, 31 August 2010

What goes on behind closed doors

Can you tell I am back at work - blogging ceases abruptly?

So... you know those questions - 'what would you do if you were invisible for the day?' and people say funny stuff like 'hide in Brad Pitt's trousers' or 'rob a bank' blah blah - well mine is quite simple: I would spy on married couples and see what really goes on behind closed doors...

Does that make me freaky or creepy? I make no apologies. Husband and I had some corking rows over the weekend - one culminated in him punching a crack in a door. I am not faultless at all - at the moment my hormones are so shot I am behaving like a teenage girl with PMT - and yet we had friends coming for lunch on Sunday - so we had to plaster on our 'we are happy and normal and would you like more dip?' faces and pretend we liked each other. By the end of the meal, we actually did. Those 'fake it til you make it' rules really work. I was a bit emotional about it all yesterday - full of woe and anger - but I managed to dilute it into a civil email and Husband replied and now we have joint 'task lists' and promises of more help round the house (acts of service - HIM) and less nagging/acting deranged (ME).

He arrived home just as I hit the hay and planted some impressive kisses on me. That isn't a euphemism for hot sex - I am after all a beached whale at the moment, with a chest bigger than Manhattan - the man would have to don a helmet and some climbing hooks in order to scale them/me, I genuinely mean he gave me some lovely affection. Underrated it is.

Anyhow, it got me thinking about other couples - and how they juggle full time jobs and kids and childcare and household bills and money and chores and stress and in-laws and still enjoy each other's company? Still belly laugh at the end of the day? I don't mean celebs - their lives aren't really goverened by the same rules that we have to abide to - and therefore who knows what is stage managed/a lavendar marriage/even exists? Boring. I'm talkin' regular folk - like you and me.

Husband and my's problem isn't that we have nothing to say to each other and the marriage is stale - it is that we so rarely get time together. We've had 2 dates recently - both were fab. One was a ridiculous 45 min drive to and from, the nearest cinema showing an Argentinian film that I wanted to see (The Secret In Their Eyes - good by the way) - I booked us a comfy sofa with cushions - (god I LOVE the Everyman Hampstead cinema, why didn't I go more when I lived 15 mins walk from it for 7 years???)and Husband was thrilled to discover it offered waiter service and he was able to drink wine throughout. I supped tea and ate chocolate covered honeycomb. Bliss. The other date was a brilliant meal at a cosy little country gastropub where I drank a hearty glass of red and then suffered heartburn until 3am. But it was worth it.

I digress. I just wonder how folk still want to tear each others clothes off after their kid(s) have just crapped their pants, or their mother-in-law is having a bath in the next room? Or how they decide who's turn it is to take out the bin/do the food shop/clean the bathroom... or who pays what? There is so much that people never say. They show the world that everything is just rosy in their garden and then out of the blue announce they are splitting up. 'I never saw that coming' you'll say, in shock. But they never let you know. It is terribly British to act like everything is fine, even when it isn't. And maybe things are fine most of the time - but what happens when they're not? Ohhh it's interesting isn't it? The taboos of marriage, the secrets we must never tell. The relationship we show the world and the one we have in private. Thing that fascinates me most, is as Husband pointed out yesterday - that it isn't easy, but it is how you get through the hard times that defines how strong your marriage is - that commitment to make it work, to try your best, otherwise what was the point?

It is all so easy when you first date, can't keep your hands off each other, live on air and the butterflies in your stomach. Getting engaged, planning a wedding, setting up a life together. Nothing can prepare you for kids and how much your lives change post birth.... So staying together - is it simply luck? That the person you fancied across that crowded bar, who gave you 5 orgasms in an evening, who took you to Paris, who charmed your Mother, who bought you flowers and got on one knee and all the rest, is still as amazing 10 plus years on. Can still light up a room when they walk into it. Still make you feel a bit mushy. Still make you smile. How do you ever know in that sweaty packed bar, that he's a good bet and you'll make it through all those rites of passage, all that life throws at you. You don't, you take a chance and suddenly, here you are - 2.4 kids and a 3 bed semi. I'm just curious how you got there and why you stay.

I know why I do. And it isn't because I got an enormous bunch of lillies last week and some impressive kisses. But the reasons why I do - well, find that invisibility cloak and you can find out.

1 comment:

Liz said...

Honestly? I have no idea. I'm in a hard time. Will we survive it? will we not? I think along this vein a lot. 11 year of marriage, 14 years together, one beautiful heart stopping child.

I'll let you know.