Saturday, January 10, 2009

In which TRP is grateful for his marriage...

I've been married for three-and-a-half years this month. I don't know when one is not newlywed anymore, and I don't want to pretend to be expert. But today at baby class I became way, way more grateful for Swankette.

The first thing we all did was divide the room by gender. Moms-to-be were to write down big changes they were going through. Dads-to-be were to write down changes they saw their relationship as going through.

People are mean to their spouses. I guess I've always known this is true, but since my marriage, imperfect as any marriage is, does NOT include being mean to each other...well...I'm a little taken aback when I see it happen.

Case in point. One guy said something to the effect that "when she's feeling good, it's our baby, but when she's feeling bad, it's suddenly my baby and my fault." Most of the men around me nodded knowingly.

Swankette has never, ever done that. Right now she's going through the garden-variety third-trimester stuff...hip pain, inability to lean over, peeing constantly, Hedgehog thinking her diaphragm is a Dance Dance Revolution pad, etc. Early in the pregnancy, there was the throwing up. And for about a week, without going into detail, she had to put up with pretty intense pain, and did so heroically (thankfully, it passed). But NEVER has she thought to blame me for any of this! Had she done so, I'd have accepted it gladly...my hurt feelings are jack-nothing compared to what she's going through. But she never has. At all.

Then, there was a moment when our teacher, a pretty cool woman, said something else that took me aback. She was talking about Kegel exercises (did you know men should do them too? something else I learned today) and when to do them. "Do them anytime you're doing somethign routine, but that will happen a few times a day. Like during commercials, or at red lights, or maybe when you're yelling at your partner." Huh? I can't recall a time that Swankette and I have ever yelled. We've been pissed off, sure, and we let each other know, but we don't yell.

Of course, when we point out each other's foibles, it's a very, very loving thing. When I told the men in the group that one change was that "my wife now cries at television commercials," I guess I said it a little loud, because the women turned around and gave me the evil eye, as if I'd done something horrible. But the fact is that this is something Swankette and I joke about already! How could you not handle changes like this if you don't have a little sense of humor about them? Swankette said that it was her husband who said that, and don't worry--she'd be worried if I didn't point it out. My mom even jokes about the hormonal tears, remembering when she was crying at episodes of Lassie during her 1960s pregnancies. Come on! Let's find the joy in being together, even in hard times! (Of course, we might handle this with a little "Please Do Not Be Alarmed By Our Sarcasm" sign in the delivery room...)

So, Sweetie, thanks for making this such a great marriage. Every now and then I'm reminded how good I have it with you, and today was one of those times.

1 comment:

Jack Bog said...

Wait 'til the birth. That experience jacked up my appreciation of my wife by about 1,000%.